TN 3 (01-03)
GN 01713.125 Eligibility for Belgian Benefits Under the Agreement
A. Policy – General
The agreement provides that Belgium will count a worker’s U.S. coverage when determining eligibility for Belgian benefits if the worker:
1. Retirement and Survivors Benefits
Since a worker is insured for Belgian retirement and survivors benefits with as little as 1 year of coverage, Belgium will normally not need to consider U.S. coverage when determining entitlement to these benefits.
However, as indicated in GN 01713.020, miners and seamen are eligible for unreduced Belgian retirement benefits at an earlier age than other workers if they have worked a specified number of years in those occupations. Under the agreement, U.S. periods of coverage based on work in the same occupation may be used to meet the applicable length of coverage requirement for the miner’s and seamen’s benefits.
2. Disability Benefits
If a worker has earned at least 18 months of Belgian coverage at any time before disability onset, but does not meet the recent coverage requirement for Belgian disability benefits, the worker’s U.S. coverage can be added to his or her Belgian coverage credits to meet the requirement.
B. Policy – crediting U.S. Coverage
Belgium will credit 3 months of Belgian coverage for each U.S. quarter of coverage. However, Belgium will not credit any month that is already credited as a month of coverage under the Belgian system.
Belgian benefit eligibility requirements, GN 01713.020
Application for benefits under the Belgian agreement, GN 01713.215