BASIC (04-00)

VB 00205.215 Residence in a Treasury Barred Country

A. Policy

1. General

PL 106-169 provides that an individual cannot be a qualified individual during any month in which the individual:

  • is not a citizen or national of the United State, and

  • resides in a country to which payments to residents of that country are withheld by the Treasury Department under section 3329 of title 31, United States Code.

Treasury Department regulations currently prohibit the delivery of U.S. Government checks to, or on behalf of, individuals in the following countries:

  • Cuba

  • North Korea

It is necessary to establish that an individual is a citizen or national of the United States only to establish that this provision does not apply to him/her. If a claimant/beneficiary is not a citizen or national of the United States, his/her country of citizenship is not material.

Residence in a country listed above does not affect the qualified status of an individual who is a citizen or national of the United States. However, Treasury regulations prevent the payment of benefits to, or behalf of, such an individual while he/she is in one of these countries.

If the individual, who is not a citizen or national of the United State, is in one of these countries before the qualification determination is made, the claim will be denied.

If the individual is in one of these countries after the date of the notice of qualification, this results in the suspension of SVB payments.

NOTE: In the rare case in which the individual moves to one of these countries between the date the qualification determination is made and the month in which the individual is determined to be entitled to SVB, payments to the individual are suspended effective with the later of the following:

  • the month in which the individual moved to that country, or

  • the date of entitlement.

The determination of qualification cannot be reversed since it was correct when it was made.

2. Payments When a Beneficiary Leaves a Treasury Barred Country

A beneficiary who is a citizen or national of the United States can receive the payments that were withheld while he/she resided in the Treasury barred country if:

  • He/she goes to a country to which payments can be made, and

  • No disqualifying events occurred during those months which would prevent his/her entitlement to those benefits.

A beneficiary who is not a citizen or national of the United States cannot receive the payments that were withheld because of his/her residence in the barred country. Such residence prevented the beneficiary from being a qualified beneficiary for those months.

B. Procedure

If the claimant/beneficiary is in, or will be going to, one of the countries listed in VB 00205.215A., determine whether he/she is a citizen of national of the United States. If the SSR, MBR or SSI file do not contain this information, obtain evidence of citizenship as explained in GN 00303.300. Document the file to show the basis for the citizenship finding. If the claimant/beneficiary is a citizen or national of the United States, this provision does not apply to him. However, as noted in VB 00205.215A., no payment can be made to him/her because on the Treasury Department restriction on payments to individuals residing in these countries,

If the SSR, MBR or SSI file shows that the claimant/beneficiary is not a citizen or national of the United States, take action to deny the claim or suspend benefits as appropriate. Document the file to show the basis for determining that the claimant/beneficiary is not a citizen or national of the United States.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/1400205215
VB 00205.215 - Residence in a Treasury Barred Country - 08/15/2012
Batch run: 08/15/2012
Rev:08/15/2012