Emergency Financial Assistance

U.S. Consular Officers can assist Americans abroad who are temporarily destitute due to unforeseen circumstances.  Americans in Cuba who find themselves in these circumstances should contact the American Citizen Services Unit of the U.S. Embassy in Havana at (+53) 7839-4100 or the State Department’s Office of Overseas Citizens Services at (+1) 202-501-4444.

You can come to the Embassy to request assistance.  The Embassy cannot give loans but Consular Officers can help destitute Americans contact their family, bank, or employer to arrange for transfer of funds.  In certain circumstances, these funds can be wired through the Department of State.

8AM – 5PM weekdays
1-202-647-5225

All transactions must be processed through Western Union’s Quick Collect Service.  Be aware that some U.S. states place restrictions on the use of the Quick Collect Service by phone or the Internet.  Some states also restrict the amount of funds any one person can transfer within a given period of time. Western Union can inform you which states have such restrictions.

NOTE:  Western Union will charge you a money transfer fee based on the dollar amount you are sending. Ask about their fee structure.  Their fee is separate from and in addition to the $30 processing fee that the U.S. Department of State charges to set up an account.

There are three ways to send money to the U.S. Department of State by Western Union (From the United States):

  1. Call Western Union’s Quick Collect Customer Service at 1-800-238-5772.  Please provide the following information to the agent:
    • The “code city” for the U.S. Department of State is, – “OVERSEASEMERGENCY DC.”
    • The “pay to” name is – “U.S. Department of State, Overseas Citizens Services (OCS).”
    • The “account number” requested should be the name of the country where the funds are intended and the recipient’s last name, i.e. Cuba-Smith.
    • The full name and location (city and country) of the U.S. citizen for whom the funds are intended.
  2. Internet: If you have a MasterCard or Visa credit card, visit Western Union’s website or call Western Union’s Quick Collect Customer Service at 1-800-238-5772 for processing assistance. (Click here for step-by-step instructions on processing an internet transaction.)
  3. In Person Cash Payments: If you want to process a Quick Collect transaction using cash, you can visit any Western Union location in person.
    • Call 1-800-325-6000 to find the Western Union location nearest you.
    • Request a Quick Collect form and complete fields #1 and #2 only. Once both fields are completed sign the form.

Funds normally reach our office within several hours. Western Union will notify the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate by telegram that it is authorized to disburse funds to the recipient.  However, it is important to understand that the funds are disbursed only during normal office hours, not on weekends or local holidays when the Embassy is closed.  The Embassy disburses funds in the foreign country’s currency and not in U.S. dollars.