TN 10 (03-04)
GN 01701.302 Windfall Elimination Provisions (WEP) Exceptions Based on Years of Coverage for Totalization Benefits Payable for Months Prior to January 1995
Exceptions to the WEP are explained in RS 00605.362. An exception, based on years of coverage, could apply in cases where the WEP would apply in computing Totalization benefits payable for months prior to January 1995.
When the number holder (NH) is entitled to a U.S. Totalization benefit, his or her coverage in a country with which the U.S. has an agreement may be combined with his or her U.S. coverage to determine whether the exceptions to the WEP based on years of coverage apply for months prior to January 1995.
Coverage from only one agreement country may be counted for this purpose but that coverage does not need to be from the country whose coverage was used to establish entitlement to the Totalization benefit. Therefore, if the NH has coverage in more than one agreement country, coverage from the country with the greatest total years of foreign coverage will be counted.
NOTE: Entitlement to a disability benefit prior to 1986 may, under certain conditions (see RS 00605.360C.4), except an individual from the application of the WEP. Although the agreement with Germany includes provisions that treat U.S. and German periods of disability the same for certain purposes, entitlement to a German disability benefit prior to 1986 will not except an individual from the WEP.
Determine total years of coverage when deciding if an exception to the WEP applies as follows:
1. Total years of u.s. Coverage
Determine total years of U.S. coverage in the same way they are determined for the special minimum benefit (see RS 00605.070B).
2. Total years of foreign coverage
Determine total years of coverage from the agreement country as follows:
Convert foreign coverage to quarters of coverage (QCs) following the rules of the agreement.
Delete any foreign QCs which coincide with actual U.S. QCs.
Divide remaining foreign QCs by 4, dropping any remainder, to determine years of coverage based on foreign coverage.
3. Combining U.S. and Foreign coverage
Add the total years of U.S. coverage to the total years of foreign coverage and use the combined total to determine whether an exemption based on years of coverage applies.
Note: Do not use years of coverage based on attributed earnings as shown in the NH’s theoretical earnings record (see GN 01701.200B.2) in determining whether the WEP applies.