TN 1 (07-99)
GN 01723.210 Developing Evidence in Claims for French Benefits
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:
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
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
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 are always needed since France counts a worker's U.S. QC's in computing the amount of the French benefit. When the applicant is filing for both U.S. and French benefits, completion of the MCS screens will automatically generate a separate earnings record for the French claim. When a claimant files for French benefits only, which is a complex MCS exclusion, request an Informational/Certified earnings record.
F. Procedure - Disability claims
In addition to taking the actions in GN 01723.210E., take the following actions when developing medical evidence for French disability claims.
1. French Benefits Only
For French benefits only, accept any medical evidence the applicant wishes to submit. Do not attempt to secure evidence for the claimant or offer advice as to what types of evidence are needed by France.
Send any medical evidence that is submitted along with the claims file to OIO at the address in GN 01702.310.
Transmit the file without medical evidence if it is not readily available and advise the claimant that the French agency will contact him/ her, if necessary, to obtain needed evidence.
2. French Benefits and Concurrent Title II Claim
Follow the instructions in GN 01702.200 -GN 01702.215 to process claims for French disability benefits and concurrent title II disability claims.
Requesting an Informational/Certified Earnings Record, MSOM ICERS 001.004
Certifying evidence for Totalization claims, GN 00301.105
Lag earnings, RS 01404.005
Special occupational systems, GN 01723.015
Using U.S. coverage for French benefits, GN 01723.130