TN 69 (10-14)

SI 01130.611 German Social Insurance Payments Under ZRBG (“Ghetto Pension” Law)

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 the 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 deemed to have accrued prior to the commencement of the pension payments.

B. Policy for resource treatment of German social insurance payments under the ZRBG (Ghetto Pensions)

1. Resource treatment

Exclude from resources any unspent German social insurance payments based, in whole or in part, on credits granted under the ZRBG. German social insurance payments not based, at least in part, on credits granted under the ZRBG may be countable resources.

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 01130.610.

2. Interest exclusion

Effective on or after July 1, 2004, exclude from income any interest earned on a retained German “Ghetto Pension.”

3. Reopening prior determinations

Reopen and revise prior determinations affected by these instructions, subject to the rules of administrative finality. For instructions on administrative finality, see SI 04070.000.

C. Procedure for resource treatment of German social insurance payments under the ZRBG

1. When to develop

Always determine if applying this exclusion would permit eligibility for regular or conditional benefits when an individual would otherwise be ineligible due to excess resources. If the exclusion would permit eligibility, develop per SI 01130.611C.2. in this section.

It is not necessary to develop the resource exclusion under this section if the individual is eligible without the application of this exclusion.

2. Development and documentation

Follow these steps if an individual alleges that his or her resources include unspent German “Ghetto Pension” payments:

  1. Determine whether to count the payments as income per SI 00830.711.

  2. If we count the payments as income, do not apply the resource exclusion.

  3. If we do not count the payments as income:

    • Obtain the individual's statement either signed or recorded on a locked Report of Contact (DROC) screen as to the date(s) and amount(s) of any German “Ghetto Pension” payments. Apply the policy in SI 00830.711B and exclude from countable resources any unspent “Ghetto Pension” payments and accrued earned interest.

    • Enter code "ZRBG" in the CG field of the SSR to indicate that the individual's resources include unspent German social insurance payments that are excludable under this section. For instructions on how to complete the CG field, see SM 01301.785 and SM 01005.525.

D. References