Identification Number:
GN 01719 TN 4
Intended Audience:See Transmittal Sheet
Originating Office:ORDP ODEPPIN
Title:Agreement with the United Kingdom
Type:POMS Full Transmittals
Program:All Programs
Link To Reference:
 

PROGRAM OPERATIONS MANUAL SYSTEM
Part GN – General
Chapter 017 – Totalization Benefits
Subchapter 19 – Agreement with the United Kingdom
Transmittal No. 4, 01/12/2023

Audience

OCO-OEIO: BET, BIES, BTE, CIES, CTE, DSE, FCR, FDE, PETL, RECONE, RECONR, RECOVR;
FO/TSC: CS, CS TII, CSR, CTE, DRT, DT, FR, OA, OS, RR, TA, TSC-CSR;

Originating Component

ODEPPIN

Effective Date

Upon Receipt

Background

 

Summary of Changes

GN 01719.001 Overview of Agreement With the United Kingdom

In addition to the specific changes described in the Background, we updated this section to include plain language, editorial, and minor format changes. Information from GN 01719.010 and GN 01719.115 was added to this section.

We revised the subsection titles for Heading A and B.

Subsection B - We provided the effective date of coverage for the supplementary agreement and updated the information on the effect on coverage. This information in subsection B was moved was moved from GN 01719.105.

Subsection C - We added this heading and information from GN 01719.105 on periods of coverage.

GN 01719.010 Overview of the U.K. Social Security System

We are archiving this section since the information can be found in GN 01719.001.

GN 01719.015 Coverage and Contributions Under the U.K. System

In addition to the specific changes described in the Background, we updated this section to include plain language, editorial, and minor format changes.

We revised the subsection titles for Heading A and B.

Subsection A - We revised the heading and provided information on the U.K social security benefits.

Subsection B - We revised the heading and provided information on work contributions.

GN 01719.020 U.K. Social Security Benefits

In addition to the specific changes described in the Background, we updated this section to include plain language, editorial, and minor format changes.

We revised the subsection titles for Heading A, B, and C.

Subsection A - We revised the heading and moved pension programs information under subsection B.

Subsection B -_We revised the in the information to include additional eligibility requirements for retirement, disability, and survivors benefits.

Subsection C - We added the address for requests for official information about U.K. benefits.

 

GN 01719.105 Effective Date of the U.S. - U.K. Agreement

We are archiving this section since we moved the information to GN 01719.001.

GN 01719.110 Scope of the U.S. - U.K. Agreement

In addition to the specific changes described in the Background, we updated this section to include plain language, editorial, and minor format changes.

We revised the subsection titles for Heading A and B.

GN 01719.115 Definition of U.K. Territory

We are archiving this section since the information can be found in GN 01719.001.

GN 01719.120 U.S. Totalization Benefits Under the U.K. Agreement

In addition to the specific changes described in the Background, we updated this section to include plain language, editorial, and minor format changes.

We revised the subsection titles for Headings A,B, and C.

Subsection A- We revised this section to include FO and DIO responsibilities.

Subsection C- We added cost of living adjustment (COLA) information from GN 01719.135.

Subsection D- We added subsection D to include totalization policy references.

GN 01719.125 Eligibility for U.K. Retirement and Survivors Benefits Under the Agreement

In addition to the specific changes described in the Background, we updated this section to include plain language, editorial, and minor format changes.

We revised the subsection titles for Headings A, B, and C.

We removed subsection D. References were added under subsection C.

 

GN 01719.130 Eligibility for U.K. Disability Benefits Under the Agreement

In addition to the specific changes described in the Background, we updated this section to include plain language, editorial, and minor format changes.

We revised the subsection titles for Headings A, B, and C.

GN 01719.135 Exportability of U.K. Benefits and Cost-of-Living Increases

We are archiving this section. Information can be found in GN 01719.120.

 

GN 01719.140 Exception to Section 202(t)(1) Alien Nonpayment Provision under the U.K. Agreement

In addition to the specific changes described in the Background, we updated this section to include plain language, editorial, and minor format changes.

We revised the subsection titles for Heading A, B, and C.

Subsection A - We revised section and and moved exception for non-U.S. citizen dependents and survivors to subsection B.

Subsection C - We revised section by adding additional information from GN 01719.145 on the exception to Section 202(t)(11).

Subsection D - We added this references section and incorporating additional policy references

GN 01719.145 Exception to Section 202(t)(11) Alien Nonpayment Provision under the U.K. Agreement

We are archiving this section since we moved information to GN 01719.140.

 

GN 01719.150 Filing Appeals of Decisions on U.S. or U.K. Claims

In addition to the specific changes described in the Background, we updated this section to include plain language, editorial, and minor format changes.

We revised the subsection title for Heading A.

Subsection B- We revised the format and added additional reference GN 01702.505.

 

GN 01719.205 Evidence Required for U.S. Totalization Benefits Under the U.K. Agreement

We are archiving this section since we moved information to GN 01719.210.

GN 01719.210 Developing Evidence in Claims for U.K. Benefits

In addition to the specific changes described in the Background, we updated this section to include plain language, editorial, and minor format changes.

We revised the subsection title for Heading A, B,, C, D, E, and F.

Subsection A - We revised section to include evidence requirements for U.K. benefits.

Subsection B - We revised section to provide information on which applications are accepted under the agreement with the U.K.

Subsection C - We revised section to provide instruction on using evidence previously submitted in a claim for U.S. benefits.

Subsection D - We revised this section by incorporating additional entitelment factors for U.K. retirement, survivors, and disability benefits.

Subsection E - We revised this section and provided information on accepting and developing evidence for U.K. benefits.Added information from GN 01719.205.

Subsection F - We revised section by providing information on developing medical evidence for disability claims and adding mailing address for OEIO.

Subsection G- We revised section by providing additional policy references.

 

GN 01719.215 Application for Benefits Under the U.K. Agreement

In addition to the specific changes described in the Background, we updated this section to include plain language, editorial, and minor format changes.

We revised the subsection title for Heading A, B, AND C.

Subsection A - We added special U.K application forms to this section and the link to the Totalization Benefits Resource Kit..

Subsection B - We provided more information on using the MCS version of Form SSA-2490-BK.

Subsection C - We provided instruction for determining the required application screens in MCS.

Subsection D- We moved information from GN 01719.220 to this section, to include additional information on applications for U.K. benefits.

Subsection E- We added this section and provided additional policy references.

 

GN 01719.220 Additional Applications for U.K. Benefits

We are archiving this section since we moved information to GN 01719.215.

Conversion Table
Old POMS ReferenceNew POMS Reference
GN 01719.010GN 01719.001
GN 01719.105GN 01719.001
GN 01719.115GN 01719.001
GN 01719.130GN 01719.120
GN 01719.145GN 01719.140
GN 01719.205GN 01719.210
GN 01719.220GN 01719.215

GN 01719.001 Overview and Effective Date of the Totalization Agreement with the United Kingdom (U.K.)

The U.K. social security system, known as “National Insurance”, operates in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.  In addition to these U.K. areas, the Agreement applies to the social security systems of the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.

A. Purpose of the U.S. - U.K. Totalization Agreement

The social security agreement between the United States and the U.K.:

  • eliminates dual social security coverage and taxation of the same work in the two countries; and

  • may permit workers (and their family members) to qualify for partial U.S. or U.K. benefits, even though they do not meet the normal insured status requirements.

B. Effective date of the U.S. - U.K. Agreement

The Agreement became effective on January 1, 1985, except for the benefits provisions in Part III, which became effective on January 1, 1998.

A Supplementary Agreement became effective on September 1, 1997. The primary purpose of the Supplementary Agreement was to remove certain restrictions in the original Agreement on the payment of U.K. disability benefits to residents of the United States. The Supplementary Agreement also included a guarantee against reductions in benefits for persons already entitled when the Supplementary Agreement entered into force and specified the Supplementary Agreement’s effective date. Finally, the Supplementary Agreement revised the definition in the original Agreement of “survivor’s benefit” in Article 1.7(d) of the Agreement to take into account contemporary changes in U.K. law.

The Administrative Agreement with the U. K. also became effective on January 1, 1985.

A Supplementary Administrative Agreement became effective on September 1, 1997. The Supplementary Administrative Agreement updated the listing of U.K. liaison agencies to reflect the contemporary designation of these bodies.

 

C. Periods of coverage

We can use periods of U.S. and U.K. social security coverage beginning January 1, 1985, to establish entitlement to U.S. or U.K. Totalization benefits. However, workers cannot receive Totalization benefits prior to January 1, 1988.

For more information on the U.K. social security system, visit https://www.ssa.gov/international/agreement_descriptions.html#descriptions.

To find out how the Agreement eliminates dual coverage, see sections RS 02001.351 through RS 02001.385.

GN 01719.015 Benefits, Coverage, and Contributions under the United Kingdom (U.K.) System

A. Overview of the U.K. social security system

The U.K. social security system, known as National Insurance, provides a wide range of benefits including:

  • old-age;

  • survivors; and

  • disability benefits.

B. Worker contributions

1. Compulsory contributions

U.K. social security covers residents aged 16 or older who earn above a specified income for employees or profit for self-employed persons. The National Insurance specifies the income and profit thresholds. Covered employees and their employers, as well as covered self-employed persons, are subject to compulsory contributions.

2. Voluntary contributions

Workers with gaps in their National Insurance record may pay voluntary contributions if they meet eligibility requirements set by National Insurance.

3. Assigned contributions

People who cannot work, are unemployed, or caring for someone full time may be eligible for National Insurance credits.

GN 01719.020 United Kingdom (U.K.) Social Security Benefits - Eligibility Requirements

A. Benefits included in the Agreement

Although U.K. pays many different categories of benefits, this section describes only retirement, disability, and survivors benefits. These are the only U.K benefits included within the scope of the Agreement.

B. Benefit eligibility requirements

This section provides basic eligibility requirements for U.K retirement, disability, and survivor benefits. The U.K. has two retirement benefits: the basic State Pension and the new State Pension.

1. Retirement benefits - basic State Pension

Below are the eligibility requirements for the U.K.'s basic State Pension.

 

  1. a. 

    General conditions

    • male born before April 6, 1951; or

    • female born before April 6, 1953; and

    • thirty qualifying years of National Insurance contributions or credits (i.e., contributions through employment, voluntary insurance contributions, and/or applied credits for the unemployed, sick, parents, or careers).

  2. b. 

    Spouses or civil partners - Not eligible for the basic State Pension or your basic State Pension is less than £82.45 per week.

  3. c. 

    Widow or widower - Not eligible for the basic State Pension or your basic State Pension is less than £137.60 per week.

  4. d. 

    Divorced Spouses or dissolved civil partnerships - The basic State Pension cannot be shared upon termination of a marriage or civil partnership. Divorced spouses or dissolved partners may use their former spouse or civil partner's National Insurance contributions record to increase the basic State Pension. Write to the address in GN 01719.020C for additional information on your circumstances.

    NOTE: If you reached State Pension age before April 6, 2016, you'll get the State Pension under the old rules instead.

2. Retirement benefits - new State Pension

Below are the eligibility requirements for the U.K.'s new State Pension.

 

  1. a. 

    General conditions

    • male born on or after April 6, 1951; or

    • female born on or after April 6, 1953; and

    • ten years of qualifying National Insurance contributions or credits, (i.e., contributions through employment, voluntary insurance contributions, and/or applied credits for the unemployed, ill, parents, or careers).

  2. b. 

    Spouses and civil partners - Varies depending on when each member of the marriage or partnership reached State Pension age. Write to the address in GN 01719.020C for additional information on your circumstances.

  3. c. 

    Widow or widower - Varies. Write to the address in GN 01719.020C for additional information on your circumstances.

  4. d. 

    Divorced spouses or dissolved civil partnership - Varies. Write to the address in GN 01719.020C for additional information on your circumstances.

3. Disability Benefits

U.K. disability benefits, including Universal Credit, Personal Independence Payment, Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), require residence in the U.K. ESA replaced the Incapacity Benefit and Income Support effective October 27, 2008. ESA does not include a supplement for children.

Individuals who received Incapacity Benefit and Income Support prior to October 27, 2008, will continue to receive these benefits as long as they continue to satisfy the entitlement conditions. Entitlement to Industrial Injuries Disabled Benefit payments require that the work accident or event that caused a worker’s illness occurred in England, Scotland or Wales.

ESA eligibility requirements:

 

  • must be under state pension age;

  • have a disability or health condition that affects how much you work;

  • must have worked as an employee or self-employed worker;

  • must have paid enough National Insurance contributions or received sufficient National Insurance credits, usually two to three years' worth;

  • must reside in the U.K.; and

  • must provide a fit note (sometimes called ‘sick note’ or ‘doctor’s note’).

4. Survivors Benefits

The U.K. pays survivor benefits under the Bereavement Support Payment (BSP) program. BSP replaced the Widow's Pension, Bereavement Allowance, Bereavement Payment, and Widowed Parent's Allowance (WPA). WPA remains available to qualifying individuals as detailed below.

 

  1. a. 

    To qualify for BSP, the applicant must:

    • be the spouse or civil partner of a qualified individual who died in the last 21 months; and

    • filed a claim within three months of the qualified individual's death.

  2. b. 

    To qualify for WPA, the applicant must:

    • be the spouse or civil partner of a qualified individual who died before April 6, 2017 with a confirmed cause of death;

    • be a surviving spouse or partner who is under state pension age;

    • be a surviving spouse or partner who is entitled to child benefits for at least one child to whom the late spouse or partner was a parent; and

    • be the late spouse or partner of a qualified individual who paid National Insurance contributions or died as a result of an industrial accident or disease.

C. Requests for official information

Advise individuals that SSA cannot give official information about U.K. benefits. Refer those who want official information to the following address:

Pensions and Overseas Benefits Directorate
Tyneview Park
Whitley Road
Benton
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE98 1BA
ENGLAND

 

GN 01719.110 Scope of the U.S. - United Kingdom (U.K.) Agreement

A. Benefit programs included under the U.S.-U.K. Agreement

The provisions of the Agreement that permit people to qualify for benefits based on combined U.S. and U.K. coverage credits apply to the following types of benefits:

  • U.S. retirement, survivors, and disability benefits. The Agreement does not apply to U.S. Medicare benefits, or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments.

  • U.K. retirement, survivors, and disability benefits. The Agreement does not apply to other contributory benefit programs such as national health insurance.

B. Social Security taxes under the Agreement

The provisions of the Agreement that eliminate dual social security coverage and taxes apply to:

  • U.S. Social Security taxes under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) and Self-Employment Contributions Act (SECA), including the Medicare portion of those Acts; and

  • U.K. social security taxes relating to U.K. contributory benefit programs, including not only retirement, survivors, and disability benefits, but also cash sickness benefits, maternity benefits, death grants, unemployment insurance, and workmen's compensation.

C. Reference

RS 02001.350 - RS 02001.385, Agreement provisions for the elimination of dual coverage and taxation

GN 01719.120 Totalization Benefits under the U.S. - United Kingdom (U.K.) Agreement

Under the Agreement, if a Number Holder (NH) has at least six quarters of U.S. coverage, but not enough to be insured for regular U.S. benefits, the NH's credits under the U.K. Social Security system can be added to his or her U.S. coverage to permit the NH (or any dependents or survivors) to qualify for U.S. Totalization benefits.

A. Adjudicating the claim in the U.S.

1. Field office (FO) Responsibilities

When a NH does not have enough U.S. coverage to meet fully insured status, but the NH has at least six QCs, FO technicians must take an initial claim to process the insured status denial. This will automatically generate a denial notice to inform the applicant that he or she does not meet the insured status requirements based on U.S. coverage alone, and that we will request the applicant's U.K. earnings record.

The FO should route the claim to the Office of Earnings and International Operations (OEIO), Division of International Operations (DIO) at the following address:

Social Security Administration
OEIO - DIO
P.O Box 17769
Baltimore, Maryland 21235-7769
FAX number: 410-966-1861

NOTE: If a courier service is used, mail to:

Social Security Administration
Division of International Operations
6100 Wabash Avenue
Baltimore, Maryland 21215

For more information about processing Totalization insured status notices for claims for U.S. benefits, see GN 01702.315 through GN 01702.325.

2. Division of International Operations (DIO) responsibilities

DIO requests and converts U.K. periods of coverage on the U.K. earnings record to U.S. QCs before adjudicating the claim.

B. Crediting U.K. coverage

SSA will credit one U.S. QC for every 13 weeks of U.K. coverage in a calendar year. The U.K, except for Jersey, credits periods of coverage in weekly increments. Jersey coverage is credited in terms of annual contribution factors with each factor of 1.00 representing a year of coverage.

However, no credit will be given for:

  • any week in a calendar quarter that is already credited as a U.S. QC; or

  • more than four QC's for any calendar year.

C. Computing benefits in the United States

When SSA establishes U.S. insured status is established based on combined U.S. and U.K. coverage, the amount of the U.S. Totalization benefit will be determined using the computation method described in GN 01701.200.

The Agreement permits anyone who would be entitled to receive U.K. benefits in the United Kingdom to receive those benefits, along with any cost-of-living increases which apply to the benefit, while they reside in the U.S.

D. References

  • GN 01702.315, Processing Totalization Insured-Status Notices in Claims for U.S. Benefits

  • GN 01702.325, Summary of Field Office Development and Processing of U.S. Totalization Claims and Foreign Claims (Regular and Totalization)

 

GN 01719.125 Eligibility for United Kingdom (U.K.) Benefits under the United States (U.S.) - U.K. Totalization Agreement

A. Determining eligibility

The Agreement provides that the U.K. will count a worker's U.S. coverage when determining eligibility for U.K. benefits if the worker:

  • is not insured for a basic U.K. benefit based on U.K. coverage only; and

  • has at least 52 weeks (1 year) of U.K. coverage.

B. Crediting U.S. coverage

The U.K will credit 13 weeks of U.K. coverage for each U.S. quarter of coverage. However, the U.K. will not credit any week which is already a week of coverage under the U.K. system.

C. References

  • GN 01719.020, U.K. Benefit - Eligibility Requirements

  • GN 01719.215, Application for Benefits Under the U.K. Agreement

GN 01719.130 Eligibility for United Kingdom (U.K.) Disability Benefits Under the United States (U.S.) - U.K. Agreement

A. Disability benefits under the Agreement

To receive a regular U.K. disability benefit, a worker must have a specified amount of recent work credits under the U.K. system and reside in the United Kingdom. Under the Agreement, it is possible for individuals in the U.S. to receive U.K. disability benefits. The Agreement also includes provisions which modify the benefit rights of certain disabled workers who reside in the United Kingdom.

B. Benefits for claimants in the U.S.

The Supplementary Agreement, that became effective September 1, 1997, liberalizes the eligibility requirements for the payment of U.K. disability benefits to residents of the United States.

1. Before September 1, 1997

Under the benefit provisions of the original agreement, U.K. disability benefits were paid to persons in the U.S., provided the worker met all of the following conditions:

  • not entitled to regular (non-Totalization) disability benefits from the United States;

  • earned four U.S. quarters of coverage (QCs) during the two-year period preceding disability onset and had earned at least one QC since last arriving in the U.S.;

  • met the minimum coverage requirement for U.K. disability benefits at the time of departure from the U.K.;

  • had not been absent from the U.K. for more than five years since last completing a period of coverage under U.K. law, and

  • had been incapable of work for at least 52 weeks on account of sickness or disablement according to the relevant provisions of U.K. law.

2. After August 31, 1997

Under the more liberal provisions of the Supplementary Agreement, U.K. disability benefits may be paid to a person in the U.S. if he or she:

  • paid contributions equivalent to about one year of coverage under U.K. law, and

  • paid or been credited with U.K. contributions equivalent to a year of coverage in each of the last two years before disability onset, or has two quarters of U.S. coverage in each of those years.

A person who meets these requirements and is not receiving a U.S. disability benefit will receive the full U.K. benefit. If the person is receiving a U.S. disability benefit (either a regular or Totalization benefit), only a partial U.K. benefit will be paid in proportion to the duration of the person's U.K. coverage.

C. Benefits for claimants in the U.K.

1. Before September 1, 1997

Under the original agreement, a person who had worked in both the U.S. and the U.K. and who satisfied the normal eligibility requirements for U.K. disability benefits could receive those benefits, provided the person:

  • not entitled to regular (non-Totalization) disability benefits from the U.S., or

  • if entitled to regular U.S. disability benefits, resided in the U.K. for at least five years preceding disability onset.

2. After August 31, 1997

Under the Supplementary Agreement, a person who meets the normal eligibility requirements for U.K. disability benefits and who receives regular U.S. disability benefits will be able to qualify for partial U.K. disability benefits without regard to the duration of their U.K. residence.

 

GN 01719.140 Exception to Alien Nonpayment Provision (ANP) under the United States (U.S.) - United Kingdom (U.K.) Totalization Agreement

A. Exemption for certain non-U.S. citizen beneficiaries residing in U.K.

Section 202(t)(1) of the Social Security Act provides that certain non-U.S. citizen beneficiaries will have their benefits suspended once they have been outside the U.S. for more than six consecutive calendar months, unless they meet an exception.

One such exception is in section 233(c)(2) of the Act. As explained in GN 01701.150A.1, certain non-U.S. citizen beneficiaries who would otherwise be subject to suspension under section 202(t)(1) are exempt from suspension if they reside in a country with which the United States has a Totalization agreement. This exemption applies to residents of U.K. who receive regular retirement, survivors, or disability benefits, as well as those who receive Totalization benefits.

B. Exception for non-U.S. citizen dependents and survivors who meet an exception to the ANP

If a claimant who does not meet another exception to the ANP alleges residence in the United Kingdom, the field office (FO) should develop for the following:

  • residence status; and

  • refugee or stateless person status, if the claimant alleges such status, or in the case of an auxiliary or survivor it is alleged that the worker is (or was at the time of death) a refugee or stateless person; or

  • citizenship of the worker, if a dependent or survivor alleges that the worker is (or was at the time of death) a U.S. or U.K. citizen.

C. Development for dependents and survivors

The FO should develop for U.K. citizenship and residence status for a non-U.S. citizen dependent or survivor.

Generally, we do not pay benefits to dependents and survivors who have been outside the United States for more than six months and who first became eligible for the benefits after 1984 (P.L. 98-2 section 340), unless they satisfy certain U.S. residency requirements (five-year residency rule).

This requirement is based on the provisions of section 202(t)(11) of the Social Security Act. During this five-year residency, the dependent or survivor must have been in a family relationship with the number holder (NH). If a non-U.S. citizen dependent or survivor does not meet the five-year residency requirement and alleges U.K citizenship, develop for U.K. citizenship or residence status.

Section 202(t)(11)(E) of the Act exempts citizens or residents of a country with which the United States has a Totalization agreement from the five-year U.S. residency requirement, unless the agreement includes a limitation on the exemption. The U.S.- U.K. agreement does not contain a limitation on this exemption.

D. References

  • GN 01701.150, Alien Nonpayment Exemptions under Totalization Agreements

  • GN 01702.220, Evidence of Citizenship for Beneficiaries Living Outside the United States

  • GN 01702.230, Evidence if Residence

  • RS 02610.001, Alien Non-Payment Provisions

  • RS 02610.015, Status of Countries for Alien Nonpayment Provision (ANP) Exceptions Based on Citizenship

  • RS 02610.025, 5 Year Residency Requirement for Alien Dependents/ Survivors Outside the United States (U.S.)

  • RS 02610.030, 5 Year Residency Requirements for Spouses, Natural Child, Adopted Child, and a Parent

GN 01719.150 Filing Appeals of Decisions on United States (U.S.) or United Kingdom (U.K.) Claims

A. Filing Appeals of Decisions on U.S. or French Claims

The Agreement provides that persons who wish to appeal a decision on a claim for U.S. or U.K. benefits may file the appeal with either country.

B. Reference

  • GN 01702.500, Filing Appeals of Decisions on U.S. or Foreign Claims

  • GN 01702.505, Representation of Applicants in Totalization Claims

GN 01719.210 Developing Evidence and Establishing Entitlement Factors in Claims for United Kingdom (U.K.) Benefits

A. Evidence Requirements

When a person files for United States (U.S.) Totalization benefits under the agreement with the U.K., the applicant must submit the same evidence that would be necessary to establish a claim for regular retirement, survivors, or disability insurance (non-Totalization) benefits. The applicant must submit the evidence noted in GN 01702.200-GN 01702.230 when claiming Totalization benefits from the United States.

B. SSA accepts application for benefits

Under the agreement with the U.K., the Social Security Administration (SSA) will accept applications for both regular and Totalization benefits on behalf of the U.K. SSA also provides limited assistance in obtaining evidence that U.K needs to support the claim.

C. Using evidence previously submitted in a claim for U.S. benefits

The U.K. may use evidence that SSA uses to establish a factor of entitlement for U.S. Social Security benefits to establish the same factor for U.K. benefits. Consequently, it is unnecessary for the applicant to submit additional evidence to document a factor of entitlement for U.K. benefits when that factor has already been verified for SSA purposes.

D. Entitlement factors for U.K. retirement, survivors, and disability benefits

In addition to insured status, evidence of the following it required to support the application for U.K. benefits.

1. Required evidence when filing an application for retirement benefits

The entitlement factors which must be established for U.K. retirement claims are:

  • age of worker;

  • age of wife and marriage, if wife's benefit or supplement claimed;

  • age of divorced spouse and divorce, if divorced spouse's benefit claimed; and

  • age and relationship of child, if child's supplement claimed.

2. Required evidence when filing an application for survivors benefits

The entitlement factors which must be established for U.K. survivors claims are:

  • death of worker

  • age of claimant

  • marriage, if widow's/widower's benefits claimed; and

  • age and relationship of child, if child's supplement claimed.

3. Required evidence when filing an application for disability benefits

The entitlement factors which must be established for U.K. disability claims are:

  • age of worker;

  • degree of disability (medical evidence);

  • marriage, if wife's supplement claimed;

  • divorce, if divorced wife's benefit claimed; and

  • age and relationship of child, if child's supplement claimed.

E. Accepting and developing evidence for U.K. benefits

Take the following actions when developing evidence to support claims for U.K. benefits.

1. Researching the types of evidence

 

2. Accepting Evidence

The applicant must submit the evidence noted in GN 01702.200 - GN 01702.230 whenever Totalization benefits are claimed from the U.K.

  • SSA accepts any medical evidence the applicant wishes to submit.

  • If the applicant does not want to release an original document, photocopy the evidence and certify the copy.

  • Do not attempt to secure evidence for the applicant or offer advice as to what types of evidence the U.K. may need.

  • Send all submitted medical evidence and the claims file to Office of Earnings and International Operations (OEIO), Division of International Operations (DIO) at the following address:

    Social Security Administration
    OEIO-DIO
    P.O. Box 17769
    Baltimore, MD 21235-7769
    USA

    If a courier service is used, mail to:

    Social Security Administration
    Division of International Operations
    6100 Wabash Avenue
    Baltimore, MD 21215

  • Complete the Modernized Development Worksheet (MDW) screen to show the date the FO sent the U.K. claim to DIO. Input "Totalization" as the ISSUE.

  • Inform the applicant that the responsible U.K. agency will contact him or her directly to obtain any additional documents or evidence needed to make a determination.

    CAUTION: Do not hold claims for U.K. benefits for prolonged periods pending receipt of evidence. If an applicant is unable to obtain needed evidence within a reasonable time, transmit the claim to the DIO without the evidence. Advise the applicant that the responsible U.K. agency will contact him or her directly to obtain any needed evidence.

    NOTE: Applicants filing for Totalization benefits from one of the special occupational systems in U.K. will need to establish the type of work the number holder (NH) performed in the United States. If the applicant asks for guidance, recommend that he or she obtain a statement from the NH's employer showing the type of occupation and the dates of employment in that occupation.

 

3. Documenting the File

Document the file to show when a factor of entitlement for a U.K. benefit has already been verified for a U.S. claim.

a.  Concurrent Title II claims

  • Send relevant evidence with the U.K. claim to the Program Service Center (PSC) of jurisdiction; and

  • Electronically send a certified photocopy of the relevant evidence with the U.K. claim to DIO.

b. Prior Title II claims

Attach a Master Beneficiary Record (MBR) printout with the U.K claim sent to DIO to reflect which factors, other than disability, have been verified in a prior file.

4. Obtaining the Number Holder's (NH) U.S. earnings record

Obtain the NH's U.S. earnings record in all claims for U.K. benefits when the applicant is filing for both U.S. and U.K benefits. You can complete the Modernized Claims System (MCS) screens. The MCS screens will automatically generate a separate earnings record for the U.K. claim.

When a claimant files for U.K. benefits only, which is a MCS exclusion, request an Information/Certified Earnings Record (ICERS) per MS 02101.004.

Obtain proof of lag earnings (unposted paid earnings in the current or preceding year through the quarter of attainment of age 65 if the NH is a man or the quarter of attainment of age 60 if the NH is a woman). *For proof of lag earnings, see RS 01404.005 and RS 01404.018. For proof of lag self-employment earnings, see RS 01804.100

F. Developing medical evidence for disability claims

In addition to taking the actions in GN 01719.210E., take the following actions when developing medical evidence for U.K. disability claims.

1. U.K. Benefits Only

  • Accept any medical evidence the applicant wishes to submit. Do not attempt to secure evidence for the claimant or offer advice as to what types of evidence are needed by the United Kingdom.

  • Send all medical evidence along with the claims file to DIO at the following address:

    Social Security Administration
    OEIO - DIO
    P.O Box 17769
    Baltimore, Maryland 21235-7769
    USA

    See GN 01702.310 for more information on routing claims for U.S. Totalization benefits.

  • Complete the Modernized Development Worksheet (MDW) screen to show the date the field office sent the U.K. claim to DIO. Show "Totalization" as the ISSUE.

  • Transmit the file without medical evidence if it is not readily available; and

  • Advise the claimant that the U.K. agency will contact him or her, if necessary, to obtain required evidence.

2. U.K. Benefits and Concurrent Title II Claim

Follow the instructions in GN 01702.400 - GN 01702.415 to process claims for U.K. disability benefits and concurrent Title II disability claims.

G. References

  • GN 00301.105, Certification of Evidence for Totalization Claims

  • GN 00302.000, Proof of Age

  • GN 00304.000, Proof of Death

  • GN 00305.000, Proof of Marital Relationship

  • GN 00306.000, Child Relationship and Dependency

  • GN 01702.110, Application for Benefits Under a U.S. International Social Security (Totalization) Agreement (Form SSA-2490-BK)

  • GN 01702.310 - GN 01702.525, Actions necessary when applicant indicates work in U.K. on U.S. application

  • GN 01702.400, Developing Medical Evidence in Claims for U.S. Totalization Disability Benefits

  • GN 01702.415, Development of Medical Evidence and Routing of Claims for Foreign Disability Benefits

  • GN 01719.215, Application for Benefits Under the U.K. Agreement

  • MS 02101.004, Informational/Certified Earnings Records – Totalization (ICIC)

  • MS 03507.001, Introduction to SSA-2490 - Overview

  • MS 03509.011, Totalization (TOTL)

  • RS 00205.350, Determining Full-Time Attendance (FTA)

  • RS 01301.000, Living With, Contributions and One-Half Support

 

GN 01719.215 Application for Benefits under the United Kingdom (U.K.) Agreement

A. Filing for benefits using multiple application forms

1. Totalization benefits only - Form SSA-2490-BK

When an applicant files for U.S. Totalization benefits under the U.S. - U.K. Agreement, the field office (FO) must complete Part I and Part II of Form SSA-2490-BK (Application For Benefits Under A U.S. International Social Security Agreement) using the appropriate Modernized Claim System (MCS) screens. The FO must also complete the appropriate retirement, survivors, or disability insurance application(s).

2. U.S. Totalization and U.K. benefits - Special U.K. application form

An individual who wishes to file for both U.S. Totalization benefits and U.K. benefits must complete Part I and Part II of Form SSA-2490-BK, the appropriate retirement, survivors or disability insurance application(s) and Form SSA-1278 (Request for Payment of Reimbursable Expenses under the U.S.A. - United Kingdom Agreement on Social Security).

You can access the special U.K. form in the Totalization Benefits Resource Kit online.

NOTE: When an applicant is filing for regular (non-Totalization) benefits from the U.S. and benefits from the U.K. (regular or Totalization), it is not necessary to complete the SSA-2490. However, the Modernized Claims System (MCS) will not allow clearance of the claim for U.S. benefits until the path for the SSA-2490 is entered. To clear the U.S. claim, complete only the first (FINF) screen in the SSA-2490 path. This will release the claim for U.S. benefits for award or denial. The claim for U.K. benefits should then be completed using the U.K. forms described in GN 01719.215C.

B. Using the Modernized Claims System (MCS) version of Form SSA-2490-BK

NOTE: It is not necessary to take an SSA-2490-BK in claims for U.S. auxiliary benefits in life cases or in survivor cases where there was a previously approved award in a life case since this application would have been completed previously in connection with the NH's claim.

1. When to use the MCS version

Form SSA-2490-BK is available through MCS. Use the MCS version only when the NH is filing for:

  • U.S. retirement or disability Totalization benefits only; or

  • U.S. retirement or disability benefits (regular or Totalization) and concurrently for U.K. benefits.

2. When not to use the MCS version

Do not use the MCS version of the Form SSA-2490-BK when the applicant is filing for:

  • U.K. benefits only; or

  • U.S. or U.K. survivors benefits.

Use the paper or electronic Form SSA-2490-BK for Totalization survivor claims. For instructions on how to complete the SSA-2490-BK, see GN 01702.110.

If there is an existing U.S. Totalization life claim award, do not take an SSA-2490-BK in claims for U.S. auxiliary benefits or survivor claims.

C. Determining the required application screens on MCS for Totalization benefits

Use the following information to determine which application screens to complete when taking claims for U.S. Totalization benefits under the agreement with the U.K.

1. Retirement or disability claims

In retirement or disability claims, complete the appropriate retirement or disability benefit MCS application screens, the TOTALIZATION (TOTL) screen (see MS 03509.011), and the SSA-2490 screens (see MS 03507.001).

2. Survivors claims

In survivors claims, complete the appropriate MCS application screens, the TOTALIZATION (TOTL) screen (see MS 03509.011), and Part I and Part II of the paper or electronic Form SSA-2490-BK.

D. Applications for U.K. benefits

1. The application process

Along with the Form SSA-2490-BK, an applicant for U.K. benefits must complete one or more special U.K. application forms. The form(s) required vary depending on the type of benefit claimed.

FOs do not take the special U.K. application forms. After receiving an application for U.K. benefits filed with SSA, the U.K. agency mails the appropriate U.K. application forms directly to the applicant. The U.K. agency instructs the applicant to complete the forms and mail them directly to the U.K. agency with any required evidence needed in the application process.

2. Applicant brings U.K. special application forms to the FO

If an applicant brings any U.K. application forms to the FO, the FO should:

  • Accept, photocopy, and certify the photocopied application; and

  • Photocopy and certify any additional documents (evidence) the U.K. agency requested the applicant to include with the U.K. claim; and

  • Request an "Informational/Certified Earnings Record" (ICERS) as described in MS ICERS 02101.004; and

  • Return to the applicant any original evidence documents and the certified photocopy of the application; and

  • Send the original U.K application and any certified photocopies or additional claims material to the Office of Earnings and International Operations (OEIO), Division of International Operations (DIO) in Baltimore at the following address:

    Social Security Administration
    OEIO - DIO
    P.O. Box 17769
    Baltimore, Maryland 21235-7769
    FAX number: 410-966-1861

    NOTE: If a courier service is used, mail to:

    Social Security Administration
    Division if International Operations
    6100 Wabash Avenue
    Baltimore, Maryland 21215

 

E. References

  • GN 01702.110, Application for Benefits Under a U.S. International Social Security (Totalization) Agreement (Form SSA-2490-BK)

  • GN 01702.310, Routing of Claims for U.S. Benefits Involving Totalization

  • GN 01702.315, Processing Totalization Insured - Status Notices in Claims for U.S. Benefits

  • MS 03507.001, Introduction to SSA-2490 - Overview

  • MS 03509.011, Totalization (TOTL)


GN 01719 TN 4 - Agreement with the United Kingdom - 1/12/2023