TN 12 (10-22)

GN 01729.120 U.S. Totalization Benefits under the U.S. - Austrian Agreement

Under the agreement, if a number holder (NH) has at least six U.S. quarters of coverage (QCs) but not enough to receive regular U.S. benefits, the United States can count the NH's QCs under the Austrian social security system to permit the NH (with any dependents or survivors) to qualify for U.S. Totalization benefits.

A. Adjudicating the claim in the United States

1. Field office responsibilities

When a NH does not have enough U.S. coverage to meet fully insured status, but the NH has at least six QCs, field office (FO) technicians must take an initial claim to process the insured status denial. This will automatically generate a denial notice to inform the applicant that they do not meet the insured status requirement based on U.S. coverage alone, and that we will request the applicant's Austrian earnings record. The FO routes the claim to:



Social Security Administration

Division of International Operations

P.O. Box 17769

Baltimore, MD 21235-7769

FAX number: 410-966-1861

Note: If courier service is used, mail to:

Social Security Administration

Division of International Operations

6100 Wabash Avenue

Baltimore, MD 21215

For more information about processing Totalization insured status notices for claims for U.S. benefits, see GN 01702.315 through GN 01702.325.

2. Division of International Operations (DIO) responsibilities

DIO requests and converts Austrian periods of coverage on the Austrian earnings record to U.S. QCs before adjudicating the claim.

B. Crediting Austrian coverage

SSA will credit one U.S. QC for every three months of Austrian coverage in a year. (Austrian coverage is measured in months.) However, no credit will be given for:

  • Austrian coverage credited for periods prior to 1937; or

  • any month in the calendar quarter that is already credited as a U.S. QC; or

  • more than four QCs for any calendar year; or

  • any period of coverage not based on contributions.


C. Computing benefits in the United States

When SSA establishes U.S. insured status based on combined U.S. and Austrian coverage, SSA computes the amount of the U.S. Totalization benefit using the computation method described in GN 01701.200.

D. References

  • GN 01702.315, Processing Totalization Insured-Status Notices in Claims for U.S. Benefits

  • GN 01702.325, Summary of Field Office Development and Processing of U.S. Totalization Claims and Foreign Claims (Regular and Totalization)


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GN 01729.120 - U.S. Totalization Benefits under the U.S. - Austrian Agreement - 10/13/2022
Batch run: 10/13/2022