TN 9 (09-90)

RS 02605.034 Determining Retirement Test When Totalization is Involved

A. PROCEDURE - BENEFICIARY WORKING IN COUNTRY OTHER THAN ITALY

1. Beneficiary Alleges Work Not Covered By U.S. Social Security

Most persons who work in a country with which we have a totalization agreement are covered only by that country's system and are exempt from U.S. coverage.

  1. If a beneficiary alleges that his work is not covered by U.S. Social Security, and no earnings are credited to the U.S. earnings record based on that work, accept the allegation and apply the FWT.

  2. If the worker alleges noncovered work, but earnings are credited to the U.S. earnings record after the date the beneficiary began working in the foreign country, resolve the discrepancy. The foreign earnings may have been erroneously reported; if so, correct the earnings record (see RS 02605.044).

  3. If it appears the earnings should have been covered, request a U.S. certificate of coverage as explained in RS 02605.034A.2. Until a certificate is actually issued, apply the FWT.

2. Beneficiary Alleges Work Covered By U.S. Social Security

While most beneficiaries working in an agreement country are covered only by the foreign system, some are covered only under the U.S. Social Security system in accordance with the special rules of the agreement. Such beneficiaries should have a certificate of U.S. coverage from SSA, which proves that their earnings are covered by the U.S. and exempt from foreign coverage.

  1. Beneficiary has certificate of U.S. coverage- Where a beneficiary alleges his earnings are covered and submits a U.S. certificate of coverage for the period in question (see RS 02605.038), apply the AET. Keep a copy of the certificate for the claims folder.

  2. Beneficiary does not have certificate of U.S. coverage- Where a beneficiary alleges that his earnings are covered but does not have a certificate of U.S. coverage, determine whether he is eligible for one under the agreement (see RS 02001.000).

    • If it appears the work should be covered, or the beneficiary insists the work is covered, get a request for a certificate of U.S. coverage from him and the employer if he is employed.

    • Forward the request to OIO (or the appropriate PSC if the beneficiary now lives in the U.S.).

    • OIO (or the PSC) will forward the request and the claims folder to DIPPA at the address in RS 02605.030B. Apply the FWT until DIPPA makes a decision.

    NOTE: DIPPA will either issue a certificate of coverage or deny the request, notify the beneficiary of the decision, document the claims folder and return the folder to the PSC for any additional processing.

    • If the request is approved, apply the AET (retroactively where appropriate), provided the certificate covers the period in question (see RS 02605.038).

    • If the request is not approved, continue to apply the FWT.

B. PROCEDURE - BENEFICIARY WORKING IN ITALY

1. Beneficiary Alleges Work Not Covered By U.S. Social Security

The agreement with Italy generally excludes persons working in Italy, except certain U.S. citizens, from U.S. coverage. Therefore, if an alien alleges that his employment or self-employment in Italy is not covered, accept the allegation and apply the FWT.

  1. Employed U.S. citizens- Generally, a U.S. citizen whose employment would normally be covered under title II rules will continue to be so covered under the agreement. Those not covered under title II (e.g., working for a non- American employer) are not covered under the agreement.

    • Accept an allegation of noncovered employment by a U.S. citizen and apply the FWT.

    • Question an allegation of noncovered employment only if earnings are credited to the U.S. earnings record after the date the beneficiary began working in Italy.

    • Resolve the discrepancy as indicated in RS 02605.034A.

  2. Self-employed U.S. Citizens-These citizens are generally covered under normal title II rules under the agreement; i.e., covered under U.S. Social Security.

    • Assume earnings in Italy are covered by U.S. system and apply the AET.

    • Apply the FWT only if the beneficiary has been granted a special exception under the agreement to permit Italian coverage.

    • Do not accept an al