TN 3 (03-97)

GN 01708.115 How to Credit German Coverage

A. Policy

The German coverage certification is used to assign (F) quarters of coverage to the U.S. earnings record (ER).

  • All periods of coverage certified by a German liaison agency on a form D/USA 5 are creditable including periods of coverage after disability onset.

  • Except for periods identified as AUSFALLZEIT (excused periods) or periods that have been crossed out, all periods of coverage certified on computer printouts are creditable, including periods of coverage after disability onset.

  • The presence of German coverage after onset is not necessarily an indication of work, so development of “substantial gainful activity” (SGA) should not be initiated based only on the German coverage.

  • There is no minimum amount of German coverage which must be earned before the U.S. can use it.

B. Procedure

Take the following actions to assign German coverage.

1. Determine the amount of coverage required

If the claimant is filing for disability benefits, credit all possible FQC's to the ER.

If the claimant is not filing for disability benefits, credit only the number of FQC's required for insured status.

2. Determine the Number of German Coverage Months

Determine the number of months of German coverage in a calendar year following GN 01708.120.

3. Determine maximum FQCs

Divide the number of months coverage in each calendar year by three to determine the maximum possible number of FQCs for that year. (Any remainder is considered one FQC, but the total QC's for a year cannot exceed four.)

4. Assign FQCs

Assign FQCs as follows:

  • Assign FQCs for each creditable period of German coverage starting with the first calendar quarter in which German coverage begins and continuing consecutively until all FQCs are assigned.

  • Do not assign FQCs to any calendar quarters in which no month of German coverage is certified.

  • Do not assign an FQC in a calendar quarter where a U.S. QC is already assigned. When a U.S. QC is assigned within a German period, credit FQCs up to that quarter and begin again in the next available quarter.

  • For years after 1977, assign existing U.S. QCs using the flexible crediting provision so as to permit assigning the maximum number of FQCs. (See RS 00301.230 regarding the assignment of QCs.)

  • Do not skip over an FQC that was assigned based on another German period. If FQCs based on separate German periods fall within the same calendar quarter, cancel one of the overlapping FQCs.

5. Insured status after assigning German coverage

If the worker is insured for U.S. totalization benefits after assigning German coverage, process the award (assuming all other entitlement factors are met).

If the worker is still not insured, disallow the claim unless it was for disability benefits or for currently insured survivor's benefits.

6. Claim for disability or currently insured survivor benefits

If the worker is still not insured and the claim is for disability benefits or for survivor benefits which could be paid based on currently insured status, recredit the coverage following GN 01708.115B.4. However, assign FQCs starting with the last available calendar quarter of each year and continuing backwards consecutively until all FQCs are assigned.

7. Insured after crediting coverage

If the worker is insured for U.S. totalization benefits after crediting coverage, process the award (assuming all other entitlement factors are met).

If the worker is not insured for U.S. totalization benefits after crediting coverage, disallow the claim.

8. Cancelled FQCs

If a disallowance results from possible FQCs that were cancelled because they overlapped, submit the case to IOTS for evaluation.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0201708115
GN 01708.115 - How to Credit German Coverage - 03/07/2014