TN 9 (11-97)

GN 00905.675 Claims nd Inquiries Involving Payment to Areas Which Were Part of the Soviet Union

A. Background

1. General

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.):

  • Armenia;

  • Azerbaijan;

  • Belarus;

  • Kazakhstan;

  • Kyrgyzstan;

  • Moldova;

  • Russia (the Russian Federation);

  • Tajikistan;

  • Turkmenistan;

  • Ukraine;

  • Uzbekistan.

The following areas have become independent countries outside the C.I.S.

  • Estonia;

  • Georgia;

  • Latvia; and

  • Lithuania.

B. Policy

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:

  • U.S. citizens;

  • Aliens who meet an exception to the alien nonpayment provisions (as explained in RS 02610.001 ff.); and

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. Proc