TN 2 (01-03)
GN 01727.120 U.S. Totalization Benefits Under the Portuguese 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 Portuguese Social Security system 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 Portuguese coverage
SSA will credit one U.S. QC for every 3 months or remaining fraction of Portuguese coverage in a calendar year. (Portuguese coverage is measured in months.) However, no credit will be given for:
any month in a calendar quarter that is already credited as a U.S. QC, or
more than 4 QCs for any calendar year.
C. Policy computing benefits
When U.S. insured status is established based on combined U.S. and Portuguese 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
Field offices (FOs) are responsible for processing an initial insured status denial (see GN 01702.310-GN 01702.525) 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 Portuguese coverage record is being requested.
2. Office of International Operations Responsibilities
The Office of International Operations (OIO) will request the Portuguese coverage record. When the record is received, OIO will convert the Portuguese coverage to QC's and finally adjudicate the claim.