GN 01728.110 How to Credit Portuguese Coverage
The Portuguese coverage certification is used to assign foreign (F) quarters of coverage to the earnings record (ER).
All periods of coverage certified by Portugal are creditable unless they are already credited as U.S. quarters of coverage.
There is no minimum amount of Portuguese coverage which must be earned before the U.S. can use it.
Follow these steps to assign Portuguese coverage.
1. Determining the Amount of Coverage Required
Is the claimant filing for disability benefits on the record?
If yes, credit all possible F quarters of coverage (FQCs) to the ER.
If no, credit only the number of quarters required for insured status.
2. Determining Maximum FQCs
Determine the maximum possible number of FQCs as follows:
Divide the number of months of coverage shown for each period of coverage by 3 (the number of months in a calendar quarter) to determine the maximum possible number of FQCs for that period. Any remainder is considered 1 FQC.
If there is a “FROM - TO” period which begins or ends in the same calendar quarter as another “FROM - TO” period, determine FQCs for each period separately.
3. Assigning FQCs to Calendar Quarters
Assign FQCs for each period shown on the Portuguese coverage certification starting with the calendar quarter inwhich the period begins and continuing consecutively until all FQCs are assigned.
Do not assign FQCs after the calendar quarter in which the Portuguese period ends.
Do not assign an FQC in a calendar quarter where a U.S. QC is already assigned. When a U.S. QC is assigned within a Portuguese period, credit FQCs up to that quarter and begin again in the next available quarter.
For years after 1977, assign existing U.S. QCs using the flexible crediting provision so as to permit assigning the maximum number of FQCs. See RS 00301.230 regarding the assignment of quarters of coverage.
Do not skip over an FQC that was assigned based on another Portuguese period. If FQCs based on separate Portuguese periods fall within the same calendar quarter, cancel one of the overlapping FQCs.
4. Alternate Method of Assigning FQCs to Calendar Quarters
Use this method of assigning FQCs if insured status is not met using the previous method and recent coverage is required. (The claim is for disability benefits or currently insured survivors benefits.)
Credit coverage following the method in #3 above except assign FQCs starting with the last available calendar quarter of each period and continuing backwards consecutively until all FQCs are assigned.
5. Determining Insured Status
NOTE: Before denying a claim, determine if any periods of Portuguese coverage overlap or coincide so that FQCs for two periods fall in the same calendar quarter. If so, forward the case to IOTS for evaluation before processing a denial.