TN 10 (03-98)
RS 02650.120 Payments to Beneficiaries in Albania
Prior to September 1992, Treasury regulations prohibited the payment of benefits to, or on behalf of, Social Security beneficiaries in Albania.
When the restrictions were lifted, SSA could not pay benefits until it had assurance of free access to beneficiaries and vital statistics records in that country. SSA, through DOS, has now received assurance from the appropriate Albanian officials of free access to beneficiaries and vital statistics records in that country.
B. POLICY — GENERAL
SSA can now pay benefits to individuals in Albania who are:
Generally, for months prior to October 1993, Albanian citizens cannot receive benefits after they have been outside the U.S. for more than 6 consecutive calendar months. (See RS 02650.120C.2.a. if the first 6 consecutive calendar months of the beneficiary's absence were prior to September 1992.)
C. POLICY — MONTHS FOR WHICH PAYMENTS CAN BE MADE
Assuming the beneficiaries meet all the factors of entitlement for the months in question, SSA can make payments as shown below.
1. U.S. Citizens
SSA can pay benefits retroactive to the date they were suspended because the beneficiary went to Albania.
2. Non-U.S. Citizens
a. Months Before September 1992
The law provides that no benefits are payable to beneficiaries who are not U.S. citizens for any month after June 1968 in which they resided in a country to which payment was barred by Treasury regulations.
A beneficiary whose benefits were being withheld on June 30, 1968 because of the Treasury regulations can only receive an amount equal to the last 12 months benefits payable to him/her (i.e., generally the benefits for July 1967 through June 1968).
See RS 02650.128 for a discussion of the application of this provision in underpayment claims.
NOTE: This non-accrual restriction also applies to benefits which may otherwise be payable for the first 6 calendar months the beneficiary was outside the U.S.
b. Months After August 1992
Generally, a beneficiary's citizenship determines if SSA can pay benefits for months after August 1992.
SSA can pay benefits for these months if the beneficiary meets an exception to the alien nonpayment provisions.
As explained in RS 02650.120D., Albanian citizens can meet the social insurance exception (code 6) to the alien nonpayment provisions for months AFTER September 1993. They cannot meet the 10-year residence (code 3) or 40-quarters-of-coverage (code 4) for any month after August 1992.
NOTE: Individuals who are entitled as survivors or dependents and are first eligible for monthly benefits after December 31, 1984 must also meet the 5-year residence requirement as explained in RS 02610.025.
D. POLICY — ALIEN NONPAYMENT PROVISIONS
SSA has determined that the Albanian social insurance system meets the requirements of the U.S. Social Security law effective October 1993 and that Albanian citizens can meet the social insurance (code 6) exception to the alien nonpayment provisions for months AFTER September 1993.
However, the Albanian social insurance system does not meet the requirements of the Social Security law for the months September 1992 through September 1993. Thus, Albanian 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 for these months. See RS 02610.001 ff. for an explanation of the alien nonpayment provisions.
Since the exceptions which an Albanian citizen could meet were different prior to July 1968, you must refer to OIP any case in which it appears payments are due for months before July 1968.