VB 00101.005 Overview of the Initial SVB Claims Process
Establishing entitlement to SVB differs from the other programs administered by the Social Security Administration in that, generally, it is a two-step process. The individual must:
meet the requirements for qualification; and
establish (as explained in VB 00205.150 and VB 00205.155) a residence outside the United States within 4 calendar months of the date of the notice of qualification (i.e., the written notice that he or she meets the requirements for qualification for SVB).
An initial determination is made after each of these steps is taken. Each determination is subject to the normal appeals process.
EXCEPTION: If the individual is outside the United States and files for SVB, both steps may be taken at the same time and the two determinations combined into one.
Most individuals in the United States want to know whether they qualify for SVB before they leave the United States. Thus, in the usual situation, the individual contacts a field office (FO) and files an application for SVB. The FO determines whether the requirements for qualification are met and whether any of the disqualifiers (as shown in VB 00102.005) exist.
2. Determination on qualification
If the individual meets the requirements for qualification and no disqualifiers exist, the individual is notified that he or she meets the requirements for qualification.
The individual is also notified that to complete the SVB application process, he or she must establish a residence outside the United States within 4 calendar months of the date of the notice of qualification. If residence outside the United States is not established within the 4-month period, the claim will be denied. Generally, to become entitled to SVB at a later time, the individual will have to file a new application and again establish that he or she meets the requirements for qualification for SVB.
The claim is denied if the individual does not meet one or more of the requirements for qualification or if a disqualifier exists. There is no mention of the establishment of foreign residence since it is immaterial at this point in the process.
3. Determination on residence outside the United States, date of entitlement and benefit amount
The determination of qualification instructs the individual to contact the nearest Social Security office, Federal Benefits Unit, or the Regional Federal Benefits Office in Manila as soon as he or she establishes residence outside the United States and to provide evidence of his or her residence outside the United States.
Based on the individual's statement about his or her residence and the evidence presented, a decision is made by the central processing site on residence outside the United States, and if applicable, the date of entitlement and the benefit amount.
Qualification criteria, VB 00102.001
Disqualifying events, VB 00205.200 through VB 00205.215
Establishing residence outside the United States, VB 00205.150 through VB 00205.155