TN 7 (10-22)

GN 01702.510 Disclosure of Information to Totalization Agreement Countries

A. Introduction

Each agreement provides that the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the social security agency in the other country party to the agreement will furnish each other with information needed to adjudicate claims filed under the agreement. A routine use statement published in the Federal Register authorizes SSA to disclose such information from designated systems of records to the social security authorities in an agreement country.

B. Policy

SSA may provide the social security agency of an agreement country with information about an individual without obtaining the individual’s written consent provided the information is from one of the systems of records specified in the routine use statement published in the Federal Register and

  • the foreign agency needs the information to adjudicate a claim filed under the agreement (a claim is considered filed under the agreement if the provisions of the agreement could affect eligibility for or the amount of the benefit), or

  • the information must be provided to the foreign agency for SSA to obtain information it needs from that agency’s records to adjudicate a claim for U.S. Totalization benefits.

C. Kinds of systems

Following are the systems of records from which routine disclosure is permitted:

  • Master Files of Social Security Number Holders,

  • Earnings Recording and Self-Employment System,

  • Claims Folders for Post-Adjudicative Records of Applicants for and Beneficiaries of Social Security Benefits, and

  • Master Beneficiary Record.

D. Examples

1. Claims for foreign benefits

The social security agency in an agreement country requests the number holder’s (NH’s) earnings record in order to adjudicate a claim for that country’s retirement benefits. The information may be released without the written consent of the NH.

2. Claims for U.S. benefits

An applicant files for benefits as an independently entitled divorced spouse (IEDS). The NH is not insured based on U.S. coverage alone and SSA, therefore, needs the NH's foreign coverage record to establish entitlement to Totalization benefits. SSA can furnish the foreign agency with information about the claim and the account in order to obtain the information (e.g., the NH’s foreign coverage record) needed to adjudicate the claim without the NH’s written consent.

E. Reference

Disclosure to entities other than foreign agencies, GN 03301.000

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GN 01702.510 - Disclosure of Information to Totalization Agreement Countries - 10/03/2022
Batch run: 10/03/2022