TN 1 (11-01)

VB 00205.125 Other Benefit Income From Other Countries

A. Introduction

SSA anticipates that many potential SVB claimants/beneficiaries will be receiving a foreign pension, some benefits based on military service (primarily those who served in the active military service of the Philippines during World War II, as explained in
VB 00102.001B.2.) and some benefits based on employment. Following are procedures specifically applicable to receipt of a foreign pension countable as “other benefit income.”

B. Policy

As noted in VB 00205.110B.2., evidence of foreign pensions is not secured if the amount shown by the claimant agrees with that shown on the SSR. See VB 00205.110B.1. if the amount show on the SSR does not agree with that shown by the claimant.

C. Procedure - Currency Conversion

1. General

When an individual is receiving a foreign pension that must be included in the SVB benefit computation as other benefit income, convert the foreign pension amount to US dollars. Use the currency exchange rate in effect on the first day of the month in which the qualification notice is prepared, or if no qualification notice was sent, the first day of the month in which the award letter is prepared.

Generally, the US dollar-to-foreign currency exchange rates can be obtained from any large metropolitan newspaper or by calling a bank or financial institution. Foreign currency amounts can also be converted to U.S. dollars by using the link on the title VIII intranet home site. Any problems with converting the foreign currency to U.S. dollars should be faxed to OIP, attention SVB at (410) 966-7025. Include your name, location, phone number, E-mail address and fax number for response.

Document the file with a Form SSA-5002, Report of Contact, a printout of the internet screen or other form showing the exchange rate used, the exchange rate date and the source of the information.

Once a foreign pension has been converted to U.S. dollars, that exchange rate will remain the exchange rate of record; i.e., the dollar value of the pension will not be refigured on a monthly or other basis to account for fluctuations in the dollar-to-foreign currency exchange rate.

2. Change in Other Benefit Amount

A different exchange rate can be used only when the foreign pension amount changes (e.g., for a cost-of-living increase). Use the exchange rate in effect on the first day of the month in which the change in the foreign pension amount was first paid or the month of input whichever is earlier. Absent information to the contrary, assume that the change was paid in the month for which the change was made.

For example, in August the beneficiary advises us that his monthly foreign social insurance benefits were increased effective June. Since there is no information to the contrary, assume that the new amount was first paid in June and use the exchange rate in effect on June 1. If the beneficiary had advised us in May of the June change and we had input the information to his SSR in May, the May 1 exchange rate would have been used.

Document the file with a Form SSA-5002, Report of Contact, a printout of the internet screen or other form showing the exchange rate used, the exchange rate date and the source of the information.

D. Procedure — PVAO Pension

The Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) pays pension benefits to certain Philippine veterans of WW II, and those PVAO veterans pensions must be included in the total of other benefit income used to offset the title VIII payment. Do not ask the Foreign Service Post in Manila to contact the PVAO for information about a veteran since the PVAO has stated that it will terminate its pension benefits to anyone receiving US Government payments, making no distinction between SSA and VA pensions.

Since July 2002 the maximum PVAO pension has been 5,000 Philippine pesos a month. From April 2000 (when SVB application were first processed) through June 2001, the maximum was 4000 Philippine pesos a month and from July 2001 through June 2002, the maximum was 4,500 Philippine pesos a month.

Accept the statement of an individual who has Philippine military service, if:

  • the individual states that he or she is receiving the maximum PVAO pension and was receiving it during the 12-month period before the SVB application was filed;

  • the individual states he or she is, or is not, receiving a PVAO, and the information on the SSR agrees with the statement. Consider the PVAO benefit amount shown on the SSR to agree with the amount shown by the individual if (1) the dif