TN 6 (10-03)
GN 01715.120 U.S. Totalization Benefits Under the Canadian 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 Canada Pension Plan (CPP) or the Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) can be added to his or her U.S. coverage to permit the NH (or any dependents or survivors) to qualify for U.S. Totalization benefits.
B. Policy — crediting Canadian coverage
In determining eligibility for U.S. Totalization benefits, SSA counts periods of coverage under the CPP/QPP but not periods of residence under the Old-Age Security (OAS) program. SSA will credit four U.S. QCs for every calendar year of CPP/QPP coverage. (Canadian coverage is measured in terms of calendar years.) However, no credit will be given for:
any calendar quarter that is already credited as a U.S. QC, or
more than 4 QC's for any calendar year.
C. Policy — Computing benefits
When U.S. insured status is established based on combined U.S. and Canadian coverage, the amount of the U.S. Totalization benefit will be determined using the computation method described in GN 01701.200.
D. Policy — Adjudication responsibility
1. Field Office Responsibilities (Other Than Designated Border Offices)
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 QC's 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 Canadian coverage record is being requested.
2. Designated Border Office Responsibilities
Designated border offices (see GN 01715.320) are responsible for processing an initial insured status denial when the worker has at least 6 QC's but is not insured based on U.S. coverage alone. The designated border offices will request the Canadian coverage record. When the record is received, the designated border office will convert the Canadian coverage to QC's and process the claim following the procedures in GN 01715.325.
3. Office of International Operations Responsibilities
After receiving a claim for U.S. benefits filed in a FO (other than a designated border office), the Office of International Operations (OIO) will request the Canadian coverage record. When the record is received, OIO will convert the Canadian coverage to QC's and finally adjudicate the claim.