TN 7 (08-99)

SI 00502.135 LAPR with 40 Qualifying Quarters of Earnings

A. Definitions

1. Quarter

A quarter is a period of 3 calendar months ending March 31, June 30, September 30, or December 31.

2. Covered Earnings

Covered earnings are wages or self-employment income (SEI) creditable for title II benefit purposes under Social Security law.

3. Noncovered Earnings

Noncovered earnings are earnings from employment or SEI which are not creditable for title II benefit purposes under Social Security law. Examples of noncovered earnings are earnings of Federal civilian employees hired before 1984, earnings of employees of State and local governments who are members of the employer's retirement system and who have not been covered by a voluntary Federal/State Social Security agreement, and certain agricultural and domestic earnings.

4. Quarter of Coverage (QC)

A quarter of coverage is credit for a requisite amount of covered earnings assigned to a calendar quarter on the earnings record of the worker.

5. Qualifying Quarter (QQ)

A qualifying quarter is credit for a requisite amount of covered earnings and/or noncovered earnings assigned to a calendar quarter for the purpose of determining SSI eligibility of a LAPR alien.

For purposes of establishing the SSI eligibility of a LAPR, a QQ is a QQ earned by:

  • The LAPR alien himself/herself; and/or

  • a parent(s) (as defined in SI 00501.010A.2. and verified per SI 00502.140D.2.a., but with no requirement of living in the same household except in holding-out relationships, as defined in SI 00501.152 and developed per SI 00502.145B.3.) in periods in which the alien was under age 18; and /or

  • a spouse(s) (as defined in SI 00501.150B.1. and developed per SI 00502.145) during their marriage if the marriage continues or the spouse is deceased.

6. Federal Means-Tested Public Benefit

The following programs are the only programs which meet the definition of a Federal means-tested public benefit:

  • SSI,

  • Medicaid,

  • Food Stamps, and

  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) formerly Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC).

7. Receipt of Federal Means-Tested Public Benefit

Beginning after 12/31/96, an individual “receives” a Federal means-tested public benefit in a calendar quarter if in that quarter the individual is eligible for SSI, TANF, and/or Medicaid, and/or certified to receive food stamps.

NOTE: See SI 00502.135B.3.b below for crediting the 40th QQ when the LAPR alien worked and earned the 40th QQ in the quarter of filing for SSI.

8. Determination of Eligibility

A determination of eligibility is an adjudication of eligibility and/or payment amount by a decision maker. The determination of eligibility becomes final and binding on the date of the notice. (See SI 04070.001.)

B. Policy

1. Limited Eligibility During First 5 Years in U.S.

An LAPR alien who enters the U.S. on 8/22/1996 or later cannot be eligible based on having 40 QQs for a 5-year period beginning on the LAPR alien's date of entry into the U.S. as a qualified alien (see SI 00502.100A.2.a.). The 5-year period for an alien who enters the U.S. on 8/22/1996 or later and who is not in a qualified alien status (as defined in SI 00502.100A.2.) at entry, but subsequently adjusts to such a status, begins with the date of adjustment to qualified alien status.

NOTE: Determine the LAPR's date of entry from the ADM/ADJ Date on Form I-551. If the ADM/ADJ date on the I-551 is on or after 8/22/1996 and the alien alleges entry prior to 8/22/1996, verify the date of entry using the G-845 procedure.

If the individual alleges entering the country prior to 8/22/1996 but DHS cannot provide the date because the records are unavailable or the individual was undocumented at entry, verify the entry date using whatever creditable evidence may be available (e.g., NUMIDENT dated prior to 8/22/1996, MBR/ SSR records, employment records, etc.)

EXCEPTIONS: The 5-year limitation on eligibility to LAPR aliens does not apply if the LAPR alien:

  • entered the U.S. before 8/22/1996 and obtained qualified alien status before 8/22/1996;

  • entered the U.S. before 8/22/1996 and obtained qualified alien status after 8/22/1996 and has been continuously present in the U.S. (i.e., has not been outside the U.S. for a full calendar month or for 30 or more consecutive days) from the latest date of entry prior to 8/22/1996;

    NOTE: Develop continuous presence only if there is reason to believe the individual has been outside the U.S. for 30 consecutive days or a full month since date of entry. When continuous presence is questionable, follow the development procedures in
    SI 00501.410D.

  • entered the U.S. as a refugee under section 207 of the INA;

  • was granted asylum under section 208 of the INA;

  • was granted withholding of deportation under section 243(h) of the INA as in effect prior to 4/1/1997, or withholding of removal under section 241(b)(3) of the INA;

  • was granted Cuban and Haitian entrant status under section 501(e) of the Refugee Assistance Act of 1980; or

  • was admitted to the U.S. as an Amerasian immigrant pursuant to section 584 of the Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 1988; or

  • is on active duty in the Armed Forces of the U.S., or is a veteran, as described in SI 00502.140; or

  • is the spouse or widow(er) or unmarried dependent child of a person in the Armed Forces of the U.S., or a veteran, as described in SI 00502.140.

  • is an American Indian born in Canada under section 289 of the INA or a member of a federally recognized Indian tribe as defined in section 4(e) of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act.

2. Qualifying Quarters

a. Number Required

An LAPR alien must have or be credited with 40 QQs to meet the eligibility requirements for this category.

REMINDER: An LAPR who does not have the 40 QQs needed for eligibility under this provision may be eligible:

if admitted as a refugee, granted asylum, had deportation/removal withheld, granted Cuban/Haitian entrant status, or admitted as an Amerasian immigrant less than 7 year ago, or

if lawfully residing in the U.S. and receiving SSI benefits (see SI 00502.100) on 8/22/1996, or

if blind or disabled and lawfully residing in the U.S. on 8/22/1996 (see SI 00502.100D.), or

based on active duty military service or veteran status of the LAPR alien or the LAPR's spouse, widow(er), or parent (see SI 00502.140); or

if an American Indian born in Canada under section 289 of the INA, or a member of a federally recognized Indian tribe as defined in section 4(e) of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (see SI 00502.105).

b. Number Creditable

After 1977, covered and noncovered earnings are divided by the dollar amount needed to earn a QC, (see RS 00301.250, Increment Amounts — Exhibit) to determine the number of QQs earned for a year, up to a maximum of 4 QQs per year per worker.

To determine the number of QQs creditable for years before 1978, see:

More than 4 QQs may be credited to an individual under this provision for a calendar year because in addition to QQs from his/her own earnings, up to 4 QQs per year may also be credited from each parent and/or a spouse(s). QCs for covered employment and self-employment that are credited from a parent(s) and/or a spouse(s) do not count for title II entitlement purposes and will not be posted to the LAPR's earnings record (E/R).

c. QQs From a Parent

An LAPR alien of any age can be credited with QQs earned by a parent through the quarter the LAPR alien attains age 18, whether or not the parent(s) is currently living.

  1. When a Parent's QQs Can be Credited

QQs belonging to a parent(s) may be credited to the parent, the parent's spouse, and to one or more children.

EXAMPLE: An LAPR alien couple and their two LAPR alien children (one age 12 and the other age 23) all apply for SSI. Each member of the couple has earned 20 QQs for work done more than 5 years earlier, before the older child turned age 18. All four LAPR aliens meet the 40 QQs eligibility category based on the couple's combined 40 QQs.

  1. QQs Earned by a Natural Parent

All QQs earned by a natural parent(s) (including the QQs earned prior to the LAPR alien's birth) can be credited through the quarter the LAPR attains age 18.

EXAMPLE: If a natural parent earned 20 QQs prior to the LAPR alien's birth and 20 QQs from the LAPR alien's birth through the quarter the LAPR alien attains age 18, 40 QQs can be credited to the LAPR alien.

  1. QQs Earned by an Adoptive Parent

All QQs earned by an adoptive parent(s) (including the QQs earned prior to the LAPR alien's birth) can be credited through the quarter the LAPR attains age 18 if the adoption occurred before the LAPR alien attained age 18. EXAMPLE: If the adoptive parent of a LAPR alien born 1/15/1991 and adopted 3/31/1997 earned 20 QQs prior to the LAPR alien's birth and 20 QQs from the LAPR alien's birth through the quarter the LAPR alien attained age 18, 40 QQs can be credited to the LAPR alien.

  1. QQs Earned by a Stepparent

QQs earned by a stepparent can be credited from the quarter of the marriage of the stepparent and the natural/adoptive parent through the quarter of attainment of age 18 if the marriage between the stepparent and the natural/ adoptive parent occurred before the LAPR alien attained age 18 and has not ended by divorce or annulment before the determination of eligibility is made for the LAPR alien.

EXAMPLE: An LAPR alien's natural mother married the LAPR alien's stepfather 6/10/1978. The LAPR alien was born 10/12/1972. They are still married when the determination of eligibility is made for the LAPR alien. The QQs from the stepparent can be credited from 6/1978 through the quarter of attainment of age 18.

NOTE: QQs cannot be credited if at the time the determination of eligibility for the LAPR alien is made, the natural/adoptive parent and the stepparent relationship ended as a result of a divorce or annulment. However, QQs can be credited if the natural/adoptive parent and the stepparent are separated but not divorced. QQs credited from a stepparent are not lost if the natural/adoptive parent and the stepparent later divorce.

  1. QQs Earned by Both Natural/Adoptive Parents and a Stepparent

QQs can be credited from both natural/adoptive parents and a stepparent during the time the stepparent is married to the natural/adoptive parent if the marriage between the stepparent and the natural/adoptive parent occurred before the LAPR alien attained age 18 and has not ended by divorce or annulment before the determination of eligibility is made for the LAPR alien.

EXAMPLE: Using the above example, QQs from the stepparent can be credited from 6/1978 through the quarter the LAPR alien attains age 18 and from both natural/adoptive parents through the quarter of attainment of age 18.

  1. QQs Earned by a Parent's Holding-Out Spouse

QQs earned by the LAPR alien's natural/adoptive parent's holding-out spouse (defined in SI 00501.152 and developed per SI 00502.145B.3.) during the time the holding-out relationship existed can be credited to the LAPR alien if at the time the determination of eligibility is made, the holding-out relationship continues to exist (i.e., the holding-out spouse lives with the natural/adoptive parent) and the LAPR alien is under age 18.

EXAMPLE: An LAPR alien born 10/10/1985 currently lives with his natural mother and an individual determined to be his natural mother's holding-out spouse. The holding-out spouse began living with the LAPR alien and his natural mother in 1/1986. The QQs earned by the natural mother's holding-out spouse can be credited from 1/1986 through the present since the holding-out relationship still exists and the LAPR alien is under age 18.

  1. QQs Earned by a Biological Parent Whose Child Has Been Adopted

QQs earned by a biological parent(s) whose parental rights are lost as a result of the adoption of the child by another person(s) are not creditable.

QQs credited from a biological parent(s) are not lost if the biological parent(s) loses his/her parental rights as a result of adoption after a determination of eligibility is made for the LAPR alien.

d. QQs From a Spouse

  1. QQs Earned by a Current Spouse and/or One or More Deceased Spouses

QQs earned by a current spouse and/or one or more deceased spouses during marriage to the LAPR alien can be credited. Develop the duration of marriage as necessary to accurately determine the number of QQs creditable. (See SI 00502.145.)

EXAMPLE:An LAPR alien's current spouse has earned 20 QQs since married to the LAPR alien, and the LAPR alien's former spouse who died while married to the LAPR alien earned over 20 QQs during the marriage. The LAPR alien can be credited with the QQs from both spouses and therefore qualify based on this provision.

NOTE: Eligibility based on the credit of QQs from a deceased spouse is not lost if the LAPR alien remarries.

  1. QQs Earned by More Than One Current Spouse

QQs may be credited to an LAPR alien from more than one current spouse. (That is, an LAPR alien who is separated, but not divorced, from the legal spouse and living with and holding-out with another, may have QQs credited from both the legal spouse and the holding-out spouse simultaneously.)

  1. QQs Belonging to an Eligible Couple

QQs belonging to members of an eligible couple may be credited to both members of the eligible couple.

EXAMPLE: An LAPR alien and his/her LAPR alien eligible spouse each earned 20 QQs during their marriage. Since the combined QQs total 40, each can qualify based on this provision.

  1. QQs of a Former Spouse

A former spouse's QQs cannot be credited if the marriage ended, unless by death, before a determination of alien eligibility is made for the LAPR alien.

EXAMPLE: An LAPR alien was married to a U.S. citizen for 12 years. The LAPR alien has no QQs of his/her own. The spouse earned over 40 QQs during their marriage. The marriage terminated by divorce 4 months before the determination of eligibility was made for the LAPR alien. No QQs can be credited from the former spouse in determining SSI eligibility.

NOTE: A legal marriage ends by a divorce or annulment. The holding-out relationship ends the month after the month the holding-out couple is no longer living together. (See SI 00501.150.)

QQs credited from a spouse are not lost if the marriage ends (including a holding-out relationship) for any reason after a determination of eligibility is made for the LAPR alien. However, if benefits terminate and a new claim is required, a new determination of alien eligibility must be made for the LAPR alien. If the marriage has ended as a result of a divorce or annulment when the current determination is being made, the QQs of the former spouse cannot be credited.

When a holding-out relationship ended due to the spouse's death, see SI 00502.145B.3.b.

e. When Creditable

QQs are credited as follows:

  • QQs are acquired when earned income for covered and/or noncovered work for the calendar year equals or exceeds one or more quarterly title II QC increment(s) for the year. (See Chart of Increment Amounts in SI 00502.135D.3.).

  • QQs are creditable for a quarter if they would have been creditable for any part of the quarter. (That is, a QQ(s) is creditable from a parent(s) in the quarter the LAPR alien attains age 18 or from a spouse for the quarter of marriage or the death of the spouse.)

  • After 1977, QQs are assigned to specific calendar quarters within the calendar year in which they are earned in the manner most advantageous to the individual, per
    RS 00301.230 - RS 00301.240. For example, if a worker's earnings of $1600 in 1984 were all earned in December, a QQ could be assigned to the first calendar quarter of 1984 and each remaining calendar quarter of the year. A QQ is acquired on the first day of the calendar quarter to which it is assigned.

EXAMPLE: An LAPR alien married in August 1984. The spouse earned 2 QQs in 1984. Since QCs for covered employment and self-employment in 1984 were credited by SSA on an annual basis and not assigned to specific calendar quarters, the 2 QQs earned may be assigned to quarters in the manner most advantageous to the LAPR alien. In this case, since the marriage spanned part or all of 2 calendar quarters, the 2 QQs earned by the spouse for the year may be assigned to those 2 quarters (9/1984 and 12/1984). The time of the year when the spouse worked is irrelevant.

NOTE: Before 1978 (including years prior to 1937), earnings must have actually been paid (i.e., not necessarily earned) in the quarter for a QQ to be credited.

If evidence of earnings paid in a quarter is not available for years prior to 1937, determine the number of QQs as follows:

If evidence of annual earnings information (such as income tax records) is the only evidence available and the worker's earnings were $200 or more in the year, a maximum of one QQ can be credited for the year since there is no information available showing when the earnings were actually paid. The quarter can be credited to any quarter in the year that is most advantageous to the LAPR alien; or

If in addition to the annual tax information, the individual presents evidence indicating the worker worked for the same employer for the entire year (such as retirement papers, years of service documentation, letters of commendation, etc.) the yearly total can be divided by $50 to determine the number of QQs for the year, up to a yearly maximum of 4 QQs.

EXAMPLE 1: An LAPR alien, born in France on 3/30/1917, lived in the U.S. from 12/18/1925 until 10/10/1980 when he returned to France. He returned to the U.S. on 1/10/1996 and was granted LAPR status at that time. On 03/20/1997, he filed for SSI as an aged individual. He is not disabled and he meets no other exception. He must, therefore, meet the 40-QQ determination. Since he entered the U.S. prior to 08/22/1996 as an LAPR alien, it is not a requirement that he reside in the U.S. for 5 years.

He earned 39 QQs of his own until he left the country in 1980. He has not worked since his return; however, he has a tax return from the year 1935 showing that his father earned $600 in that year. There is no other evidence of the 1935 earnings available.

Credit can be given for 1 QQ for the 3/1935 quarter (the quarter of attainment of age 18). He meets the 40 QQ determination since he has 39 QQs of his own and can be credited with 1 QQ for 1935.

EXAMPLE 2: Same circumstances as in EXAMPLE 1 above except that the LAPR alien was born 12/30/1917 and has only 36 QQs of his own. In addition to the tax return indicating his father had earnings of $600 in 1935, he presents a letter of commendation from his father's employer showing that his father worked for the same employer from 01/1926 - 05/1936.

Since the letter of commendation indicates the LAPR alien's father worked for the same employer for all of 1935, 4 QQs can be credited for 1935 ($600 ÷ $50 = 12 QQs or a maximum of 4 QQs). All 4 QQs can be credited to the LAPR alien for 1935 since he turned 18 in 12/1935. He, therefore, meets the 40 QQ requirement since he has 36 QQs of his own and can be credited with 4 QQs for 1935.

f. Current-Year QQs

Current year earnings can be used to help establish 40 QQs to determine eligibility under this provision. However, current year QQs can be assigned only to past and current calendar quarters, one per calendar quarter per worker. A QQ is acquired on the first day of the quarter in which it is assigned per RS 00301.230. Current year SEI can be used to help establish 40 QQs following the instructions in RS 01804.110.

If an otherwise eligible individual's earnings permit the 40th QQ to be credited during the life of the application (see SI 00601.010), eligibility can be found based on current year earnings no earlier than the first month of the calendar quarter to which the 40th QQ is assigned. For claims filed 8/22/1996 or later, benefits are payable beginning the first day of the month following the later of the date the individual files the application or becomes eligible (SI 00601.009).

EXAMPLE: An aged LAPR alien files an SSI application on 03/2/1997. He does not meet the 40 QQ determination in 03/1997 as he can only be credited with 39 QQs, 20 QQs of his own and 19 earned by his current wife during their marriage. He meets all other eligibility factors in March and subsequent months. The FO made the input to the system on 03/15/1997 to deny his claim. The life of his application would have ended on March 15; however, he filed a timely request for reconsideration on 04/30/1997.

In 04/1997, his wife earned $700, enough for 1 QQ. The QQ can be credited as of 04/1/1997, giving her a total of 20 QQs. On 05/15/1997, the FO made the reconsideration decision and determined that the LAPR alien did not meet the 40 QQ determination for March but that he did meet it beginning 04/01/1997 since as of April 1, he can be credited with 20 QQs of his own and 20 from his wife. The FO made the input to the system on 05/15/1997 to pay the LAPR alien SSI benefits beginning 05/1/1997 (the first day of the month following the date he became eligible), based on the 03/2/1997 application.

3. Receipt of Federal Means-Tested Public Benefits After 1996

a. QQs Not Creditable

QQs cannot be credited for any quarter beginning after 12/31/96, if in the quarter the LAPR alien or the worker (the LAPR alien, his/her parent(s) and/or spouse(s)) received a Federal means-tested public benefit as defined in SI 00502.135A.

EXAMPLE: In the month of 6/1997, an LAPR alien, age 4, received Medicaid. Her mother was working in the 6/1997 quarter and earned a QQ. However, since the child received Medicaid in the 6/1997 quarter, the QQ cannot be counted.

b. Crediting the 40th QQ in the Quarter of Filing for SSI

When an LAPR alien's 40th QQ would be creditable in the quarter he/she files for SSI, and the QQ is needed to qualify, credit the 40th QQ if, prior to the filing date (the date SSA receives a valid application, SI 00601.008B.12.), no other Federal means-tested public benefit was received in the quarter. The QQ is not lost if, after the filing date, a Federal means-tested benefit is received.

NOTE: Medicaid eligibility determined concurrently or after the determination of SSI eligibility will not cause an individual to lose the 40th QQ or the preceding QQ if retroactive Medicaid eligibility is provided for previous months. For example, if an individual has unpaid medical expenses in the 3 months prior to filing for SSI that Medicaid will cover, the retroactive Medicaid eligibility will not affect the QQs credited before the individual files for SSI.

c. Examples

  1. 40th QQ Earned in the Quarter an Individual Files for SSI

An aged LAPR alien, born 02/15/1932, files for SSI on 10/25/1997. He is not disabled and does not meet any other exception. He must therefore meet the 40 QQ provision. He entered the U.S. prior to 08/22/1996 as an LAPR alien and is not required to reside in the U.S. for 5 years before eligibility can exist.

He has a total of 25 QQs through the 09/1997 quarter and his spouse has 14 QQs for a total of 39 through the 09/1997 quarter. All of his wife's earnings were prior to 01/1997. In 10/1997, prior to filing for SSI, he worked and earned $1000 (enough for a QQ). He has not received any other Federal means-tested public benefit since 01/1997.

The 40th QQ earned in 10/1997 can be credited and the LAPR alien is eligible in 10/1997 and can be paid beginning 11/1997 based on the QQ provision since the 40th QQ was earned prior to filing for SSI and he did not receive any Federal means-tested public benefit since 01/1997.

  1. QQ Earned While Certified to Receive Food Stamps

An LAPR alien files for SSI on 07/10/1997. He last worked in 06/1997 and earned his 38th QQ in 06/1997. He has been married since 01/1997 and his spouse, who is a U.S. citizen, also worked and earned 2 QQs in 1997. Since 01/1997, his spouse has also been certified to receive food stamps; therefore, the 2 QQs earned by the spouse in the 03/1997 and 06/1997 quarters cannot be credited since she was also certified to receive food stamps in both quarters.

Therefore, the LAPR alien cannot meet the 40-QQ eligibility requirement since he can only be credited with the 38 quarters he earned.

  1. QQ Earned in a Year During Which Certified to Receive Food Stamps for Part of Year

An LAPR alien files for SSI on 10/10/1997. He has never worked and has no QQs of his own. He has been married for 30 years and his spouse, who is a U.S. citizen and who has been working since they were married, earned her 40th QQ in 03/1997. She was also certified to receive food stamps in 01/1997 and 02/1997; however, she has not been certified to receive food stamps or eligible for any other Federal means-tested public benefit since 02/1997.

Therefore, since QQs for the current year can be assigned to past and current calendar quarters, the 40th QQ can be assigned to the 06/1997 quarter when the LAPR alien's spouse was not certified for food stamps or eligible for any other Federal means-tested public benefit. Since all 40 QQs were earned during their marriage, the LAPR alien meets the 40-QQ determination in the 06/1997 quarter.

C. Procedure - LAPR Alien Status

Develop and verify LAPR alien status in accordance with GN 00303.440 and SI 00502.115A.

NOTE: An LAPR who does not have the 40 QQs needed for eligibility under this provision may be eligible:

  • if admitted as a refugee, granted asylum, had deportation/removal withheld, granted Cuban/Haitian entrant status, or admitted as an Amerasian immigrant less than 7 years ago; or

    if lawfully residing in the U.S. and receiving SSI benefits on 8/22/1996 (see SI 00502.100); or

    if blind or disabled and lawfully residing in the U.S. on 8/22/1996 (see SI 00502.100D.); or

    based on active duty military service or veteran status of the LAPR alien or the LAPR's spouse, widow(er), or parent (see SI 00502.140); or

    if an American Indian born in Canada under section 289 of the INA, or a member of a federally recognized Indian tribe as defined in section 4(e) of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (see SI 00502.105).

D. Procedure - Qualifying Quarters

1. When Verification of QQs Is Not Required

No QQ verification is necessary if the LAPR alien alleges that he/she never worked while residing in the U.S. and that his/her parent(s) or spouse(s) (as defined in SI 00502.135A.)never worked while residing in the U.S.

  • Explain any ramifications,

  • Secure a signed statement specific to this effect, and

  • Find that the 40-QQ requirement is not met.

2. When Verification of QQs Is Required

QQ verification is required anytime the LAPR alien alleges that he/she and/ or his/her parent(s) and/or spouse(s) (as defined in SI 00502.135A.) has worked while residing in the U.S. for an employer or been self-employed. Follow the procedure below to establish QQs based on the LAPR alien's employment record and/or his/her parent(s) and/or spouse(s).

STEPACTION

1

If the LAPR alien alleges that he/she has worked while residing in the U.S. for an employer or been self-employed:

  • Secure an uncertified E/R query for the LAPR alien per GN 01010.009 to determine the number of QCs and go to step 2.

NOTE: The Interactive Computation Facility (ICF) Online Computational Earnings (OCE) is the only online uncertified E/R query that displays the QC pattern from the Master Earnings File (MEF). See MSOM ICFT2 024.001 .

2

Do the total QCs on the E/R total 40 or more? (Remember when totalling the number of QCs from the E/R that if the LAPR alien received a Federal means-tested public benefit in any quarter after 12/31/1996, the QC cannot be credited. See SI 00502.135B.3.)

  • If yes, STOP, — Meets the 40-QQ requirement. Document the 40-QQ determination on the Report of Contact (DROC) screen including the evidence used to make the determination
    (GN 00301.286). For non-MSSICS claims, record the information on a Report of Contact (RC).

  • If no, go to step 3.

3

Are earnings alleged for a parent(s) and/or spouse(s) as defined in
SI 00502.135A.?

  • If yes, follow the procedure in step 1 for each individual involved in the count and determine the total number of QCs. If the LAPR alien had earnings, consider his/her QCs in conjunction with the QCs of the parent(s) and/or spouse(s). Go to step 4.

    REMINDER: Observe the appropriate disclosure instructions. (See GN 03340.005.)

  • If no, secure a certified E/R for the LAPR alien per GN 01010.009 and go to step 5.

4

Is the total 40 or more? (Remember when totalling the number of QCs from the E/Rs that if the LAPR alien or the worker (the LAPR alien, his/ her parent(s) and/or spouse(s)) received a Federal means-tested public benefit in any quarter after 12/31/1996, the QC cannot be credited. (See SI 00502.135B.3.)

  • If yes, STOP,— Meets the 40-QQ requirement. Document the
    40-QQ determination on the DROC screen including the evidence used to make the determination (GN 00301.286). For non-MSSICS claims, record the information on a RC.

IMPORTANT: Regardless of whether the OCE query or a certified E/R is used to verify the number of QCs for a parent(s) and/or spouse(s), do not place the document in the file if the parent(s) or spouse(s) is alive. Record the number of QCs and the relevant period when they were earned on a RC or the MSSICS remarks field. This will prevent the possibility of disclosure of earnings information for the parent or spouse to the LAPR alien.

  • If no, secure a certified E/R for the LAPR alien and each individual used in the count and go to step 5.

5

Examine the certified E/R(s) and determine the total number of QCs from all E/Rs used. Is the total 40 or more? (Remember when totalling the number of QCs from the E/Rs that if the LAPR alien received a Federal means-tested public benefit in any quarter after 12/31/1996, the QC cannot be credited. See SI 00502.135B.3.)

  • If yes, STOP,— Meets the 40-QQ requirement. Document the 40-QQ determination on the DROC screen including the evidence used to make the determination (GN 00301.286). For non-MSSICS claims, record the information on a RC.

  • If no, go to step 6.

6

Review the certified E/R(s) with the respective NH(s) per RS 01404.003. Did the E/R review result in 40 or more QCs? (Remember when totalling the number of QCs from the E/Rs that if the LAPR alien or the worker (the LAPR alien, his/her parent(s) and/or spouse(s)) received a Federal means-tested public benefit in any quarter after 12/31/1996, the QC cannot be credited. See SI 00502.135B.3.)

REMINDER: If a review of the E/R of a parent(s) and/or spouse(s) is necessary, observe the appropriate disclosure instructions (see GN 03340.005.).

See RS 00301.101 through RS 00301.350 for developing QCs,
RS 01404.005 through RS 01404.018 for developing lag earnings,
RS 01404.105 through RS 01404.180 for developing prelag earnings, and
RS 01804.001 for developing SEI.

  • If yes, STOP, — Meets the 40-QQ requirement. Document the 40-QQ determination on the DROC screen including the evidence used to make the determination (GN 00301.286). For non-MSSICS claims, record the information on a RC.

  • If no, and the LAPR alien and/or individuals used in the count continue to allege earnings that are not on the certified E/Rs, go to step 7.

  • If no, and no further earnings are alleged by the LAPR alien and/or the individuals used in the count, STOP, — Does not meet the 40-QQ requirement. Retain the LAPR's certified E/R in file and document the QQ determination on the DROC screen including the evidence used to make the determination (GN 00301.286). For non-MSSICS claims, record the information on a RC.

7

Request ALL NON COVERED DETAILS from the Detail Earnings Query (DEQY) for the employment years alleged for the LAPR alien and/or each individual used in the count. (See SM 00344.001 for instructions on the DEQY and SI 00502.135D.4. for an example of a noncovered detail DEQY response.) Divide the figure for the XX YEARLY TOTAL in the TOTAL AMOUNT field on the DEQY by the dollar amount needed to earn a QC as indicated in SI 00502.135D.3. to determine the number of QQs for the year(s). Is the combined total of all QQs 40 or more? (Remember when totalling the number of QQs that if the LAPR alien or the worker (the LAPR alien, his/her parent(s) and /or spouse(s)) received a Federal means-tested public benefit in any quarter after 12/31/1996, the QQ cannot be credited. See SI 00502.135B.3.)

NOTE: Covered and noncovered earnings can be combined to make a QQ.

Income shown as “C,” current W-2P (Pension), or “G,” Current Corrected W-2P (Pension), in the R (Report Type) field on the DEQY should not be used when making the QQ determination as pension income should not be included as noncovered earnings. See SM 00344.014 for a list of the R (Report Type) codes and SM 00344.015 for a list of the E (Employment Type) codes on the DEQY.

  • If yes, STOP, — Meets the 40-QQ requirement. Document the 40-QQ determination on the DROC screen including the evidence used to make the determination (GN 00301.286). For non-MSSICS claims, record the information on a RC.

  • If no, and the LAPR alien and/or individuals used in the count continue to allege earnings that are not on the DEQY, go to step 8. If SEI is alleged, go to step 9.

  • If no, and no further earnings are alleged by the LAPR alien and/or the individuals used in the count,STOP, — Does not meet the 40-QQ requirement. Retain the LAPR alien's certified E/R in file and document the QQ determination on the DROC screen including the evidence used to make the determination (GN 00301.286). For non-MSSICS claims, record the information on a RC.

8

Obtain information regarding the employment (i.e., name/address of employer, dates of employment, amount of earnings, rate of pay, etc.) from the LAPR alien and/or individuals used in the count. Request all available evidence for the alleged employment such as:

  • W-2, W-2c;

  • Pay envelopes, vouchers, and similar unsigned employer statements to the employee, a State or Federal agency;

  • Union records;

  • Individual's copy of Federal or State income tax returns;

  • Records of State unemployment insurance agencies;

  • Statements of persons having knowledge of the individual's employment and/or wages; or

  • Individual's personal records and statements.

NOTE: When asking for evidence of noncovered earnings, it is not necessary to develop evidence in the order required by RS 01403.010, RS 01403.050, and RS 01403.052. The noncovered QQ determination should be made based on evidence readily available and not its probative value.

Also, for purposes of counting noncovered earnings for the QQ determination, earnings beyond the statute of limitations (RS 02201.001) can be credited. However, evidence must be in file to support the earnings and the QQ determination.

See SI 00502.135B.2.e. for determining the number of QQs for pre-1937 earnings.

 

IMPORTANT: This development only applies when making a QQ determination for noncovered earnings. Follow existing rules when developing covered earnings.

If the LAPR alien and/or the individuals used in the count are unable to provide evidence of alleged earnings, contact the employer(s) by phone or send the employer(s) Form SSA-L4201 to request verification of the employment and the amount of earnings.

Using the evidence available, determine the amount of earnings for the year(s) and divide the figure by the dollar amount needed to earn a QC as indicated in SI 00502.135D.3. to determine the number of QQs for the year(s). Does all development combined establish 40 QQs? (Remember when totalling the number of QQs that if the LAPR alien or the worker (the LAPR alien, his/her parent(s) and/or spouse(s)) received a Federal means-tested public benefit in any quarter after 12/31/1996, the QQ cannot be credited. See SI 00502.135B.3.)

  • If yes, STOP, — Meets the 40-QQ requirement. Document the 40-QQ determination on the DROC screen including the evidence used to make the determination (GN 00301.286). For non-MSSICS claims, record the information on a RC.

  • If no, STOP, — Does not meet the 40-QQ requirement. Retain the LAPR alien's certified E/R in file and document the QQ determination on the DROC screen including the evidence used to make the determination (GN 00301.286) For non-MSSICS claims, record the information on a RC.

9

If SEI is alleged, follow the policy requirements in RS 01801.010 and RS 01804.070 to determine if the individual(s) was:

  • engaged in a trade or business, and

  • had net earnings from self-employment.

NOTE: For purposes of counting SEI for the 40-QQ requirement, SEI beyond the statute of limitations (RS 02201.001) can be credited. However, both of the above requirements must be met and evidence in file to support the decision. Meeting just one requirement will not establish SEI.

IMPORTANT: This development only applies when making a QQ determination for noncovered earnings. Follow existing rules when developing SEI for covered earnings.

Does the evidence presented (combined with all other evidence) establish 40 QQs? (Remember when totalling the number of QQs that if the LAPR alien or the worker (the LAPR ali