TN 3 (02-95)

GN 01703.001 Overview of the Division of International Operations' (DIO) Totalization Responsibilities

A. Background

International social security agreements commonly known as “totalization agreements,” provide for limited coordination of the U.S. retirement, survivors, and disability (RSDI) insurance program with comparable programs of other countries, in addition to eliminating dual social security coverage and tax liability.

Note: This url provides a link to the Social Security Web Sites Around the World: http://www.ssa.gov/international/links.html

The agreements are authorized by Section 233 of the Social Security Act. The agreements and their effective dates are as follows:

CountryEffective Date
ItalyNovember 1, 1978
GermanyDecember 1, 1979
SwitzerlandNovember 1, 1980
NorwayJuly 1, 1984
BelgiumJuly 1, 1984
CanadaAugust 1, 1984
United KingdomJanuary 1, 1985 (Benefit provisions - January 1, 1988)
SwedenJanuary 1, 1987
SpainApril 1, 1988
FranceJuly 1, 1988
PortugalAugust 1, 1989
NetherlandsNovember 1, 1990
AustriaNovember 1, 1991
FinlandNovember 1, 1992
IrelandSeptember 1, 1993
LuxembourgNovember 1, 1993
GreeceSeptember 1, 1994
South KoreaApril 1, 2001
ChileDecember 1, 2001
AustraliaOctober 1, 2002
JapanOctober 1, 2005
DenmarkOctober 1, 2008
Czech RepublicJanuary 1, 2009
PolandMarch 1, 2009
Slovak RepublicMay 1, 2014
HungarySeptember 1, 2016

B. Policy

The following statements apply to totalization.

1. Jurisdiction

DIO is responsible for processing claims under international agreements, regardless of the claimant's residence, if the claimant is potentially entitled to totalization benefits from the U.S. or benefits from an agreement country.

  • Developing and adjudicating U.S. totalization claims.

  • Preparing and sending claims packages to foreign agencies.

  • Responding to assistance requests from foreign social insurance agencies.

  • Processing all post-adjudicative actions on U.S. totalization claims.

  • Obtaining information needed by the United States and foreign agencies to process totalization claims.

  • Replying to inquiries about totalization.

2. Claim for totalization

  1. An RSDI application is a claim for totalization benefits if all the following