Identification Number:
GN 01729 TN 6
Intended Audience:See Transmittal Sheet
Originating Office:ORDP ODEPPIN
Title:Agreement With Austria
Type:POMS Transmittals
Program:All Programs
Link To Reference:
 

PROGRAM OPERATIONS MANUAL SYSTEM
Part GN – General
Chapter 017 – Totalization Benefits
Subchapter 29 – Agreement With Austria
Transmittal No. 6, 04/15/2021

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), which was responsible for negotiating and implementing bilateral Social Security agreements, has been disbanded and merged into various different areas of SSA.

As a result, the Totalization agreement negotiation and implementation workloads have been merged with the previous Office of Data Exchange and Policy Publications to form the new Office of Data Exchange, Policy Publications, and International Negotiations (ODEPPIN).

Additionally, the Office of Earnings and International Operations (OEIO) within the Office of Central Operations (OCO) assumed OIP's function of issuing certificates of U.S. Social Security coverage for workers posted abroad under the terms of the agreements.

Accordingly, we are revising existing POMS sections to account for new component names, addresses, and workload processes. We also updated the instructions to meet the Agency's plain language requirements.

 

Summary of Changes

GN 01729.001 Overview of the Totalization Agreement with Austria

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

Subsection A - We revised the heading.

Subsection B - We revised the heading, removed the summary of instructions, and added instructions from GN 01729.105.

Subsection C - We added this new section and incorporated instructions from GN 01729.105.

 

GN 01729.015 Benefits, Coverage and Contributions under the Austrian System

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

We revised the heading.

Subsection A - We revised the heading. We moved the information in this subsection to Subsection B. We added the benefit information from GN 01729.010 into this subsection.

Subsection B - We moved information in this subsection to Subsection C and revised the heading.

Subsection C - We moved information from Subsection B into this subsection. We revised the heading and added an example of who qualifies to make voluntary contributions.

 

GN 01729.020 Austrian Social Security Benefits – Eligibility Requirements

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

Subsection A - We moved the instructions in the section to the introduction and created a new Section A.

Subsection B - We revised the heading, provided updated information under retirement and disability benefits.

Subsection C - We revised the heading and included current terminology for survivors.

Subsection D - We revised the heading and moved the instructions from subsection E to this subsection.

Subsection E - We deleted this subsection and moved the instruction into subsection D.

 

GN 01729.110 Scope of the U.S. - Austrian Agreement

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

Subsection A - We revised the heading.

Subsection B - We revised the heading.

Subsection C - We corrected a reference citation.

 

GN 01729.120 U.S. Totalization Benefits under the U.S.-Austrian Agreement

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

Subsection A - We moved the information from this subsection into an introductory paragraph. We also moved the instructions from subsection D into this subsection.

Subsection B - We revised the heading.

Subsection C - We revised the heading.

Subsection D - We revised the heading and added the references from subsection E.

Subsection E - We deleted this section. and moved the information into subsection D.

 

GN 01729.125 Eligibility for Austrian Benefits under the U.S.-Austrian Totalization Agreement

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

Subsection A - We revised the heading.

Subsection B - We revised the heading.

Subsection C - We revised the references.

 

GN 01729.140 Exception to Alien Nonpayment Provisions (ANP) under the U.S.-Austrian Totalization Agreement

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

We streamlined GN 01729.140 and GN 01729.145 since these sections contain similar information.

We revised the heading.

Subsection A - We revised the heading and removed an obsolete sentence from the note.

Subsection B - We revised the heading.

Subsection C - We revised the heading and included information from GN 01729.145 on the exemption for dependents and survivors. We also included information on the development for dependents and survivors for Austrian citizenship or residence status.

Subsection D - We moved the references from subsection E to this subsection.

Subsection E - We deleted this section and moved the references to subsection D.

 

GN 01729.150 Filing Appeals of Decisions on U.S. or Austrian Claims

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

Subsection A - We removed this section and put the instructions into one introductory paragraph.

Subsection B - We removed this subsection and put the references in the introductory paragraph.

 

GN 01729.210 Developing Evidence in Claims for Austrian Benefits

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

We revised the heading. We also streamlined GN 01729.205 and GN 01729.210 since these sections contain similar information.

Subsection A - We revised the heading and information in this subsection to include evidence requirements from GN 01729.205.

Subsection B - We revised the heading and updated entitlement factors for Austrian benefits.

Subsection C - We revised the heading and provided an alternate address for mailing claim evidence.

Subsection D - We revised the heading and provided an alternate address for mailing disability claim evidence.

Subsection E - We moved these instructions into subsection C of these instructions.

Subsection F - We moved these instructions into subsection D of these instructions.

Subsection G - We moved the references from this subsection into subsection E of these instructions.

 

GN 01729.215 Applications for Benefits Under the Austrian Agreement

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

We revised the heading. We also streamlined GN 01729.215 and GN 01729.220 since these sections contain similar information.

Subsection C - We combined the instruction in this subsection with the instructions in subsection B.

Subsection D - We moved the instructions in this subsection into subsection C.

Subsection E - We moved the instructions in this subsection into subsection D.

 

GN 01729.225 Requests for Status of Applications for Austrian Benefits

This is a newly created section.

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

We added instructions on how to check the Paperless Processing Center (PPC).

Conversion Table
Old POMS ReferenceNew POMS Reference
GN 01729.010GN 01729.015
GN 01729.105GN 01729.001
GN 01729.145GN 01729.140
GN 01729.205GN 01729.210
GN 01729.220GN 0179.215
GN 01705.225

GN 01729.001 Overview of the Totalization Agreement with Austria

A. Purpose of the U.S.- Austria agreement

The Social Security agreement between the United States and Austria:

  • eliminates dual Social Security coverage and taxation of the same work; and

  • permits workers (and their dependents and survivors) to qualify for partial U.S. or Austrian benefits, even if they do not meet the normal insured status requirements.

B. Effective date of the U.S.- Austria agreement

The agreement with Austria became effective November 1, 1991. A supplementary agreement, which revises several provisions of the original agreement, became effective January 1, 1997.

C. Periods of coverage

We can use periods of U.S. and Austrian social security coverage a worker earned prior to November 1, 1991 to establish entitlement to U.S. or Austrian Totalization benefits. However, the earliest possible month of entitlement to such benefits is November 1991.

For more information on the Austrian social security system, visit the Social Security Programs Throughout the World website.

To find out how the agreement eliminates dual coverage, see sections RS 02001.650 through RS 02001.690.

 

GN 01729.015 Benefits, Coverage, and Contributions under the Austrian System

A. Overview of the Austrian social security system

The Austrian social security system provides a wide range of benefits including

  • survivors, and

  • old-age retirement,

  • disability benefits.

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

Austria computes benefit amounts based on the length of time the worker contributed to the Austrian system and the level of his or her earnings.

B. Types of coverage

1. Compulsory contributions

In general, Austrian social security covers all persons who work in Austria. However, not all workers contribute to every program. For example, students who work contribute only to the Worker's Compensation program and people who receive a social insurance pension contribute only to health insurance.

Covered employees, their employers, and covered self-employed persons are subject to compulsory contributions that are based on a percentage of their earnings.

2. Voluntary contributions

Austria permits people who are not subject to compulsory contributions and who meet certain qualifying conditions to make voluntary contributions to build future benefit rights (e.g., self-employed persons).

GN 01729.020 Austrian Social Security Benefits – Eligibility Requirements

Although Austria pays many different categories of benefits, this section describes only the retirement, survivors, and disability benefits. These are the only Austrian benefits included within the scope of the agreement.

A. Eligibility requirements for the workers

1. Retirement benefits

The eligibility requirements for Austrian retirement benefits are as follows:

a. Retirement or old-age benefits

 

Full benefits: 45 years of contributory and certain non-contributory coverage.

Minimum eligibility requirements to qualify:

For persons age 50 or over as of January 1, 2005, they must be age 65 for men and age 60 for women with at least:

  • 15 years (180 months) of contributory and certain non-contributory coverage within the last 30 years; or

  • 15 years of contributory and a total of 25 years of contributory and certain non-contributory coverage.

For persons not yet age 50 as of January 1, 2005 with contributory or certain non-contributory coverage on that date, they must be age 65 for men and age 60 for women, and the more favorable of the above requirements applies.

For persons not yet age 50 as of January 1, 2005 without contributory or non-contributory coverage on that date, they must be age 65 for men and age 60 for women, with at least:

  • 15 years of contributory and certain non-contributory coverage, including 7 years of contributory coverage.

NOTE: Age requirements for women will equalize with those for men over the period from 2024-2033.

b. Early retirement

  • Age 62 for men and women.

  • Age 60 for persons engaging in arduous work for at least 10 of the previous 20 years, with a total of 45 years of contributory and certain non-contributory coverage.

2. Disability benefit

  • The worker must have a minimum reduction in capacity for work of 50 percent as a result of a disability expected to last 6 months, and not be entitled to a retirement pension.

  • Workers not yet age 50 on January 1, 2014 may receive disability benefits only if permanently disabled.

  • Workers age 50 prior to 2014 may receive disability benefits subject to periodic review.

In addition, to qualify:

Persons age 50 or over as of January 1, 2005, must be age 65 for men and age 60 for women with at least:

  • 15 years of contributory and certain non-contributory coverage within the last 30 years; or

  • 15 years of contributory coverage and a total of 25 years of contributory and certain non-contributory coverage.

Persons not yet age 50 as of January 1, 2005 with at least one contributory or certain non-contributory month on that date must be age 65 for men and age 60 for women, and the more favorable of the above requirements applies.

Persons not yet age 50 as of January 1, 2005 without contributory or non-contributory coverage on that date must be age 65 for men and age 60 for women, with at least:

  • 15 years of contributory and certain non-contributory coverage, including 7 years of contributory coverage.

The disabled worker must have:

  • 5 years of contributory or certain non-contributory coverage (plus 1 month for each month after age 50) in the last 10 years (plus 2 months for each month after age 50). The maximum qualifying period is 15 years of contributory or certain non-contributory coverage within the last 30 years.

NOTE: The qualifying period is not required if disability occurs on the grounds of an employment accident or an occupational disease or before age 27 if the worker has 6 contributory or certain non-contributory months.

B. Eligibility for dependents of retired or disabled workers

1. Spouses

There is no provision for spouses’ benefits.

2. Divorced spouses

There is no provision for divorced spouses’ benefits.

3. Children

There is no provision for benefits paid to children. However, a supplement is paid to the worker for each child:

  • Under age 18, or age 27 if a student or in training; or

  • Disabled (no age limit).

C. Eligibility for survivors of retired or disabled worker

At the time of death, the deceased worker

  • must meet the same minimum coverage requirement as for retirement or old age or disability benefits.

  • must have 5 years of contributory or certain non-contributory coverage (plus 1 month for each month after age 50) in the last 10 years (plus 2 months for each month after age 50).

The maximum qualifying period is 15 years of contributory or certain non-contributory coverage within the past 30 years.

The survivor must meet the following:

1. Surviving spouse or registered (including same-sex) partner

There is no age requirement. However, if no child was born, and

  • the marriage lasted fewer than 10 years, or

  • the marriage occurred after the worker began receiving retirement or old age or disability benefits or met the requirements to qualify for those benefits. Then, the benefit may be limited to 30 months (provided the surviving spouse or registered partner is not disabled at the expiration of the 30 months).

Remarriage terminates the benefit but a one-time payment equal to 35 monthly payments is made if the surviving spouse or registered partner’s benefit was not subject to the 30-month time limit.

2. Surviving divorced spouse or dissolved registered (including same-sex) partner

The surviving divorced spouse or surviving dissolved registered partner

  • must have been receiving or been entitled to maintenance payments from the worker and

  • meet the same requirements as for surviving spouse's or surviving registered partner's benefits.

3. Surviving children

The eligibility requirements for children to receive Austrian survivors benefits are as follows:

  • Under age 18, or age 27 if a student or in training; or

  • Any age if disabled.

4. Death benefit

A one-time payment may be paid to family members if there are no monthly survivor benefits payable.

D. Requests for official information

Advise individuals that SSA cannot give official information about Austrian benefits. Refer those individuals who want official information to the Main Association of Austrian Insurance Agencies at the following address:

Bundesministerium für Arbeit, Soziales, Gesundheit und

Konsumentenschutz

Stubenring 1

1010 Vienna

AUSTRIA


GN 01729.110 Scope of the U.S.-Austrian Agreement

A. Benefit programs included

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

  1. 1. 

    U.S. retirement, survivors, and disability benefits

The agreement does not apply to U.S. Medicare benefits, or Supplemental Security Income payments.

2. Austrian retirement, survivors, and disability benefits

The agreement does not apply to other benefit programs such as sickness and accident insurance.

B. Taxes included

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 portions of those Acts; and

  • Austrian social security taxes that finance retirement, survivors, and disability benefits, as well as Austrian sickness and accident insurance.

C. Reference

Agreement provisions for the elimination of dual coverage and taxation, RS 02001.650 - RS 02001.690

GN 01729.120 U.S. Totalization Benefits under the U.S. - Austrian Agreement

Under the agreement, if a number holder (NH) has at least six U.S. quarters of coverage (QCs) but not enough to receive regular U.S. benefits, the United States can count the NH's QCs under the Austrian social security system to permit the NH (with any dependents or survivors) to qualify for U.S. Totalization benefits.

A. Adjudicating the claim in the United States

1. Field office responsibilities

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. This will automatically generate a denial notice to inform the applicant that he or she does not meet the insured status requirement based on U.S. coverage alone, and that we will request the applicant's Austrian earnings record. The FO routes the claim to:

 

 

Social Security Administration

Division of International Operations

P.O. Box 17769

Baltimore, MD 21235-7769

FAX number: 410-966-1861

Note: If courier service is used, mail to:

Social Security Administration

Division of International Operations

6100 Wabash Avenue

Baltimore, MD 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 Austrian periods of coverage on the Austrian earnings record to U.S. QCs before adjudicating the claim.

B. Crediting Austrian coverage

SSA will credit one U.S. QC for every three months of Austrian coverage in a year. (Austrian coverage is measured in months.) However, no credit will be given for:

  • Austrian coverage credited for periods prior to 1937; or

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

  • more than four QCs for any calendar year; or

  • any period of coverage not based on contributions.

 

C. Computing benefits in the United States

When SSA establishes U.S. insured status based on combined U.S. and Austrian coverage, SSA computes the amount of the U.S. Totalization benefit using the computation method described in GN 01701.200.

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 01729.125 Eligibility for Austrian Benefits under the U.S-Austrian Totalization Agreement

A. Determining eligibility

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

  • is not insured based on Austrian coverage alone; and

  • has at least 12 months of Austrian coverage.

B. Crediting U.S. coverage

Austria will credit three months of Austrian coverage for each U.S. quarter of coverage. However, Austria will not credit any month that is already credited as a month of coverage under the Austrian system.

C. References

  • GN 01729.020, Austrian Social Security Benefits - Eligibility Requirements

  • GN 01729.215, Application for Benefits Under the Austrian Agreement

GN 01729.140 Exception to Alien Nonpayment Provisions (ANP) under the U.S.-Austrian Totalization Agreement

A. Policy for applying ANP for workers

Section 202(t)(1) of the Social Security Act provides that SSA will suspend certain alien beneficiaries' benefits once they have been outside the U.S. for more than six months.

As explained in GN 01701.150A.1., certain alien 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 Austria who receive regular retirement, survivors, or disability insurance benefits, as well as those who receive Totalization benefits, provided they are:

  • Refugees or stateless persons; or

  • Alien auxiliary or survivor beneficiaries entitled on the Social Security number of a worker who is (or was at the time of death) a U.S. citizen, Austrian citizen, or refugee or stateless person.

Note: Austrian citizens are already exempt from the alien nonpayment provisions, regardless of where they reside. See RS 02610.015 for more information on ANP exceptions based on citizenship.

B. Procedure for applying ANP for workers

If a claimant who does not meet another exception to the alien nonpayment provisions appears to fall into one of the above categories and alleges residence in Austria, verify that the exemption provided by the agreement applies by developing the following:

  • Residence status;

  • 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 Austrian citizen.

C. Policy for applying ANP for dependents and survivors

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, 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 numberholder (NH).

However, Section 202(t)(11)(E) makes an exception for citizens or residents of a country with which the U.S. has a Totalization agreement unless the agreement includes a limitation on the exemption. The U.S.-Austrian agreement does not contain a limitation on this exception. Therefore, Austrian citizens, regardless of where they reside, and residents of Austria are exempt from these requirements.

If a non-U.S. citizen dependent or survivor does not meet the 5-year residency requirement and alleges Austrian citizenship, develop for Austrian citizenship or residence status.

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 of 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 01729.150 Filing Appeals of Decisions on U.S. or Austrian Claims

The agreement allows a person who wishes to appeal a decision on an adjudicated claim for U.S. or Austrian social security benefits to file the appeal with either country. See GN 01702.500GN 01702.505 for instructions on filing an appeal of a decision on U.S. or Austrian claims.

GN 01729.210 Developing Evidence in Claims for Austrian Benefits

A. Using evidence submitted in the claim for U.S. benefits

Applicants do not need to submit additional evidence to file for Austrian benefits since evidence used to establish a factor of entitlement for U.S. Social Security benefits, both regular and Totalization, is sufficient for Austria to establish the same factor for Austrian benefits.

B. Establishing entitlement factors

In addition to insured status, evidence of the following are required in support of an application for Austrian benefits.

1. Required evidence when filing an application for retirement benefits

When a worker files an application for retirement benefits, obtain the following evidence:

  • worker's date of birth;

  • worker's Austrian Insurance Number;

  • marital status;

  • family composition;

  • dates of birth of all family members; and

  • disability status of all family members.

2. Required evidence when filing an application for survivor benefits

When a person files an application for survivors benefits, obtain the following evidence:

  • worker's date of birth;

  • worker's Austrian Insurance Number;

  • date and proof of death of the worker;

  • date of marriage or partnership registration (if surviving spouse/divorced spouse or surviving registered/dissolved registered partner's benefit claim); and

  • age and relationship of child (if child's benefits claim).

3. Required evidence when filing an application for disability benefits

When a worker files an application for disability benefits, obtain the following evidence:

  • worker's date of birth;

  • worker's Austrian Insurance Number; and

  • degree of the worker's disability (medical evidence).

C. Developing evidence in support of an application for retirement, survivors, or disability benefits

Take the following actions when developing evidence to support applications for Austrian benefits;

1. Research the types of evidence

If the applicant requests guidance on the type of evidence to submit, see these references:

2. Accepting evidence

  • Accept any evidence the applicant submits.

  • Photocopy the evidence, certify the copy and return the original to the applicant. See GN 00301.105 for information about certifying evidence for Totalization claims.

  • Do not hold claims for Austrian benefits for prolonged periods pending receipt of evidence. If an applicant is unable to obtain the necessary evidence within a reasonable time, transmit the claim without the evidence to the Division of International Operations (DIO) using this address:

 

 

Social Security Administration

Division of International Operations

P.O. Box 17769

Baltimore, MD 21235-7769

FAX number: 410-966-1861

Note: If 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 Austrian claim to DIO. Show "Totalization" as the ISSUE; and

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

3. Document the file

Document the file as follows:

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

  • For concurrent Title II claims, send the claim and relevant evidence to the Program Service Center (PSC) of jurisdiction. Electronically send a certified photocopy of the relevant evidence with the Austrian claim to DIO.

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

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

  • When the applicant is filing for both U.S. and Austrian benefits, complete the Modernized Claims System (MCS) screens. The MSC screens will automatically generate a separate earnings record for the Austrian claim;

  • When the applicant files for Austrian 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 U.S. covered work in the lag period is alleged and the applicant is filing for any Austrian benefit. For proof of lag wages, see RS 01404.005 and RS 01404.018. For proof of lag self-employment income, see RS 01804.100.

D. Developing medical evidence for disability claims

In addition to taking the actions in GN 01729.210C, do the following actions when developing medical evidence for Austrian disability claims:

1. Austrian benefits only

  • Accept any medical evidence the applicant submits when the claim is for Austrian benefits only. Do not attempt to secure evidence for the applicant or offer advice as to what types of evidence Austria may need.

  • Send any medical evidence submitted and the claims file to DIO at the following address:

 

 

Social Security Administration

Division of International Operations

P.O. Box 17769

Baltimore, MD 21235-7769

FAX number: 410-966-1861

Note: If 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 Austrian claim to DIO. Show "Totalization" as the ISSUE.

  • Transmit the file without medical evidence if the evidence is not readily available. Advise the applicant that the Austrian agency will contact him or her directly to obtain any required evidence.

2. Austrian benefits and concurrent Title II claims

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

E. References

  • GN 00301.105, Certification of Evidence for Totalization Claims

  • GN 01702.200, Evidence Requirements under Totalization Agreements

  • GN 01702.205, Special Evidence Requirements for U.S. Totalization Benefits

  • GN 01702.210, Verification of Eligibility Factors by Foreign Agencies

  • GN 01702.215, Special Evidence Requirements for Claims for Foreign Benefits

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

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

  • GN 01702.230, Evidence of Residence

  • 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

  • GN 01702.320, Routing of Claims for Foreign Benefits

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

  • GN 01702.405, Associating Evidence from Prior Disability Folders

  • GN 01702.410, Routing of Claims for U.S. Totalization Disability Benefits

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

  • GN 01733.215, Application for Benefits under the Luxembourg Agreement

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

  • MS 03509.011, Totalization (TOTL)

  • RS 01404.005, Lag Period and Lag Earnings

 

 

GN 01729.215 Applications for Benefits Under the Austrian Agreement

A. Filing for benefits using multiple application forms

1. Form SSA-2490-BK

An applicant filing for benefits under the agreement with Austria must complete Form SSA-2490-BK (Application For Benefits Under a U.S. International Social Security Agreement). This is true whether the applicant is filing for benefits only from the United States, only from Austria, or from both countries.

2. Special Austrian application forms

In addition to Form SSA-2490-BK, an applicant for Austrian benefits must complete one or more special Austrian application forms. The form(s) will vary depending on the type of benefit. Field Offices (FO) do not take these application forms. After receiving a claim for Austrian benefits filed with SSA, the Austrian agency will:

  • mail the appropriate Austrian application forms to the applicant; and

  • include instructions for the applicant to complete the forms so the applicant can mail the forms directly to the Austrian agency (along with any additional required evidence).

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

1. When to use the SSA-2490-BK in MCS

Form SSA-2490-BK (Application for Benefits under a U.S. International Social Security Agreement) is available through MCS. The MCS version of Form SSA-2490-BK is an option for filing 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 Austrian benefits.

2. When not to use the SSA-2490-BK in MCS

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

  • Austrian benefits only; or

  • U.S. or Austrian 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.

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 the NH previously completed one in connection with his or her application for benefits.

3. Completing the required SSA-2490-BK screens in MCS

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

a. U.S. Totalization benefits only

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

  • In survivor claims, complete the appropriate MCS application screens, the Totalization (TOTL) screen (see MS 03509.011) and Part I of the paper or electronic form SSA-2490-BK.

b. Austrian benefits only (regular or Totalization)

 

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

c. Austrian benefits (regular or Totalization) and U.S. benefits (regular or Totalization)

  • For retirement or disability applications, complete the appropriate MCS application screens, the Totalization (TOTL) screen (See MS 03509.011), and the SSA-2490 screens (See MS 03507.001).

  • For survivors applications, complete the appropriate MCS application screens, the Totalization (TOTL) screen (see MS 03509.011), and both parts of the two-part paper or electronic Form SSA-2490-BK.

C. Field Office (FO) procedure for processing special application form

1. The application process

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

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

2. Procedure of filing an application

If an applicant brings one of the Austrian application forms to the FO, the FO should:

  • accept, photocopy, and certify the photocopied application;

  • photocopy and certify any additional documents (evidence) the Austrian agency requested the applicant to include with the Austrian claim;

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

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

  • send the original Austrian application and any certified photocopies or additional claims material to the Division of International Operations (DIO) in Baltimore at the following address:

 

 

Social Security Administration

Division of International Operations

P.O. Box 17769

Baltimore, MD 21235-7769

FAX number: 410-966-1861

Note: If courier service is used, mail to:

Social Security Administration

Division of International Operations

6100 Wabash Avenue

Baltimore, MD 21215

 

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

D. 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

  • MS 03507.001, Introduction to SSA-2490 - Overview

  • MS 03509.011, Totalization (TOTL) screen

GN 01729.225 Requests for Status of Applications for Austrian Benefits

A. Automatic status notice for an application for Austrian benefits

When the Division of International Operations (DIO) forwards information about an Austrian claim, certified copies of evidence, and a copy of the worker’s U.S. coverage record to Austria, the Benefit Earnings Technician (BET) electronically stores the claims material in the Paperless Processing Center (PPC) system in DIO before forwarding the claim to the Austrian agency. The system automatically generates a notice that the BET sends to the applicant.

B. Applicant requests status of an Austrian claim

If an applicant states that he or she has not received notification that DIO forwarded a claim to the Austrian agency and contacts the Social Security Administration (SSA) for the status of his or her claim for Austrian benefits, take the following actions:

1. Check PPC

Check the PPC system to see if DIO sent the claim to Austria. If PPC does not show whether DIO sent the claim to Austria, 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. PPC shows DIO sent the claim to Austria

If PPC shows DIO forwarded the claim to the Austrian agency, advise the applicant to contact the Austrian agency directly. Applicants can find contact and other information online at the Main Association of Austrian Social Insurance Agencies (Hauptverband der österreichischen Sozialversicherungsträger) website.

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

NOTE: FOs are able to check PPC through the Paperless ROQS (Read Only Query System) which is accessed through iMain.

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


GN 01729 TN 6 - Agreement With Austria - 4/15/2021