TN 13 (11-97)

GN 00904.200 Foreign claims development

A. Introduction

SSA does not maintain any field offices (FOs) outside the U.S. Foreign claims are handled by direct mail, telephone or through specified U.S. Government agencies.

B. Definitions

1. Outside the U.S.

Outside the U. S. is outside the 50 States, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands (NMI)and the U.S. Virgin Islands


  • For the purpose of eligibility for, and payment of, SSI “outside the U.S.” means outside the 50 States, the District of Columbia and the NMI.

  • Self-employment by nonresident aliens who are self-employed in, but not residents of, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands is considered to be “outside the U.S.” and

  • For nonresident alien withholding tax purposes (as explained in GN 05010.001), “outside the U.S.” means outside the 50 States the District of Columbia, Guam and the NMI.

2. Foreign claim

A foreign claimis an application filed by, or on behalf of, an individual living outside the U.S.

3. Foreign case

A foreign caseis an RSDHI claim in which at least one claimant or beneficiary lives outside the U.S.

4. Totalization claim

A totalization claimis an application for benefits filed under an international Social Security agreement between the U.S. and another country (as explained in GN 01700.000 ff.).

C. Procedure

Do not make telephone or direct mail contact with any individuals outside the U.S. except claimants or beneficiaries (including their appointed representatives and representative payees). Unless specifically instructed to do so, do not telephone or write directly to foreign employers, churches, civil authorities, etc.

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GN 00904.200 - Foreign claims development - 10/14/2005
Batch run: 01/30/2024