TN 122 (10-14)
SI 00830.711 German Social Insurance Payments Under the ZRBG (“Ghetto Pension” Law) for SSI Income
A. Introduction to German social insurance payments
Under the German Law for the Payment of Pensions for Periods of Employment in a Ghetto, commonly known by the German acronym “ZRBG” or as the German “Ghetto Pension” Law, victims of Nazi persecution may receive credit toward a pension under the German social insurance system if they performed non-forced work during their confinement in a ghetto during World War II.
To receive credit toward a “Ghetto Pension” under the ZRBG, an individual must meet the following conditions:
status as a victim of Nazi persecution;
forced residence in a ghetto in a territory that was in an area within the national socialist (Nazi) sphere of influence; and
work performed for remuneration while living in the ghetto.
The German Statutory Pension Insurance agency, the Deutsche Rentenversicherung, processes pension applications for “Ghetto Pensions” under the ZRBG. In addition to a monthly old-age pension, applicants may receive a lump-sum payment representing retroactive benefits that are deemed to have accrued prior to the commencement of the pension payments.
B. Policy for income treatment of German social insurance payments under the ZRBG (Ghetto Pension)
1. Income treatment
Exclude from income German social insurance payments based, in whole or in part, on credits granted under the ZRBG. German social insurance payments that are not based, at least in part, on credits granted under the ZRBG may be countable income.
IMPORTANT: Before counting as income or a resource any German social insurance payments, always consider whether a different exclusion may apply. For more information on how to exclude payments to victims of Nazi persecution, see SI 00830.710.
2. Interest income
Exclude from income any interest earned on a retained German “Ghetto Pension.” For more information on how to exclude interest income, see SI 00830.500.
3. Reopening prior determinations
Reopen and revise prior determinations affected by these instructions, subject to the rules of administrative finality, see SI 04070.010.
C. Description of award notices under the ZRBG (Ghetto Pension)
The German statutory pension insurance agency, the Deutsche Rentenversicherung (German acronym, “DRV”), issues the ZRBG “Ghetto Pension” award notices
Prior to October 2005, the notices were issued by the Landesversicherungsanstalt (“LVA”) or the Bundesversicherungsanstalt für Angestellte (“BfA”).
The award notice is called a “Rentenbescheid” (“Pension Notice”), or simply “Bescheid” (“Notice”), and is written in German. If the notice relates to a ZRBG “Ghetto Pension”, the following language may appear:
vom [date] bis zum [date]
zurückgelegten Zeiten einer Beschäftigung in einem Ghetto wurden nach dem Gesetz zur Zahlbarmachung von Renten aus Beschäftigungen in einem Ghetto und zur Änderung des Sechsten Buches Sozialgesetzbuch als “Ghetto-Beitragszeiten” anerkannt. Für diese Zeiten gelten Beiträge als gezahlt.
from [date] through [date]
of employment in a ghetto was (were) recognized as “ghetto contribution periods” pursuant to the Law for the Payment of Pensions for Periods of Employment in a Ghetto and the amendment of the Sixth Book of the Social Code. For these periods, contributions are deemed paid.
Although this language can be anywhere in the notice, it usually appears within the first several pages, in a section entitled, “Berücksichtigung von Zeiten” (“Credited Periods”). The German phrases quoted in this section might not appear in every notice related to a ZRBG “Ghetto Pension.” If the German phrase does not appear, the payments might still be a German social insurance payment under the ZRBG.
D. Procedure for income treatment of German social insurance payments under the ZRBG (Ghetto Pension Law)
Use the following chart to determine whether to count as income German social insurance payments under the ZRBG (“Ghetto Pension” Law).
Does the individual have an award notice from a German pension insurance agency?
If yes, go to step 2.
If no, go to step 4.
Does the notice include the German language from SI 00830.711C in this section?
If yes, retain a copy of the notice electronically per GN 00301.286. Go to step 3.
If no, retain a copy of the notice electronically per GN 00301.286. Go to step 4.
Do not count the payment as income:
Does the individual have a notice or letter from a German pension insurance agency confirming that the payments are based, in whole or in part, on:
the German Law for the Payment of Pensions for Periods of Employment in a Ghetto; or
the Law on Compensation for National Socialist Injustice through the Social Insurance System; or
work performed in a ghetto by a victim of Nazi persecution?
If yes, retain a copy of the notice or letter electronically per GN 00301.286. Go back to step 3.
If no, go to step 5.
Does the individual allege that the payment is based, in whole or in part, on work performed in a German-controlled ghetto during World War II?
If yes, document the allegation on a locked Report of Contact (DROC). Go back to step 3.
If no, document the allegation on a locked DROC. Go to step 6.
Count the payment as unearned income.
Follow verification requirements in SI 00830.005 and SI 00830.105. If verification is not readily available, obtain the individual's statement either signed or recorded on a locked DROC as to the amount, source, and frequency of the payment. See GN 00301.285 through GN 00301.289.
SI 00830.005 General Rules for Developing Unearned Income
SI 00830.105 Payments in Foreign Currency
SI 00830.500 Dividends and Interest
SI 00830.710 Payments to Victims of Nazi Persecution
SI 01130.610 Payments to Victims of Nazi Persecution
SI 01130.611 German Social Insurance Payments Under ZRBG (“Ghetto Pension” Law)
SI 01130.700 Identifying Excluded Funds That Have Been Commingled With Nonexcluded Funds
SI 04070.010 Title XVI Administrative Finality – General Reopening Policies
SM 01005.525 Case Related Data
SM 01301.785 Case Related Data (CG)
SM 01305.200 Unearned Income and Exclusions (UM)
SI 04070.010 Title XVI Administrative Finality - General Reopening Policies