TN 5 (08-94)
GN 01705.120 U.S. Totalization Benefits
A. Policy - General
Under the agreement, if an NH has at least 6 quarters of U.S. coveragebut not enough to be insured for regular U.S. benefits, the NH's credits under the Italian system can be added to his or her U.S. coverage to permit the NH (or any dependents or survivors) to qualify for U.S. totalization benefits.
B. Policy - Crediting Italian coverage
SSA will credit one U.S. quarter of coverage for every 13 weeks of Italian coverage in a calendar year. (Italian coverage is measured in weeks.) However, no credit will be given for:
any Italian coverage credited for periods before 1937, or
any week in a calendar quarter that is already credited as a U.S. quarter of coverage, or
more than 4 quarters of coverage for any calendar year.
C. Policy - Computing benefits
1. Before January 1, 1986
For claims adjudicated prior to January 1, 1986, the agreement provided that totalization benefits would be computed using a computation method that is now obsolete and no longer described in the POMS.
2. After December 31, 1985
For claims adjudicated after December 31, 1985, the agreement (as modified by a supplementary agreement) provides that totalization benefits will be computed using the computation method described in GN 01701.200. This method is used for all claimsadjudicated after December 31, 1985, regardless of the effective date of the computation.
The computation method described in GN 01701.200 is also used for all recomputations performed January 1, 1986, or later. This is true regardless of the effective date of the recomputation or the method used to compute the original totalization benefit.
A recomputation will not be done solely to change the computation method from the prior method to the new method. There must be additional U.S. covered earnings before a recomputation may be considered.
4. Reopening claims
Claims adjudicated prior to January 1, 1986, cannot be reopened for the sole purpose of changing the computation method to the new method in GN 01701.200.
D. Policy - Adjudication responsibility
The Office of International Operations (OIO) is responsible for converting Italian coverage to U.S. QC's and adjudicating claims for U.S. totalization benefits when the NH has at least 6 QC's but is not insured based on U.S. coverage alone.