TN 4 (04-01)
GN 01709.120 U.S. Totalization Benefits under the Swiss Agreement
A. Policy — General
Under the agreement, if a number holder (NH) has at least 6 U.S. quarters of coverage (QCs) but not enough to be insured for regular U.S. benefits, the NH's credits under the Swiss Social Security system can be added to his/her U.S. coverage to permit the NH (or any dependents or survivors) to qualify for U.S. Totalization benefits.
B. Policy — Crediting swiss contributory coverage
The number of QCs SSA will credit for any calendar year based on Swiss coverage will equal the number of months of Swiss coverage in that year divided by 3, plus 1 QC for any remaining fraction. (Swiss coverage is measured in months.) However, no credit will be given for:
any month in a calendar quarter that is already credited as a U.S. QC, or
more than 4 QCs for any calendar year.
C. Policy — Crediting swiss noncontributory coverage
Under the original 1980 agreement, no U.S. QCs could be granted for Swiss coverage based on noncontributory credits (i.e., for the nonworking wife of a worker who is covered under the Swiss system). However, the supplementary agreement, effective 10/1/89, provides that U.S. QCs will be granted for Swiss noncontributory credits.
SSA will credit U.S. QCs for Swiss noncontributory credits (in the same manner as described in GN 01709.120B.) where necessary to establish entitlement to Totalization benefits for months 10/89 and later. Although noncontributory credits before that date may be taken into account, the earliest possible month of entitlement to Totalization benefits where such credits must be counted to establish U.S. insured status is 10/89.
D. Policy — Computing benefits
When U.S. insured status is established based on combined U.S. and Swiss coverage, the amount of the U.S. Totalization benefit will be determined using the computation method described in GN 01701.200.
E. Policy — Adjudication responsibility
Field offices (FOs) are responsible for processing an initial insured status denial (see GN 01702.315 - GN 01702.325) when the worker has at least 6 QCs but is not insured based on U.S. coverage alone. This denial will produce a notice advising the applicant that insured status is not met based on U.S. coverage alone and that the foreign coverage record is being requested.
The Office of International Operations (OIO) will request the Swiss coverage record. When the record is received, OIO will convert the Swiss coverage to QCs and finally adjudicate the claim.