Basic (09-05)

GN 03316.090 Disclosure Without Consent to Social Security Agencies of Foreign Countries that are Parties to Totalization Agreements

A. Policy

1. General

Disclosure may be made to the social security agency of a foreign country with which SSA has entered into an international social security agreement (referred to as a “totalization agreement”) for adjudicating claims filed under the U.S. or foreign social security system and for carrying on other SSA or foreign program-related activities. Such activities could include those instances in which SSA and the agency of the foreign country have entered into a mutual assistance arrangement under a totalization agreement.

Relevant tax and non-tax return information may be disclosed from the following systems of records under the circumstances below:

  • 60-0058— Master Files of Social Security Number (SSN) Holders and SSN Applications,

  • 60-0059—Earnings Recording and Self-Employment Income System,

  • 60-0089—Claims Folders System,

  • 60-0090—Master Beneficiary Record,

  • 60-0103—Supplemental Security Income Record and Special Veterans Benefits System, and

  • 60-0320—Electronic Disability (eDib) Claims File.

See GN 01702.510 for additional information about disclosure of information to totalization countries.

2. Totalization Agreements

Section 233 of the Social Security Act (Act) (42 U.S.C. § 433) authorizes the President of the United States to enter into totalization agreements with other countries for the purpose of coordinating the Social Security systems of both countries. These agreements, frequently called “totalization agreements,” help fill gaps in benefit protection for workers who divide their careers between the United States and the other country. Such workers may fail to qualify for Social Security benefits from the United States or the other country because they have not worked long enough to meet minimum eligibility requirements. Under these agreements, each country can count credits earned under the other country’s system if this will help the worker meet the minimum length-of-work requirements to qualify. The agreements also provide that each country will assist the other in implementing and administering the agreement.

3. Mutual Assistance Arrangements

Consistent with section 233 of the Act, SSA enters into mutual assistance arrangements with the social security agencies of certain countries with which we have totalization agreements. Under these arrangements, the foreign agency assists SSA in administering its programs in the foreign country and SSA provides reciprocal services for the foreign country. This includes, but may not be limited to, providing services such as post-entitlement reviews, program and operational studies, and integrity reviews and evaluations.

B. Procedure

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GN 03316.090 - Disclosure Without Consent to Social Security Agencies of Foreign Countries that are Parties to Totalization Agreements - 09/12/2005
Batch run: 09/12/2005