I has problems signing up for Social Security website, had problems, here are some suggestions.
Problem Signing Up for My Social Secuity Benefits Living Abroad
I just went to my local social security office this week! Got to see my tax dollars at work. (don't ask) But, I got the thing started. I'm still irked at the $16,400 threshold when I know so many corporations and wealthy people don't pay a fair share.
That's really good info on the vpn. I used to have one so I could watch Al Jazeera in the US and better content on Netflix. But yes, got rid of it because I became aware of the key stroke dangers.
One person wrote me, and said American living abroad can go to the American embassy, he said consulate, but probably means embassy.
In the Philippines there is Social Security specialists at the Embassy in Manilla. They are also occasionally available at the Consulate in Cebu. The specialists travel a few times a year with other Embassy personnel to various locations within the Philippines for a day or two so those not living close to the Embassy or Consulate can have easier access to face to face questions and answers.