GN 01751.210 Developing Evidence in Claims for Polish Benefits
A. Introduction — Developing evidence under the Polish agreement
This subsection shows the types of evidence that may be used to support claims for Polish benefits.
B. Policy — SSA’s role in the application process under the Polish agreement
Under the agreement with Poland, SSA will take applications for both regular and Totalization benefits on behalf of Poland and provide limited assistance in obtaining evidence needed to support the claim.
C. Policy — Using evidence submitted in claim for U.S. benefits
Evidence used to establish a factor required for entitlement to U.S. Social Security benefits may also be used by Poland to establish the same factor required for entitlement to Polish benefits. It may be necessary for the applicant to submit additional evidence to document a factor required for entitlement for Polish benefits even if that factor has already been verified for SSA purposes.
D. Policy — Entitlement factors under the Polish agreement for retirement, survivors and disability benefits
The following indicates what factors of entitlement, in addition to insured status, are established in claims for Polish benefits.
1. Retirement entitlement factors under the Polish agreement
2. Survivors entitlement factors under the Polish agreement
Death of worker
Marriage, if widow(er)’s benefit is claimed
Age and relationship of child, if child’s benefit is claimed
3. Disability entitlement factors under the Polish agreement
E. Procedure — Developing evidence for Polish benefits
Take the following actions when developing evidence to support claims for Polish benefits.
1. Accepting evidence for Polish benefits
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. Each page of evidence for Polish benefits must be certified and dated.
CAUTION: Do not hold claims for Polish benefits for more than 70 days pending receipt of medical evidence. If an applicant is unable to obtain needed medical evidence within a reasonable time, send out a reminder that the information is needed within 70 days. If evidence is not received after 70 days, transmit the claim to the Office of International Operations (OIO) without the evidence. Advise the applicant that the responsible Polish agency will contact him or her directly to obtain any medical evidence it needs.
2. Types of evidence for Polish benefits
If the applicant requests guidance on the type of evidence to submit, see:
3. Document the file for verification of entitlement for Polish benefits
The Claims Representative (CR) will document the file when a factor of entitlement has been verified for the U.S. claim.
Concurrent Title II/Polish Claim
The CR sends the concurrent (fully insured) Title II claim to the appropriate program service center (PSC), PSC 1 through 6. The CR sends the concurrent (Totalization) title II claim to OIO, PSC 8. Address provided in GN 01751.210G.1.
Prior Title II Claim
The CR includes a master beneficiary record (MBR) printout in the claims file sent to OIO to show which factors, other than disability, have been established previously for purposes of a U.S. claim.
4. Obtain earnings record of Number Holder’s U.S. coverage
The CR obtains the NH's U.S. earnings record in all claims for Polish benefits. When the applicant is filing for both U.S. and Polish benefits, the CR completes the modernized claims system (MCS) screens. The MCS screens will automatically generate a separate earnings record for the Polish claim.
When a claimant files for Polish benefits only, MCS exclusion, request an Informational/Certified Earnings Record (ICERS) per MSOM ICERS 001.004, Informational/Certified Earnings Records – Totalization.
The CR obtains proof of lag earnings if U.S. covered work in the lag period is alleged and the applicant is filing for any Polish benefit. (See RS 01404.005 – RS 01404.018 for proof of lag wages and RS 01804.100 for proof of lag self-employment income.)
F. Procedure — Action required for all claims under the Polish agreement
In addition to taking the actions in GN 01751.210E, indicate the following when taking all claims for Polish benefits:
1. Coverage under the Polish Zaklad Ubezpieczen Spolecznych (ZUS)
In all claims for Polish benefits, ask the applicant if he or she has worked in Poland and if they are applying for the ZUS pension. The response to this question should be entered on the Totalization Remarks (FRMK) screen in MCS (see MSOM MCS 007.009) or in the “Remarks” section (#19) on the paper or electronic (e-form) application form SSA-2490.
2. Coverage under the Polish Kasa Rolniczego Ubezpiecenia Spolecznego (KRUS)
In all claims for Polish benefits, the CR will ask the applicant if he or she has worked on a farm in Poland and if they are applying for the KRUS pension. The response to this question should be entered on the Totalization Remarks (FRMK) screen in MCS (see MSOM MCS 007.009) or in the “Remarks” section (#19) on the paper or electronic (e-form) application form SSA-2490.
G. Disability claims under the Polish agreement
In addition to taking the actions in GN 01751.210E. and GN 01751.210F., take the following actions when developing medical evidence for Polish disability claims.
1. Polish benefits only
The CR accepts any medical evidence the applicant wishes to submit when the claim is for Polish benefits only. Do not attempt to secure evidence for the applicant or offer advice as to what types of evidence are needed by Poland.
The CR sends any medical evidence submitted, along with the claim to OIO (PSC8) in Baltimore at the following address: Social Security Administration
OIO – Totalization
P.O. Box 17769
Baltimore, Maryland 21235-7769
The CR transmits the file without medical evidence if it is not readily available within 70 days, as per GN 01751.210E1, and advises the applicant that the Polish agency will contact him or her directly, if necessary, to obtain needed evidence.
2. Polish benefits and concurrent Title II Claim
Follow the instructions in GN 01702.400 – GN 01702.415 to process claims for Polish disability benefits and concurrent title II disability claims.
MSOM MCS 009.011 - Totalization (TOTL) Screen
GN 00301.105 - Certifying Evidence for Totalization Claims
RS 01404.005 - Lag Period and Lag Earnings
RS 01404.018 - Evidence of Lag Wages
RS 01804.100 - Establishing Lag SEI
GN 01751.215 - Application for Benefits Under the Polish Agreement
GN 01702.400 - Developing Medical Evidence in Claims for U.S. Totalization Disability Benefits
GN 01702.405 - Associating Evidence from Prior Disability Folders
GN 01702.410 - Routing of Claims for U.S. Totalization Disability Benefits
GN 01702.415 - Development of Medical Evidence and Routing of Claims for Foreign Disability Benefits