TN 1 (07-99)

GN 01723.210 Developing Evidence in Claims for French Benefits

A. Introduction

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

B. Policy - general

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

C. Policy - Using U.S. evidence

Evidence which is used to establish a factor of entitlement for U.S. Social Security benefits may also be used by France to establish the same factor for French benefits. Consequently, it is unnecessary for the applicant to submit additional evidence to document a factor of entitlement for French 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 French benefits.

1. All Claims

The entitlement factors that must be established for all French claims are:

  • age of worker

  • type of covered work performed in U.S. if benefits claimed under one of the French occupational systems (see GN 01723.015)

  • citizenship of claimant(s)

2. Retirement

The additional entitlement factors that must be established for French retirement claims are:

  • age of spouse and date of marriage, if spouse's supplement claimed

  • age and relationship of child, if child's supplement claimed

3. Survivors

The additional entitlement factors that must be established for French survivors claims are:

  • age of surviving spouse and date of marriage if widow(er) benefit claimed

  • date of divorce, if divorced widow(er) benefit claimed

4. Disability

The only additional entitlement factor that must be established for French disability claims is the degree of disability i.e., medical evidence.

E. Procedure - General

Take the following actions when developing evidence to support claims for French 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.

Applicants filing for Totalization benefits from one of the special occupational systems in France will need to establish the type of work the NH performed in the United States. If the applicant asks for guidance, suggest that he/she obtain a statement from the NH's employer showing the type of occupation and the dates of employment in that occupation.

CAUTION: Do not hold claims for French 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 OIO without the evidence. Advise the applicant that the responsible French 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 a French benefit has already been verified for a U.S. claim.

a. Concurrent Title II Claim

Send a photocopy of the relevant evidence with the French claim to OIO if the concurrent title II claim will be sent to a PSC other than OIO.

b. Prior Title II Claim

Include an 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 NH's U.S. Coverage

Obtain a record of the NH's U.S. coverage including evidence of lag earnings through the quarter of filing or death in all claims for French benefits. Lag earnings a