TN 6 (10-03)

GN 01715.210 Developing Evidence in Claims for Canadian Benefits

A. Introduction

The following subsections show the types of evidence that may be used to support claims for Canadian benefits.

B. Policy — general

Under the agreement with Canada, SSA will take applications for both regular and Totalization benefits on behalf of Canada and provide limited assistance in obtaining evidence needed to support the claim.

C. Policy — using evidence submitted in claim for U.S. Benefits

Evidence that is used to establish a factor of entitlement for U.S. Social Security benefits may also be used by Canada to establish the same factor for Canadian benefits. Consequently, it is unnecessary for the applicant to submit additional evidence to document a factor of entitlement for Canadian 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 generally be established in claims for Canadian benefits.

1. Old-Age Security (OAS) – Residence Based Benefits

The entitlement factors that must be established for Canadian OAS claims are:

  1. Age of claimant

  2. Length of legal residence in Canada

  3. Relationship of spouse, surviving spouse or common-law partner, if an allowance is claimed.

2. Canada Pension Plan (CPP)/Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) Retirement – Earnings Related Benefits

The age of the worker is the only entitlement factor that must be established for Canadian CPP/QPP retirement claims.

3. CPP/QPP Disability

The entitlement factors that must be established for Canadian CPP/QPP disability claims are:

  1. Age of worker and any eligible children

  2. Degree of incapacity (i.e., medical evidence)

  3. Relationship of any eligible children, if a child's benefit is claimed.

4. CPP/QPP Survivors

The entitlement factors that must be established for Canadian CPP/QPP survivors claims are:

  1. Death of the worker

  2. Age of deceased worker, surviving spouse or common-law partner, and any eligible children

  3. Relationship of surviving spouse or common-law partner, if a survivor's benefit is claimed

  4. Relationship of any eligible children, if a surviving child's benefit is claimed.

E. Procedure — general

Take the following actions when developing evidence to support claims for Canadian 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 Canadian 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 Canadian agency will contact him or her directly to obtain any evidence it needs. (Designated border offices should follow the instructions in GN 01715.325 for forwarding Canadian claims to the appropriate Canadian/Quebec agency.)

2. Types of Evidence

If the applicant requests guidance on the type of evidence to submit, see:

  1. Proof of age in GN 00302.000

  2. Proof of death in GN 00304.000

  3. Proof of marriage in GN 00305.000

  4. Proof of parent/child relationship in GN 00306.000.

Applicants filing for Canadian benefits as a common-law partner will need to establish the relationship to the person on whose record he or she is filing for benefits. Accept any evidence the applicant wishes to submit to document the relationship as a common-law partner. (Canada defines “common-law partners” as two people, regardless of sex, who have lived together, in a conjugal relationship for at least 1 year.)

3. Document the File

Document the file to show when a factor of entitlement for a Canadian benefit has already been verified for a U.S. claim.

a. Conc