TN 9 (11-97)
GN 00905.675 Claims nd Inquiries Involving Payment to Areas Which Were Part of the Soviet Union
Prior to the dissolution of the Soviet Union, no payments could be made to beneficiaries in that country because the Soviet authorities would not give SSA free access to beneficiaries and vital statistics records in that country.
When Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania became completely independent in September 1991, SSA requested the Department of State to contact the officials of those governments and secure:
Free access for SSA, and the Department of State as SSA's representative, to individuals and vital statistics records in those countries; and
Information about the social insurance systems of those countries.
When the Soviet Union ceased to exist as a political entity in January 1992, the Department of State was asked to secure similar information from the authorities in each of the other former republics.
2. Former republics
The following republics have formed the Commonwealth of Independent States (C.I.S.):
The following areas have become independent countries outside the C.I.S.
Except as explained in RS 02650.040, SSA can pay benefits to, or on behalf of, beneficiaries in:
SSA cannot pay benefits to, or on behalf of, individuals in any of the former republics of the Soviet Union until the information in GN 00905.675A.1. has been secured.
If SSA is granted free access to beneficiaries and vital statistics records, payments can be made to:
Except in rare instances, payment to citizens of the former republic will depend on SSA's evaluation of its social insurance system.
C. Procedure - General
Handle inquiries about the payment of benefits to individuals in former republics to which payment cannot be made as any other inquiry. Include information about the nonpayment of benefits to persons in that country. See GN 00905.675E. below if the inquiry involves a change of address.
If the inquirer asks what SSA has done about paying benefits to individuals in the former Soviet Union, provide information as shown in GN 00905.675A.1. about SSA's requests for information from that country's government.
D. Procedure - inquiry can establish a filing date
Ascertain whether insured status exists.
1. Insured status exists
Send the applicant the appropriate application forms, including an SSA-21. Make any revisions to fit the circumstances of the case.
Diary the case for 60 days.
Send a 6-month notice per GN 00204.012.2. if the application is not completed and returned by the expiration of the diary period.
When the formal application is completed and returned, forward the claim to Office of International Programs by SSA-559, or similar routing form.
2. Insured status does not exist
Send a 6-month notice as explained in GN 00204.012.2 and explain what SSA's records show about insured status.
If the inquirer insists on filing a formal application, send him/her the proper application. When the completed application is returned, process it to a formal disallowance.
E. Procedure - Change of Address
1. Beneficiary Not in a Former Soviet Republic
If an inquiry is received from, or on behalf of, an individual who wants to move to one of the former Soviet Republics to which payment restricted, advise the inquirer that no payments can be made to, or on behalf of, beneficiaries in that country at this time. Explain that no payments can be made until an agreement is reached with the government of that country about procedures for verifying that the payment of benefits is possible and for an orderly method of check delivery.
Advise the beneficiary that if he moves to the country, he/she should be sure to give us his/her complete address so that he/she is contacted when payments to the area are permitted.
See RS 02650.040 for information about the special payment procedure in that country. Do not explain the special procedure if it is clear that the beneficiary would not be eligible for payment (e.g. no exception to the alien nonpayment provision is met).
2. Beneficiary in a Former Soviet Republic
If the beneficiary is already in one of the former Soviet republics to which payment is restricted, suspend payments and handle as explained in RS 02650.020C. Obtain the beneficiary's address so that he/she can be contacted promptly when payments to that area are permitted.
See RS 02650.040 for information about the special payment procedure in that country. Do not explain the special procedure if it is clear that the beneficiary would not be eligible for payment (e.g., no exception to the alien nonpayment provision is met).