Identification Number:
GN 01705 TN 7
Intended Audience:See Transmittal Sheet
Originating Office:ORDP ODEPPIN
Title:Agreement With Italy
Type:POMS Transmittals
Program:All Programs
Link To Reference:
 

PROGRAM OPERATIONS MANUAL SYSTEM
Part GN – General
Chapter 017 – Totalization Benefits
Subchapter 05 – Agreement With Italy
Transmittal No. 7, 04/05/2021

Audience

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

Originating Component

ODEPPIN

Effective Date

Upon Receipt

Background

The Office of International Programs (OIP), the component responsible for negotiating and implementing bilateral Social Security agreements, has been dis-banded and has merged into various components within SSA. The totalization negotiation and implementation workloads have been merged into the previous Office of Data Exchange and Policy Publications to form the new component named the Office of Data Exchange, Policy Publications, and International Negotiations (ODEPPIN). The certificate of coverage workload has been transferred to the Office of Earnings and International Operations within the Office of Central Operations. Accordingly, we are revising existing POMS sections to account for new component names, addresses, and workload processes, etc. We also updated the instructions to meet the Agency's plain language requirements.

 

Summary of Changes

GN 01705.001 Overview of the Totalization Agreement with Italy

In addition to the specific changes listed below, we the updated title. We edited the language (plain language), and made editorial and minor format changes.

Subsection A - We revised the heading, and updated the language.

Subsection B - We revised the heading, and updated the language.

GN 01705.010 Overview of the Italian Social Security System

In addition to the specific changes listed below. We edited the language (plain language), and made editorial and minor format changes.

We created subsection A, and updated the language.

We created subsection B, and updated the language.

GN 01705.015 Coverage and Contributions under the Italian Social Security System

In addition to the specific changes listed below, we updated the title. We edited the language (plain language), and made editorial and minor format changes.

Subsection A - We revised the heading, and updated the language.

Subsection B - We revised the heading, and updated the language.

GN 01705.020 Italian Social Security Benefits Eligibility Requirements

In addition to the specific changes listed below, we updated the title. We edited the language (plain language), and made significant editorial and format changes.

Subsection A - We revised the heading, and updated the language.

Subsection B - We revised the heading, and updated the language.

Subsection D - This is a new subsection that addresses survivor benefits.

Subsection E - This is a new subsection that addresses contact information.

GN 01705.105 Effective Date of the U.S - Italian Agreement

In addition to the specific changes listed below, we updated the title. We edited the language (plain language), and made editorial and minor format changes.

GN 01705.110 Scope of Italian Agreement

In addition to the specific changes listed below. We edited the language (plain language), and made editorial and minor format changes.

Subsection A - We revised the heading, and updated the language.

Subsection B - We revised the heading, and updated the language.

GN 01705.120 U.S. Totalization Benefits under the Agreement with Italy

In addition to the specific changes listed below, we updated the title. We edited the language (plain language), and made editorial and minor format changes.

Subsection A - We revised the heading, and updated the language.

Subsection B - We revised the heading, and updated the language.

Subsection C - We revised the heading, and updated the language.

Subsection D - We revised the heading and updated the language.

GN 01705.125 Eligibility for Italian Benefits under the Agreement

In addition to the specific changes listed below, we edited the language (plain language), and made editorial and minor format changes.

Subsection A - We revised the heading, and updated the language.

Subsection B - We revised the heading, and updated the language.

GN 01705.130 Recomputation of Italian Totalization Benefits

In addition to the specific changes listed below. We edited the language (plain language), and made editorial and minor format changes.

Subsection A - We revised the heading, and updated the language.

Subsection B - We revised the heading, and updated the language.

Subsection C - We revised the heading, and updated the language.

GN 01705.140 Exception to Alien Nonpayment Provision under Italian Agreement

In addition to the specific changes listed below, we updated the title. We edited the language (plain language), and made editorial and minor format changes.

Subsection A - We revised the heading, and updated the language.

Subsection B - We revised the heading, and updated the language.

GN 01705.145 Exception to Section 202(t)(11) Alien Nonpayment Provision under Italian Agreement

This section is being archived.

GN 01705.150 Filing Appeals of Decisions on U.S. or Italian Claims

In addition to the specific changes listed below, we edited the language (plain language), and made editorial and minor format changes.

Subsection A - We revised the heading, and updated the language.

Subsection B - We revised the heading, and updated the language.

GN 01705.205 Evidence Required for U.S. Totalization Benefits

This section is being archived.

GN 01705.210 Developing Evidence and Establishing Entitlement Factors in Claims for Italian Benefits

In addition to the specific changes listed below, we updated the title. We edited the language (plain language), and made editorial and minor format changes.

Subsection A - We revised the heading, and updated the language.

Subsection B - We revised the heading, and updated the language.

GN 01705.211 Additional Evidence Requirements for Italian Benefits

This section is being archived.

GN 01705.212 Deemed Periods of Coverage under the Italian System

In addition to the specific changes listed below, we edited the language (plain language), and made editorial and minor format changes.

Created subsection A and added updated language.

Created subsection B and added updated language.

GN 01705.213 Representative Payee and Legal Guardians under the Italian System

In addition to the specific changes listed below, we updated the title. We edited the language (plain language), and made editorial and minor format changes.

Subsection A - We revised the heading, and updated the language.

Subsection B - We revised the heading, and updated the language.

GN 01705.214 Evidence of Italian Military Service

In addition to the specific changes listed below, we edited the language (plain language), and made editorial and minor format changes.

Subsection A - We revised the heading, and updated the language.

Subsection B - We revised the heading, and updated the language.

GN 01705.215 Applications for Benefits under the Italian Agreement

In addition to the specific changes listed below, we edited the language (plain language), and made editorial and minor format changes.

Subsection A - We revised the heading, and updated the language.

Subsection B - We revised the heading, and updated the language.

GN 01705.220 Additional Applications for Benefits under the Agreement with Italy

In addition to the specific changes listed below, we updated the title. We edited the language (plain language), and made editorial and minor format changes.

Subsection A - We revised the heading, and updated the language.

Subsection B - We revised the heading, and updated the language.

GN 01705.225 Requests for Status of Applications for Italian Benefits

This is a newly created section.

We included information detailing how the Division of International Operations (DIO) should forward information about Italian claims.

We also added instructions on how to annotate the Modernized Development Worksheet (MDW).

GN 01705.225 Requests for Status of Applications for Italian Benefits

This is a newly created section.

We included information detailing how the Division of International Operations (DIO) should forward information about Italian claims.

We added instructions on how to annotate the Modernized Development Worksheet (MDW).

 

Conversion Table
Old POMS ReferenceNew POMS Reference
GN 01705.145GN 01705.140
GN 01705.205GN 01705.210
GN 01705.211GN 01705.210

GN 01705.001 Overview of the Totalization Agreement with Italy

A. Introduction to the U.S - Italian Totalization agreement

The social security agreement between the United States and Italy:

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

  • Permits workers who do not meet the normal insured status requirements (and their family members) to qualify for partial U.S. or Italian benefits; and

  • Permits entitlement to benefits based on a combination of periods of coverage earned in the United States and Italy.

B.  Purpose of the U.S. - Italian Totalization agreement instructions

This subchapter provides:

  • Information about the Italian social security system; and

  • Eligibility requirements for benefits under the Italian social security system and under the agreement; and

  • Instructions on how to take and process claims for both U.S. and Italian benefits filed under the agreement.

NOTE: For more information about how the agreement eliminates dual coverage, see sections RS 02001.050 through RS 02001.055.

GN 01705.010 Overview of the Italian Social Security System

Italy has an extensive social security (previdenza sociale) system that covers most people. The Italian social security system provides a wide range of benefits including retirement, survivor, and disability benefits.

To qualify for Italian benefits, a worker must meet minimum coverage or current work requirements that vary depending on the type of benefit.

Benefit amounts are based on:

  • The length of time the worker contributed to the Italian system; and

  • The level of his or her earnings.

GN 01705.015 Coverage and Contributions under the Italian Social Security System

A.  The Italian Social Security System

In general, the Italian social security system covers all people who work in Italy. The Istituto Nazionale della Previdenza Sociale (INPS) administers Italian social security, which includes several special systems for workers in specific occupational categories. Under the agreement, SSA and INPS coordinate the activities and functions of the two countries for benefits and coverage.

B. Worker Contributions

1. Compulsory contributions

Covered employees and their employers, and self-employed persons, make compulsory contributions based on a percentage of the worker's earnings.

2. Voluntary contributions

Workers may make voluntary contributions to the Italian social security system to build future benefit rights. To contribute, workers must:

  • Not be subject to compulsory contributions; and

  • Meet certain qualifying conditions.

3. Self -employment contributions

The Italian system calculates self-employed workers’ contributions based on the total earned income declared on the income tax return for the relevant year. Special provisions apply to certain categories of self-employed workers.

GN 01705.020 Italian Social Security Benefits - Eligibility Requirements

A.  Benefits included in the agreement

Although Italy pays many different categories of benefits, this section describes only the retirement, disability, and survivor's pensions. These benefits are the only Italian benefits within the scope of the agreement.

B.  Benefit eligibility requirements

This section provides basic eligibility requirements for Italian retirement, disability and survivor's benefits.

NOTE: Italy has special rules that apply to benefits for the self-employed.

1. Retirement benefits

Retirement age: 66 years and seven months. The retirement age will rise gradually based on increases in life expectancy.

Coverage as indicated below:

Workers first covered before 1996 must have at least 20 years of contributory or deemed coverage, or a combination. However, as few as 15 years of contributory or deemed coverage, or a combination, may apply for workers first covered before 1996 who agree to benefits calculation under an updated formula. For workers first insured on or after January 1, 1996, the notional account balance must be sufficient to provide a pension of at least 1.5 times the monthly old-age social allowance (assegno sociale), or the insured must reach age 70 and seven months and have at least five years of contributions, regardless of the notional account balance.

Early retirement: Males - any age, with 42 years and 10 months of coverage. Females: any age, with 41 years and 10 months of coverage. Workers first covered on or after January 1, 1996: at age 63 and seven months, with 20 years of coverage, if the calculated benefits are at least 2.8 times the monthly social welfare-based allowance. Early retirement benefits are not subject to any permanent reduction.

NOTE: Except for the self-employed, persons receiving retirement benefits must cease employment.

2.  Disability benefits

Depending on the degree of reduction in work capacity, Italy pays two different types of disability benefits, both of which are payable outside of Italy:

  • Partial disability benefits (AOI) which after three successive disability confirmations, every three years, becomes permanent; or

  • Total disability benefits.

3.  Requirements to qualify

Italy pays partial disability benefits (AOI) to persons who:

  • Have at least a one-third reduction in the capacity to perform occupationally suitable work due to a physical or mental condition or illness; and

  • Have at least five years of contributory coverage, three years of which are within the five-year period before claiming benefits.

NOTE: Since qualifying for AOI benefits does not require total disability, cessation of work activity is not required.

Italy pays total disability benefits (PI) to persons who:

  • Are age 18 or older, but younger than the normal retirement age, and assessed with a total (100%) loss of work capacity; and

  • Are totally unable to perform any work activity due to a physical or mental illness; and

  • Have at least five years of contributory coverage, three years of which are within the five-year period before claiming benefits; and

  • Cease all work activity.

C.  Dependents of disabled workers (spouse or child)

There are no supplemental benefits for dependents (spouse, children or other dependents).

D. Survivor benefits

A family maximum of 100% of the deceased worker’s calculated retirement or disability benefit amount applies.

Coverage required -

The deceased worker must have been a retirement or disability beneficiary, or must have:

  • Five years of contributory coverage, three of them earned during the five-year period prior to death, or

  • Fifteen years of contributory coverage, regardless of when earned.

1. Surviving spouse or (registered) civil partner

Eligible persons include a surviving separated spouse receiving alimony from the worker.

  • Base benefits are 60% of the deceased worker’s calculated retirement or disability benefits.

  • Benefits are also means tested based on the surviving spouse or civil partner’s earnings from work. A means test is waived for surviving spouses with children under age 18 (up to age 26 if children are students, or indefinitely if children are disabled).

  • Remarriage terminates surviving spouse's benefits, but Italy pays a termination lump-sum settlement equal to the amount of two-years of benefits.

2. Children

Up to the age of 18 (age 21 for full-time students, and to age 26 for university students). There are no age limits for disabled children.

  • Benefits are 20% of the deceased worker’s calculated retirement or disability benefit per child, or a total of 40% for three or more children. The benefit is divided by the number of children, if there is a surviving spouse or registered civil partner beneficiary. If there is no surviving spouse or registered civil partner beneficiary, or if both parents are deceased, the benefit increases to 40% per child, or 100% divided by three or more children. The benefit amount is 70% of the deceased worker’s calculated retirement or disability benefit if the only recipient is a child.

  • If the child is a minor, a student, or is disabled and lives in the household, the benefit can be combined with other benefits without any limit.

3. Parents and siblings of the deceased worker

  • With certain restrictions, surviving parents and siblings may receive benefits in the amount of 15% of the deceased worker’s calculated retirement or disability benefit per beneficiary if there are no other survivors.

  • Benefits continue indefinitely, as long as eligibility continues.

E. Contact Information

SSA cannot provide official information about Italian social security benefits. Italian social security information is available online at: https://www.inps.it.

The Italian website also provides contact information for further explanation of benefits. GN 01705.215-.225 provides information on how to file claims in the United States for Italian benefits.

GN 01705.105 Effective Date of the U.S. - Italian Agreement

Effective dates and month of entitlement

The Totalization agreement with Italy became effective on November 1, 1978. A supplementary Totalization agreement became effective on January 1, 1986, and revised several provisions of the original agreement.

Periods of U.S. and Italian social security coverage a worker earned in the United States or Italy before November 1, 1978, are usable in establishing entitlement to U.S. or Italian Totalization benefits. However, the earliest possible date of entitlement to benefits under the agreement is November 1, 1978.

GN 01705.110 Scope of the U.S. - Italian Agreement

A. Benefit programs included under the U.S. - Italian agreement

The provisions of the agreement that permit persons to qualify for benefits based on combined U.S. and Italian coverage apply to retirement, survivors, and disability benefits under each country's system. They do not apply to U.S. Medicare benefits, or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.

B. Social security taxes under the agreement

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

  • U.S. Social Security taxes (FICA and SECA taxes) including the Medicare portions of those taxes; and

  • Italian social security taxes that finance the retirement, survivors, disability, and disability. A worker exempt from Italian social security laws under the agreement is exempt from taxes that finance family allowances. A worker subject to Italian social security laws under the agreement is subject to laws imposing family allowances taxes.

C. Reference

Agreement provisions for the elimination of dual coverage and taxation, see RS 02001.055 (Scope of the U.S. - Italian Agreement).

GN 01705.120 U.S. Totalization Benefits under the U.S. - Italian Agreement

A.  Benefits qualification and claims adjudication under the agreement

Under the agreement, if a Number Holder (NH) has at least six U.S. Quarters of Coverage (QC), but not enough to receive U.S. benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) can count the NH's periods of work under the Italian social security system. These periods will permit the NH (and any dependents or survivors) to qualify for U.S. Totalization benefits. If the NH has enough QCs under the U.S. system to qualify for U.S. benefits, SSA cannot count Italian credits.

1. Field office responsibilities for processing claims under the agreement

When a NH does not have enough U.S. coverage to meet fully insured status, but the NH has at least six QCs, Field Office (FO) technicians must take an initial claim to process the insured status denial. The initial denial automatically generates a notice to inform the applicant that he or she does not meet the insured status requirement based on U.S. coverage alone. It also informs them that we will request the applicant’s Italian earnings record.

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 Italian periods of coverage on the Italian earnings record to U.S. QCs before adjudicating the claim.

B. Crediting Italian coverage under the agreement

SSA credits one U.S. QC for every thirteen weeks of Italian coverage in a calendar year, not to exceed four per calendar year.

NOTE: The Italian social security system measures coverage in weeks.

SSA does not provide credit for the following:

  • Italian coverage credited for periods before 1937; or

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

  • Any period of coverage not based on work under Italian laws.

C. Computing benefits

SSA computes the amount of the U.S. Totalization benefits using the computation method as described in GN 01701.200.

D.  References

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

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

GN 01705.125 Eligibility for Italian Benefits under the Agreement

A. Determining eligibility

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

  • Is not insured based on Italian coverage alone; and

  • Has at least 52 weeks of coverage under the Italian system.

B. Crediting U.S. coverage

Italy will credit thirteen weeks of coverage for each U.S. QC. However, Italy will not credit any week that has previously been credited as a week of coverage under the Italian system.

C. References

  • GN 01705.020 Italian Social Security Benefits - Eligibility Requirements.

  • GN 01705.215 Applications for Benefits under the U.S - Italian Agreement.

GN 01705.130 Recomputation of Italian Totalization Benefits

A. Recomputation of additional periods of coverage

Italy counts both U.S. and Italian periods of coverage when computing Totalization benefits. As a result, any additional periods of coverage the Number Holder (NH) earns in either country after initial entitlement could increase the benefit amount. Under the agreement, Italy will recompute a Totalization benefit to consider additional U.S. QCs, or additional Italian coverage and pay any greater recomputed amount.

B. Request for coverage consideration

  • A request to have Italy consider additional U.S. coverage has to be in writing; and

  • The requestor may file the request no earlier than two years after the first month of entitlement to the Italian Totalization benefit; and

  • Requestors may file subsequent requests every two years.

C. Field Office (FO) actions

When a beneficiary submits a written request to a FO for an Italian Totalization benefits recomputation:

  • Develop any lag earnings; and

  • Follow the procedure in GN 01702.310C.

GN 01705.140 Exception to Alien Nonpayment Provision under the U.S. - Italian Agreement

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

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 United States for more than six 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 Italy who receive regular retirement, survivors, or disability benefits, as well as those who receive Totalization benefits.

NOTE: Italian citizens are exempt from the Alien Nonpayment Provisions, regardless of where they reside (see RS 02610.015B). However, see C. below for information on an additional requirement and its exemption for certain dependents and survivors.

B. Development requirements for certain non-U.S. citizen beneficiaries

If a claimant who does not meet another exception to the alien nonpayment provision alleges residence in Italy, develop residence status to verify that the exemption provided by the agreement applies.

C.  Exemption for non-U.S. citizen dependents and survivors who meet an exception to the Alien Nonpayment provisions

Generally, we do not pay benefits to dependents and survivors who have been outside the United States for more than 6 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 (5-year residency rule).

This requirement is based on the provisions of section 202(t)(11) of the Social Security Act. During this 5-year residency, the dependent or survivor must have been in a family relationship with the number holder (NH).

However, 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.- Italian agreement does not contain a limitation on this exemption. Therefore:

  • Italian citizens (regardless of where they reside); and

  • Non-U.S. citizen beneficiaries who are residents of Italy meeting an exception to the Alien Non-payment Provisions, and who qualify for U.S. dependents or survivors benefits, are exempt from the five-year U.S. residency requirement.

D. Development for dependents and survivors

The Field Office (FO) should develop for Italian citizenship and residence status for a non-U.S. citizen dependent or survivor who:

  • Meets an exception to section 202(t)(1) of the Act, but

  • Does not meet the five-year residency requirement; and

  • Alleges Italian citizenship, or residence status.

E. References

  • GN 01701.150A.2 Alien Nonpayment Exemptions under Totalization Agreements.

  • GN 01702.220 - GN 01702.230 Developing Citizenship and Residence status.

  • GN 01702.225 Evidence of Status as Refugee or Stateless Person.

  • RS 02610.000 Alien Nonpayment Provisions.

  • RS 02610.010 Exceptions to Alien Nonpayment.

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

  • RS 02610.025 Five-Year Residency Requirement for Alien Dependents and Survivors Outside the United States (U.S.).

  • RS 02610.030 Five-Year Residency Requirements for Spouses, Natural Child, Adopted Child, and a Parent.

GN 01705.150 Filing Appeals of Decisions on U.S. or Italian Claims

A. Appeals policy

The agreement provides that persons who wish to appeal a decision on a claim for U.S. or Italian benefits may file an appeal with either country.

B. Reference

GN 01705.210 Developing Evidence and Establishing Entitlement Factors in Claims for U.S and Italian Benefits

A. Evidence requirements

When a person files for U.S. Totalization benefits under the agreement with Italy, he or she must submit the same evidence required to file a claim for regular retirement, survivors, or disability insurance (non-Totalization) benefits. The applicant must also submit the evidence noted in GN 01702.200 through GN 01702.230 when claiming Totalization benefits from the United States.

B. SSA accepts applications for benefits

Under the agreement with Italy, SSA accepts applications for regular and Totalization benefits on behalf of Italy. SSA also provides limited assistance in obtaining the required evidence to support the applicant's claim.

C. Using evidence previously submitted in claims for U.S. benefits

Applicants do not need to resubmit the evidence previously submitted and verified to establish factors of entitlement for U.S. Social Security benefits. The evidence previously submitted for entitlement to U.S. Social Security benefits is sufficient to establish the same factors of entitlement to Italian benefits.

D. Entitlement factors

Establish the following entitlement factors, in addition to insured status for Italian benefits:

1. All claims

  • Worker's date of birth; and

  • Worker's Italian insurance number.

2. Retirement

  • Age of worker; and

  • Family composition; and

  • Marriage status; and

  • Dates of birth of all family members; and

  • Disability status of all family members; and

  • School attendance or disability of the child, if child's supplement is claimed and the child is over age 18.

3. Survivor claims

  • Date worker died, and proof of death: and

  • Date of marriage to worker or partnership registration, (if widow(er)'s surviving spouse or divorced spouse or surviving registered or divorced registered partner's benefit claimed); and

  • Age and relationship of claimed child, and evidence that the child in attending school or is disabled and over age 18; and

  • Age and relationship of claimed parents; and

  • Disability and relationship of any claimed family members.

4. Disability claims

Entitlement factors for Italy are based on the degree of the worker's disability. Medical evidence must support the disability.

E. Developing evidence for Italian benefits

Refer to the following policy if the applicant requests guidance on the types of evidence to submit:

1. Research the types of evidence

2. Accepting evidence

SSA accepts any evidence the applicant wishes to submit. If the applicant does not want to release an original document, see below.

Follow this process to accept evidence:

  • Accept any evidence the applicant submits; and

  • Photocopy the evidence, certify the copies and return the original to the applicant. See GN 00301.105; and

  • Do not hold claims for Italian benefits for prolonged periods pending receipt of evidence; and

  • If an applicant is unable to obtain the necessary evidence within a reasonable period, transmit the claim without the evidence to the Division of International Operations (DIO) at this address:

Social Security Administration
OEIO - DIO
P.O. Box 17769
Baltimore, MD 21235-7769
USA
  • Complete the Modernized Development Worksheet (MDW) screen to show the date the FO sent the Italian claim to DIO. Show, "Totalization" as the ISSUE; and

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

3. Document the file

Document the file as follows:

  • Indicate on the Italian benefit claim file any factor of entitlement verified previously for the U.S. claim; and

  • For concurrent Title II claims, send the Title II claim and relevant evidence to the Program Service Center (PSC) of jurisdiction; and

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

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

Obtain the NH's U.S. earnings record in all claims for Italian benefits as follows:

  • When the applicant is filing for both U.S. and Italian benefits, complete the Modernized Claims System (MCS) screens; and

  • The MSC screens will automatically generate a separate earnings record for the Italian claim; and

  • When the applicant files for Italian benefits only, which is an MCS exclusion, request an Informational/Certified Earnings Record (ICERS) per MS ICERS 02101.004; and

  • Obtain proof of lag earnings (unposted paid earnings in the current or preceding year) if the applicant alleges U.S. covered work in the lag period and is filing for any Italian benefit; and

  • For proof of lag wages, see RS 01404.005 and RS 01404.018; and

  • For proof of lag self-employment income, see RS 01804.100.

F. Developing medical evidence for disability claims

In addition to the actions in GN 01705.210E, take the following actions when developing medical evidence for Italian disability claims:

1. Italian benefits only

  • Accept any medical evidence the applicant submits for Italian benefits. Do not attempt to secure evidence for the applicant or offer advice as to what types of evidence Italy may need; and

  • Send all submitted medical evidence and the claims file to OEIO at the following address:

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

NOTE: See GN 01702.310.

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

  • Advise the applicant that the Italian agency will contact him or her directly, to obtain any required evidence.

2. Italian benefits and concurrent Title II claim

To process claims for Italian disability benefits and concurrent Title II disability claims, follow the instructions in GN 01702.400 - GN 01702.415.

G. Additional Evidence Requirements for Italian Benefits

In addition to the required evidence discussed in GN 01705.210, Italy may require additional evidence as described in GN 01705.212 through GN 01705.214.

H. References

  • GN 00301.105 Certifying 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 Italy 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 01705.215 Application for Benefits under the Italian Agreement.

  • MS 02101.004 Informational/Certified Earnings Records - Totalization (ICIC).

  • MS 03507.001 Introduction to SSA-2490 - Overview.

  • MS 03509.011 Totalization (TOTL) screen.

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

  • RS 01404.005 Lag earnings.

GN 01705.212 Deemed Periods of Coverage under the Italian System

A. Credits for periods not worked in covered employment

Under certain circumstances, the Italian system grants deemed periods of contributions as insurance periods, even though such periods do not reflect work in covered employment.

If an applicant wishes to receive credit for deemed periods of Italian coverage, he or she must submit evidence to establish the deemed periods. Except for Italian military service (see GN 01705.214), there are no specific rules on what type of evidence is acceptable.

B.  Evidence SSA will accept

SSA will accept all evidence the applicant wishes to submit to support his or her claim.

GN 01705.213 Representative Payee and Legal Guardian under the Italian System

A. Representative payee and legal guardian

In cases where a person is unable to manage his or her own benefits, and he or she has a legal guardian, the Italian social security program will generally make the guardian the payee. If there is no appointed guardian, Italy accepts the Social Security Administration’s recommendation concerning the payee.

B. Representative payee and legal guardian appointment

  • If there is an appointed legal guardian, obtain proof of the legal guardian's appointment.

  • If there is no appointed legal guardian, follow the procedures in GN 00500.000 when developing for a representative payee.

GN 01705.214 Evidence of Italian Military Service

A. Deemed periods of coverage for military service

As explained in GN 01705.212.A, Italy grants deemed periods of coverage for Italian military service. All claims for Italian benefits require proof of military service that is creditable under the Italian system.

B. Military service record

  • Advise applicants that Italy requires a Foglio matricolare ecaratteristico (military service record) to document and verify military service.

  • If a Foglio matricolare ecaratteristico is not available, have the applicant sign a separate statement (not in the “Remarks” section of the application) authorizing the Istituto Nazionale della Previdenza Sociale (INPS) to obtain a complete record of military service from the Italian military authorities.

NOTE: A Foglio di congedo illimitato (discharge certificate) is not sufficient because it does not provide a complete military service record.

GN 01705.215 Applications for Benefits under the U.S. - Italian Agreement

A. Filing for benefits using multiple application forms

Form SSA-2490-BK

An applicant filing for benefits under the agreement with Italy must complete Form SSA-2490-BK (Application for Benefits under a U.S. International Social Security Agreement).

The applicant must complete this form whether the application is for benefits from the following:

  • United States; or

  • Italy; or

  • Both countries.

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

1. When to use the MCS version

Form SSA-2490-BK is available through MCS. Use the MCS version only when the Number Holder (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 Italian benefits.

2. When not to use the MCS version

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

  • Italian benefits only; or

  • U.S. or Italian survivor's 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.

NOTE: 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. Because an SSA-2490-BK was previously completed in connection with the NH's claim.

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

Use the following information to determine the application screens to complete when taking claims under the U.S. - Italian agreement for U.S. Totalization or Italian benefits.

1. U.S. Totalization benefits only

a. Retirement or disability claims

Complete the following screens:

b. Survivor claims

Complete the following screens:

  • MCS application; and

  • TOTALIZATION (TOTL) see MSOM MS 03509.011; and

  • Part I of the paper or electronic Form SSA-2490-BK.

2. Italian benefits only (regular or Totalization)

Claims for Italian benefits only (regular or Totalization) are MCS exclusions. Complete Parts I and II of the paper or electronic Form SSA-2490-BK.

3. Italian benefits (regular or Totalization) and U.S. (regular or Totalization) benefits

a. Retirement or disability claims

In retirement or disability claims, complete the following screens:

b. Survivor claims

In survivor claims, complete the following screens:

  • MCS application; and

  • TOTALIZATION (TOTL) see MSOM MS 03509.011; and

  • Parts I and II of the paper or electronic Form SSA-2490-BK.

D. References

  • MS 03507.001 Introduction to SSA-2490 - Overview.

  • MS 03509.011 TOTALIZATION (TOTL) screen

  • 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 01705.220 Additional Applications for Benefits under the U.S. - Italian Agreement

A. Forms to complete for Italian benefits

An applicant for Italian benefits must complete one or more special Italian application forms, in addition to Form SSA-2490-BK (Application for Benefits under a U.S. International Social Security Agreement). The forms will vary depending on the type of benefit.

B. Application process for Italian benefits

The Social Security Administration (SSA) Field Offices (FO) will not provide the applicant with any special Italian application forms. After receiving an Italian benefits claim filed with SSA, the Italian agency will contact the applicant directly, if necessary, and provide instructions for the applicant to complete and mail any special Italian forms directly to the Italian agency along with any additional required evidence.

C. Procedure for filing an application for Italian benefits

If an applicant wishes to file for Italian benefits and brings the special forms for Italian benefits to the FO, take the following actions:

  1. 1. 

    Accept, photocopy, and certify the application; and

  2. 2. 

    Photocopy and certify any additional documents (evidence) the Italian agency requested that the applicant included with the Italian claim; and

  3. 3. 

    Request an “Informational/Certified Earnings Record” (ICERS) as described in MS 02101.004 Informational/Certified Earnings Records - Totalization (ICIC); and

  4. 4. 

    Send the Italian application and any additional claims material to the Division of International Operations (DIO) in Baltimore MD. at the following address:

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

5. Complete the Modernized Development Worksheet (MDW) screen to show the date the FO sent the Italian claim to DIO, and show, “Totalization” as the ISSUE.

Once DIO receives the claim, they will send the claim directly to the Italian agency along with the evidence and the worker’s U.S. coverage record. DIO will annotate the MDW to show the type of claim, and the date they forwarded the claim to the Italian agency.

If an applicant wishes to file a claim for Italian benefits, see GN 01705.215 for instructions on how to accept the claim.

D. References

  • GN 01705.215 Applications for Benefits under the U.S. - Italian Agreement.

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

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

GN 01705.225 Requests for Status of Applications for Italian Benefits

A. Automatic status notice for an application for Italian benefits

When the Division of International Operations (DIO) forwards information about an Italian claim, certified copies of evidence, and a copy of the worker’s U.S. coverage record to Italy, the Benefit Earnings Technician (BET) annotates the Modernized Development Worksheet (MDW) to show the type of claim, and the date DIO forwarded the claim to the Italian agency. The system automatically generates a notice that the BET sends to the applicant.

B. Applicant requests status of an Italian claim

If an applicant contacts the Social Security Administration (SSA) for the status of his or her claim for Italian benefits, take the following actions:

1. Checking the MDW screen

Check the MDW to see if DIO sent the claim to Italy. If DIO did not complete the MDW screen, advise the applicant to write directly to DIO at the following address:

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

2. DIO completed the MDW screen

If DIO annotated the MDW indicating they forwarded the claim to the Italian agency, advise the applicant to contact the Italian agency directly. Applicants can find INPS contact and other information online at:

INPS – National Institute of Social Security

NOTE: DIO is unable to determine the status of an Italian benefits claim once a technician forwards the claim to Italy.

For more information about status requests in Totalization claims, see GN 01702.520.


GN 01705 TN 7 - Agreement With Italy - 4/05/2021