TN 6 (09-93)

RS 02650.100 Payments to Beneficiaries in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania

A. BACKGROUND

Prior to July 1968, Treasury regulations prohibited the payment of benefits to Social Security beneficiaries in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. When these restrictions were lifted, SSA decided not to pay benefits until it was assured of free access to
beneficiaries and records in those areas.

When the independence of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania was recognized in September 1991, SSA (through DOS) opened discussions with the governments of those countries to determine if payments could be made to beneficiaries there.

The appropriate officials of those governments have now given SSA assurance of free access to beneficiaries and records in those countries.

B. POLICY

1. General

SSA can now pay benefits to individuals in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Assuming they meet all the requirements for entitlement in the applicable months, benefits can be paid from the month they were suspended to the following beneficiaries:

  1. U.S. citizens (see 3. below for information on establishing U.S. citizenship in these cases); or

  2. Aliens who meet an exception to the alien nonpayment provisions which is not related to Estonian, Latvian or Lithuanian citizenship (see 2. below for information on the alien nonpayment provisions as they relate to Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian citizens).

Citizens of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, who do not qualify under b. above, may not receive benefits for any month after they have been outside the U.S. for more than 6 consecutive calendar months.

2. Alien Nonpayment Provisions

a. Months Prior to September 1991

For months prior to September 1991, the information on the U.S.S.R. in RS 02610.015C. also applies to Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian citizens because the laws of the former U.S.S.R. were in force in those countries at that time.

b. Months After August 1991

  • Estonia

    SSA has determined that the Estonian social insurance system does not meet the requirements of the Social Security law. Thus, Estonian citizens cannot meet the social insurance (code 6), 10 year residence (code 3) or 40 quarters of coverage (code 4) exceptions to the alien nonpayment provisions.

  • Latvia

    For the period from September 1991 through September 1992, the Latvian social insurance system did not meet the requirements of the Social Security law. Thus, for those months Latvian citizens cannot meet the social insurance (code 6), 10 year residence (code 3), or 40 quarters of coverage (code 4) exceptions to the alien nonpayment provisions.

    SSA has determined that the Latvian social insurance system meets the requirements of the Social Security law effective October 1992. Latvian citizens can meet the social insurance exception effective October 1992.

  • Lithuania

    For months prior to January 2003 Lithuanian citizens cannot meet the social insurance (code 6), 10 year residence (code 3) or 40 quarters of coverage (code 4) exceptions to the alien nonpayment provisions. Effective January 2003, Lithuanian citizens can meet the social insurance (code 6) exception to the alien nonpayment provisions.

3. U.S. Citizenship

There is evidence that some U.S. citizens who moved to the former Soviet Union (including Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) were required, or asked, to give up their U.S. citizenship. Thus, any individual who states that he/she is a U.S. citizen and who moved to one of these areas before September 1991 must establish his/her current U.S. citizenship.

Proof of current U.S. citizenship is:

  1. A U.S. passport issued after August 1991;

  2. An FSP finding, after August 1991, of current U.S.
    citizenship;

  3. An FSP statement showing that the individual was
    registered as a U.S. citizen with the FSP after August 1991; or

  4. Evidence showing the individual entered the U.S. after August 1991 traveling on a U.S. passport (including one issued before August 1991).


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0302650100