GN 01741.120 U.S. Totalization Benefits under the Korean 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 Korean system can be added to his/her U.S. coverage to permit the NH (or any dependents or survivors) to qualify for U.S. Totalization benefits.
B. Policy — Crediting Korean contributory coverage
The number of QCs SSA will credit for any calendar year based on Korean coverage will equal the number of months of Korean coverage in the year divided by 3, plus 1 QC for any remaining fraction. (Korean 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 Korean 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
Field offices (FOs) are responsible for processing an initial insured status denial (see GN 01702.300) when the worker has at least 6 QCs 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 foreign coverage record is being requested.
The Office of International Operations (OIO) will request the Korean coverage record. When the record is received, OIO will convert the Korean coverage to QCs and finally adjudicate the claim.