TN 5 (04-97)

GN 01707.210 Developing Evidence in Claims for German Benefits

A. Policy

1. General

Under the agreement with Germany, SSA will take applications for both regular and totalization benefits on behalf of Germany and provide limited assistance in obtaining evidence needed to support the claim (see GN 01707.210A.3. and GN 01707.210A.4.).

2. Using U.S. evidence

Evidence which is used to establish a factor of entitlement for U.S. Social Security benefits may also be used by Germany to establish the same factor for German benefits. Consequently, it is unnecessary for the applicant to submit additional evidence to document a factor of entitlement for German benefits when that factor has already been verified for SSA purposes.

3. Entitlement factors

The following chart indicates which factors of entitlement must be established depending on the type of German benefit claimed.

If the claim is for
 
Then the following entitlement factors must be established
Old-age benefitsage of the worker
Survivor benefits•  death of worker
•  age and marriage, if widow(er) or
   divorced widow(er) pension claimed
•  age of child and relationship to worker, if
   child's benefit claimed
Disability benefitis•  age of worker
•  degree of disability (medical evidence)
Miners'benefits•  age of worker
•  underground mine employment
   (see C. below)
•  degree of disability (medical evidence), if
   occupational disability benefits claimed

4. Other factors to be established

In addition to the entitlement factors noted in 3. above, the following factors need to be established, where appropriate, regardless of the type of benefit claimed. (See procedure in GN 01707.210B.2.)

  • periods of unverified German coverage

  • power of attorney

  • U.S. lag earnings and U.S. military service prior to 1957

  • citizenship

B. Procedure — All claims

Take the following actions.

1. General

Accept any evidence the applicant wishes to submit. If the applicant does not wish to release an original document, photocopy the evidence and certify the copy. However, see GN 01707.212B. concerning photocopies of evidence to establish periods of unverified German coverage.

CAUTION:  Do not hold claims for German benefits for prolonged periods pending receipt of evidence. If an applicant is unable to obtain needed evidence within a reasonable time, transmit the claim to OIO without the evidence. Advise the applicant that the responsible German agency will contact him directly to obtain any evidence it needs.

2. Types of evidence

Refer to a. - g. below if the applicant requests guidance on the type of evidence to submit.

a. Age

Follow the guides in GN 00302.001ff.

b. Death

Follow the guides in GN 00304.001ff.

c. Marriage

Follow the guides in GN 00305.001ff.

d. Unverified coverage

If the claimant alleges that the worker has coverage which has not been verified by Germany, request evidence of the coverage periods to allow the German agencies to properly credit the coverage. See GN 01707.212 for an explanation of the evidence needed to verify such coverage.

e. Power of attorney

If a person with power of attorney (see GN 01707.220C.) is filing an application for the claimant, request evidence showing the person has been granted power of attorney.
 
NOTE:  Claimants for German benefits sometimes use professional agents licensed by Germany to assist them in pursuing their claims. However, evidence of power of attorney is not needed in such cases unless the agent is filing the application.

f. Unposted QC's for lag earnings or U.S. military service prior to 1957

Ask the claimant whether the worker was in the U.S. military service prior to 1957 and document the response on a Report of Contact. Do not develop evidence of unposted QC's for military service or lag earnings. A worker will generally have enough coverage to qualify for the German benefits without the unposted QC's. If the German agency determines the worker needs the additional U.S. coverage to qualify for a German benefit, it will recontact OIO to request that the unposted QC's be developed.

g. Citizenship

Always request evidence of citizenship of the claimant and the worker. Explain that failure to submit such evidence will delay a decision on the claim.

Germany will accept any of the following types of documents (either the original or a certified copy) as proof of citizenship:

  • a passport or certificate of citizenship, if the person is a German citizen

  • a birth or baptismal record showing birth in the United States, a naturalization certificate, or a passport if the person is a U.S. citizen

  • a passport or certificate of citizenship, if the person is a German citizen

  • a birth or baptismal record showing birth in the United States, a naturalization certificate, or a passport if the person is a U.S. citizen

  • a passport or other document that shows citizenship if the person is a citizen of another country

3. Document the file

Document the file to show when a factor of entitlement for a German benefit has already been verified for a U.S. claim.

a. Concurrent Title II claim

Send a photocopy of the relevant evidence with the German claim to OIO if the concurrent title II claim will be sent to a PSC other than OIO.

b. Prior Title II claim

Include an MBR printout in the claims file sent to OIO to show which factors, other than disability, have been verified in a prior file.

4. Obtain the number holder’s (NH's) U.S. coverage record

  1. Obtain the NH's U.S. coverage record in all claims for German benefits.

  2. When the applicant is filing for both U.S. and German benefits, complete the modernized claims system (MCS) screens. The MCS screens automatically generate a separate earnings record for the German claim.

  3. When a claimant files for German benefits only, an MCS exclusion, request an Informational/Certified Earnings Record (ICERS) per MSOM ICERS 001.004, Informational/Certified Earnings Records – Totalization (ICIC).

  4. Obtain proof of lag earnings if U.S. covered work in the lag period is alleged and the applicant is filing for any German benefit. (See RS 01404.005 through RS 01404.018 for proof of lag wages and RS 01804.100 for proof of lag self-employment income.)

C. Procedure — Miners' benefits

In addition to taking the actions in GN 01707.210B. above, when the claimant applies for benefits from the Miners' Pension Insurance Bundesknappschaft, request evidence of any underground mine employment the worker performed in the U.S. Ask the claimant to submit a statement from the employer containing the following:

  • a statement that the work was performed underground,

  • the date of each period of underground work, and

  • the kind of material mined (e.g., coal, silver, etc.).

NOTE: If the claimant does not qualify for German Miners' benefits, the U.S. and German coverage credits will be used to determine eligibility under one of the other two general German systems.

D. Procedure — disability claims

In addition to taking the actions in B. above, take the following actions when developing medical evidence for German disability claims.

1. German benefits only

Accept any medical evidence the applicant wishes to submit. Do not attempt to secure evidence for the claimant or offer advice as to what types of evidence are needed by Germany.

  • Send any medical evidence that is submitted along with the claims file to OIO at the address in GN 01702.310.

  • Transmit the file without medical evidence if it is not readily available.

  • Advise the claimant that the German agency will contact him or her, if necessary, to obtain needed evidence.

2. German benefits and concurrent Title II claim

Follow the instructions in GN 01702.400-GN 01702.415 to process claims for German disability benefits and concurrent title II disability claims.

E. Reference

 


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0201707210
GN 01707.210 - Developing Evidence in Claims for German Benefits - 03/06/2014
Batch run: 03/06/2014
Rev:03/06/2014