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. Concurrent Title II/Canadian Claim

Send a certified photocopy of the relevant evidence with the Canadian 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 the Number Holder's (NH's) U.S. Coverage

Obtain a record of the NH's U.S. coverage in all claims for Canadian benefits except when the applicant is filing only for CPP or QPP retirement benefits. (Canada will never need to consider U.S. coverage in the latter case. See GN 01715.125C.)

To obtain an earnings record when there is no concurrent claim for U.S. benefits, request an Informational/Certified Earnings Record (ICERS) per MSOM ICERS 001.004 .

F. Procedure — disability claims

In addition to taking the actions in GN 01715.210E., take the following actions when developing medical evidence for Canadian disability claims.

1. Canadian Benefits Only

  • Accept any medical evidence the applicant wishes to submit when the claim is for Canadian benefits only. Do not attempt to secure evidence for the applicant or offer advice as to what types of evidence are needed by Canada.

  • Send any medical evidence that is submitted along with the claims file to OIO at the following address:

    Social Security Administration
    OIO – Totalization
    P.O. Box 17769
    Baltimore, Maryland 21235-7049
  • Transmit the file without medical evidence if it is not readily available and advise the applicant that the Canadian agency will contact him or her directly, if necessary, to obtain needed evidence.

2. Canadian Benefits and Concurrent Title II Claim

Follow the instructions in GN 01702.400 - GN 01702.415 to process claims for Canadian disability benefits and concurrent title II disability claims.

G. References

  • Requesting an Informational/Certified Earnings Record, MSOM ICERS 001.004

  • Certifying evidence for Totalization claims, GN 00301.105

  • Totalization (TOTL) screen, MSOM MCS 009.011


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0201715210
GN 01715.210 - Developing Evidence in Claims for Canadian Benefits - 08/25/2009
Batch run: 08/25/2009
Rev:08/25/2009