TN 15 (01-03)
RS 00205.775 Foreign School Closed Because of a Strike or Other Unrest
Occasionally, there are cases in which a student claimant/beneficiary is (or was) attending a school closed because of a strike or other unrest. There are no problems if the school is not closed for more than 4 consecutive calendar months.
The Office of the General Counsel has indicated that, under certain conditions, SSA does not consider the period when a student beneficiary cannot attend classes because of a strike of the school personnel as a period of nonattendance. Thus, where the school is (or was) closed for more than 4 consecutive calendar months, there are issues that require resolution.
B. Procedure--school currently closed, student claim pending
Advise the student that we cannot make a decision on the claim because the school is closed and cannot supply the needed evidence. Instruct the student to notify SSA when the school reopens or he or she returns to FTA.
Diary the claim for the 5th month after the date the school closed or for 60 days, whichever is later. When the diary expires, if there is no information showing the school has reopened or that the student is in FTA at another EI, advise the student that:
SSA records show he or she has not attended school since [the last month of FTA at an EI or the month he or she reached age 18], and
SSA will deny the claim (or terminate his or her entitlement) unless we receive information within 30 days showing the student is in FTA at an EI.
Diary the case for 30 days. If no response has been received when the diary expires, deny the claim.
C. Procedure--school closed in the past has reopened
1. School closed for less than 5 consecutive calendar months
Make payment for the period the school was closed if the student meets all factors of entitlement and was in FTA immediately before and after the period the school was closed.
2. School closed for more than 4 consecutive calendar months
whether, but for the strike, school authorities considered the student to be in FTA;
the reason the school closed (i.e., student unrest, strike by the school officials, etc.);
whether the student was in FTA at an EI before the school closed; and
whether the student did, in fact, return to FTA at that school when it reopened. (Since school officials outside the United States often consider students to be in FTA when no classes are held, it is important to verify the date the student actually resumed FTA.)
Forward the student claim and related information to the Division of International Programs.