TN 4 (04-01)
GN 01709.210 Developing Evidence in Claims for Swiss Benefits
The following subsections show the types of evidence that may be used to support claims for Swiss benefits.
B. Policy -- General
Under the agreement with Switzerland, SSA will take applications for both regular and Totalization benefits on behalf of Switzerland and provide limited assistance in obtaining evidence needed to support the claim.
C. Policy -- Using U.S. evidence
Evidence that is used to establish a factor of entitlement for U.S. Social Security benefits may also be used by Switzerland to establish the same factor for Swiss benefits. Consequently, it is unnecessary for the applicant to submit additional evidence to document a factor of entitlement for Swiss benefits when that factor has already been verified for SSA purposes.
D. Policy -- Entitlement factors
The following indicates what factors of entitlement, in addition to insured status, must be established in claims for Swiss benefits.
1. Retirement benefits
The entitlement factors that must be established for Swiss retirement claims are:
2. Survivors benefits
The entitlement factors that must be established for Swiss survivors claims are:
date of marriage, if widow(er)'s benefit claimed
dates of marriage and divorce, if divorced widow(er)'s benefit claimed
age and relationship of child, if child's benefit claimed
3. Disability benefits
The entitlement factors that must be established for Swiss disability claims are:
E. Procedure — General
Take the following actions when developing evidence to support a claim for Swiss benefits.
1. Accepting evidence
Accept any evidence the applicant wishes to submit. If the applicant does not want to release an original document, photocopy the evidence and certify the copy.
CAUTION: Do not hold claims for Swiss 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 the Office of International Operations (OIO) without the evidence. Advise the applicant that the responsible Swiss agency will contact him/her directly to obtain any evidence it needs.
2. Types of evidence
If the applicant requests guidance on the type of evidence to submit, see:
3. Document the file
Document the file to show when a factor of entitlement for Swiss benefits has already been verified for a U.S. claim.
a. Concurrent title II/Swiss claim
Send a certified photocopy of the relevant evidence with the Swiss claim to OIO if the concurrent title II claim will be sent to a program service center (PSC) other than OIO.
b. Prior title II claim
Include a master beneficiary record (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 record of number holder's (NH's) U.S. coverage
Obtain a record of the NH's U.S. coverage in all claims for Swiss benefits. When the applicant is filing for both U.S. and Swiss benefits, completion of the modernized claims system (MCS) screens will automatically generate a separate earnings record for the Swiss claim. When a claimant files for Swiss benefits only, which is a complex MCS exclusion, request an Informational/Certified Earnings Record (ICER) per MSOM ICERS 001.004.
Obtain proof of lag wages only if U.S. covered work in the lag period is alleged and the applicant is filing for a Swiss disability benefit or for orphan's benefits on the record of a deceased mother.
F. Procedure -- all claims
In addition to taking the actions in GN 01709.210E., indicate in the "Remarks" section of the paper Form SSA-2490-BK (Application for Benefits Under a U.S. International Social Security Agreement) or the electronic version (e-form) of the SSA-2490-BK, the claimant's and the spouse's dates of entry and departure from Switzerland. If the claim is taken on MCS, enter this information on the TOTALIZATION REMARKS (FRMK) screen. The Swiss agency needs this information to establish a complete record of Swiss coverage.
G. Procedure — disability claims
In addition to taking the actions in GN 01709.210E. and GN 01709.210F., take the following actions when developing medical evidence for Swiss disability claims.
1. Swiss benefits only
When the applicant is filing for Swiss benefits only, accept any medical evidence the applicant wishes to submit. Do not attempt to secure evidence for the applicant or offer advice as to what types of evidence are needed by Switzerland.
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 and advise the applicant that the Swiss agency will contact him/her directly, if necessary, to obtain needed evidence.
2. Swiss benefits and oncurrent Title II claim
Follow the instructions in GN 01702.400 - GN 01702.415 to process claims for Swiss disability benefits and concurrent title II claims.
Requesting an Informational/Certified Earnings Record, MSOM ICERS 001.004
Certifying evidence for Totalization claims, GN 00301.105
Lag earnings, RS 01404.005
Completing the SSA-2490 on MCS, MSOM MCS 007.001