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Federal Benefits

The Federal Benefits Unit (FBU) is part of the American Citizens Services section in the Consular section of American Embassies and Consulates. The Federal Benefits Unit is located at the U.S. Embassy in Quito handles all federal benefits issues for Ecuador. The U.S. Consulate in Guayaquil can accept documents for forwarding to to the U.S. Embassy Quito, Monday through Thursday from 9 am to 11 am.

The FBU is responsible for administering programs on behalf of U.S. federal agencies that pay benefits to both American citizens and other country nationals. The FBU assists customers, who are entitled to U.S. Government benefits, in soliciting their benefits and also with post-entitlement issues. In Ecuador, benefit checks are deposit electronically, via direct deposit. 

Due to the specialized nature of Federal Benefit programs, the role of the FBU is to answer routine questions and to forward more complex inquiries to the appropriate federal agency. A FBU normally assists persons in interpreting forms and letters sent to them by agencies. The assistance may include review or completion of forms, including change of address requests, and forwarding of these forms to the paying agency. Agencies normally correspond directly with the interested party, but may issue specific instructions on a case to a FBU for assistance in resolution. A FBU may also play a role in program integrity issues, such as verifying whereabouts and existence of beneficiaries.

What can the FBU help you with?

  • Applications for Social Security Card.

  • Applications for new, replacement duplicate and/or corrected Social Security cards.

  • Applications for enrollment and cancellation of Medicare.

  • Applications for retirement, disability or survivor benefits.

  • Applications for establishment of a representative payee (i.e., when the beneficiary is not able to receive or manage his/her own benefits)

  • Changes/corrections to your record (name, address, death of a beneficiary, etc.)

  • Securing copies of Social Security records.
  • Obtaining information about U.S. Social Security coverage while you work in Ecuador.

  • Information about (and enrollment in) the International Direct Deposit (IDD) program.

  • Missing or delayed payments.

Contact Information for Federal Benefits (Social Security, Veteran Affairs and Civil Service)

Telephone Inquiries

Monday - Thursday  8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. (Call the Embassy Switchboard: 02-398-5000)


Tuesday and Wednesday   1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.  No appointment necessary (U.S. Embassy Quito only)


For additional information about receiving Social Security benefits overseas, please visit the US Embassy Quito - Federal Benefits Unit website.

Important Notice

  • The U.S. Embassy in Quito and the U.S. Consulate in Guayaquil sincerely regret to inform that the Department of Defense (DOD) will no longer continue U.S. mail services for retirees, effective December 31, 2009. As a result, retirees of DOD will no longer have access to the Diplomatic Post Office (DPO) service at the Embassy as of that date; correspondence postmarked after December 31, 2009 will be returned to sender.

    If you are currently receiving your Social Security benefits through the DPO, please contact the Embassy’s Federal Benefits Unit in Quito in order to assist you to set up an account for direct deposit.