TN 4 (11-03)

GN 01729.210 Developing Evidence in Claims for Austrian Benefits

A. Introduction

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

B. Policy — General

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

C. Policy — using evidence submitted in claim for U.S. benefits

Evidence that is used to establish a factor of entitlement for U.S. Social Security benefits may also be used by Austria to establish the same factor for Austrian benefits. Consequently, it is unnecessary for the applicant to submit additional evidence to document a factor of entitlement for Austrian 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 be established in claims for Austrian benefits.

1. Retirement Claims

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

  1. Age of worker

  2. Age and relationship of child, if a child's supplement is claimed.

2. Survivors Claims

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

  1. Death of Worker

  2. Age of all claimants

  3. Marriage, if a widow(er)'s or divorced widow(er)'s benefit is claimed

  4. Relationship of child, if a child's benefit is claimed

  5. Maintenance payments, if divorced widow(er)'s benefit is claimed.

3. Disability Claims

The entitlement factors that must be established for Austrian disability claims are:

  1. Age of Worker

  2. Degree of disability (medical evidence)

E. Procedure — General

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

CAUTION: Do not hold claims for Austrian 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 the Office of International Operations (OIO) without the evidence. Advise the applicant that the responsible Austrian agency will contact him or 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:

  1. Proof of age in GN 00302.000

  2. Proof of death in GN 00304.000

  3. Proof of marriage in GN 00305.000

  4. Proof of parent/child relationship in GN 00306.000.

3. Document the File

Document the file to show when a factor of entitlement for an Austrian benefit has already been verified for a U.S. claim.

a. Concurrent Title II/Austrian Claim

Send a certified photocopy of the relevant evidence with the Austrian claim to OIO if the concurrent Title II claim will be sent to a program service center (PSC) other than OIO.

b. Prior Title II Claim

Include a master beneficiary record (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 the Number Holder's (NH's) U.S. Coverage

Obtain a record of the NH's U.S. coverage in all claims for Austrian benefits. When the applicant is filing for both U.S. and Austrian benefits, completion of the modernized claims system (MCS) screens will automatically generate a separate earnings record for the Austrian claim. When a claimant files for Austrian benefits only, which is a complex MCS exclusion, request an Informational/Certified Earnings Record (ICERS) per MSOM ICERS 001.004.

F. Procedure — Disability claims

In addition to taking the actions in GN 01729.21