Identification Number:
GN 01733 TN 5
Intended Audience:See Transmittal Sheet
Originating Office:ORDP OISP
Title:Agreement With Luxembourg
Type:POMS Transmittals
Program:All Programs
Link To Reference:
 

PROGRAM OPERATIONS MANUAL SYSTEM
Part GN – General
Chapter 017 – Totalization Benefits
Subchapter 33 – Agreement With Luxembourg
Transmittal No. 5, 08/01/2022

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 Data Exchange, Policy Publications, and International Negotiations is now responsible for negotiating and implementing bilateral Social Security agreements. Accordingly, we are revising existing Totalization POMS sections to account for new component names, addresses, and workload processes. We also updated these instructions to meet the Agency's plain language requirements.

 

Summary of Changes

GN 01733.001 Overview of Agreement with Luxembourg

In addition to the specific changes listed, we updated the title, and made editorial and minor format changes.

Sub-section A: We changed the title.

Sub-section B: We changed the title, and added new information in this sub-section.

Sub-section C: We added this new sub-section and incorporated the information from GN 01733.105.

 

GN 01733.010 Overview of the Luxembourg Social Security System

We obsoleted this section and added the information to section GN 01733.015.

 

GN 01733.015 Coverage and Contributions under the Luxembourg System

In addition to the specific changes listed, we updated the section title, and included plain language, editorial and format changes.

Sub-section A: We changed the title, and incorporated the information from section GN 01733.010.

Sub-section B: We added this sub-section. It contains the information previously contained in sub-section A, as well as information on retroactive contributions.

 

GN 01733.020 Luxembourg 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.

Sub-section D: We changed the title and added instructions for all survivors of deceased retired or disabled workers. We moved the instructions for a surviving divorced widow(er) or separated partner to sub-section E.

Sub-section E: This sub-section now includes the instructions from the existing sub-section D.

Sub-section F: We moved the instructions from sub-section E to this sub-section.

Sub-section G: We moved the instruction from sub-section F to this sub-section.

Sub-section H: We added this sub-section to provide contact instructions regarding Luxembourg benefits.

 

GN 01733.105 Effective Date of the U.S. and Luxembourg Agreement

We obsoleted this section and moved the information to GN 01733.001.

 

GN 01733.110 Scope of the U.S. and Luxembourg Agreement

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

We changed the title of this section.

Sub-section C: We removed obsolete references.

 

GN 01733.120 U.S. Totalization Benefits under the Luxembourg Agreement

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

We edited the title of this section.

Sub-section A: We changed the title of this sub-section.

Sub-section B: We changed the title of this sub-section.

Sub-section C: We changed the title.

Sub-section D: We added several references to the list.

 

GN 01733.125 Eligibility for Luxembourg Benefits under the Agreement

We updated this section to include plain language, editorial and minor format changes.

 

GN 01733.130 Recency-of-Work Requirements for Luxembourg Disability and Survivors Benefits under the Agreement

In addition to the specific changes listed, we updated this section's title and included plain language, made editorial and minor format changes.

Sub-section D: We removed this sub-section (Reference) since the reference appears in sub-section C.

 

GN 01733.140 Exception to Section 202(t)(1) Alien Nonpayment Provision under the Luxembourg Agreement

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

Sub-section A: We changed the title. We removed the NOTE since it refers to an obsolete sub-section.

Sub-section B: We changed the title. We removed the NOTE since it refers to an obsolete sub-section.

Sub-section C: We removed the references from this sub-section. We incorporated instructions from now obsolete section GN 01733.0145.

Sub-section D: This new sub-section incorporates instructions from now obsolete section GN 01733.145.

Sub-section E: The new sub-section now includes the references from the previous sub-section C.

 

GN 01733.145 Exception to Section 202(t)(11) Alien Nonpayment Provision for Dependents and Survivors under the Luxembourg Agreement

We obsoleted this section and moved the information to GN 01733.140.

 

GN 01733.150 Filing Appeals of Decisions on U.S. or Luxembourg Claims

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

Sub-section A: We changed this sub-section's heading.

Sub-section B: We added a new sub-section for references.

 

GN 01733.205 Evidence Required for U.S. Totalization Benefits under the Luxembourg Agreement

Sub-section A: We obsoleted this section and moved the information to GN 01733.210.

 

GN 01733.210 Developing Evidence in Claims for Luxembourg Benefits

In addition to the specific changes listed, we updated this section's title, and included plain language, made editorial and minor format changes.

Sub-section C: We changed sub-section C to sub-section B. We changed the title of sub-chapters 1, 2, and 3. We added detailed information on retirement benefits applications.

Sub-section D: We changed sub-section D to sub-section C. We changed the title of this sub-section.

Sub-section E: We changed sub-section E to sub-section D. We changed the title of this sub-section.

Sub-section F: We changed sub-section F to sub-section E. We added several new references.

We incorporated instructions from now obsolete section GN 01733.205.

 

GN 01733.215 Application for Benefits under the Luxembourg Agreement

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

Sub-section A: We provided a hyperlink to form SSA-2490-BK.

Sub-section B: We changed the title of sub-chapters 1 and 2, and added sub-chapter 3. We also moved the instructions from sub-section C and sub-section D to new sub-section B, sub-chapter 3.

Sub-section C: We also incorporated information from GN 01733.220 into this sub-section.

Sub-section D: We changed the title of this sub-section and moved the references to this sub-section.

Sub-section E: We deleted this sub-section.

 

GN 01733.220 Additional Applications for Luxembourg Benefits

We obsoleted this section and moved the information to GN 01733.215.

 

Conversion Table
Old POMS ReferenceNew POMS Reference
To GN 01733.015
To GN 01733.001
To GN 01733.140
To GN 01733.210

GN 01733.001 Overview and Effective Date of the Totalization Agreement with Luxembourg

A. Purpose of the U.S. - Luxembourg Agreement

The Luxembourg social security system provides a wide range of retirement, survivors and disability benefits through a two-tier social insurance program.

The Social Security Agreement between the United States and Luxembourg:

  • Eliminates dual social security coverage and taxation on the same work; and

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

  • May permit entitlement to benefits based on a combination of periods of coverage earned in the United States and Luxembourg.

B. Effective date of the U.S. - Luxembourg Totalization Agreement

The Agreement with Luxembourg became effective November 1, 1993.

C. Periods of coverage

We can use periods of U.S. and Luxembourg social security coverage a worker earned prior to November 1, 1993, to establish entitlement to U.S. or Luxembourg Totalization benefits. However, the earliest possible month of entitlement to such benefits is November 1993. The U.S. does not consider any periods of social security coverage earned before 1937.

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

To find out how the Agreement eliminates dual coverage, see sections RS 02001.750 through RS 02001.795.

GN 01733.015 Benefits, Coverage, and Contributions under the Luxembourg System

A. Overview of the Luxembourg social security system

Luxembourg provides old age (retirement), survivors, and invalidity (disability) benefits through a two-tier social insurance program.

• The first tier pays benefits proportional to the total length of time the worker works in Luxembourg. The benefit equals 1/40 of a flat-rate amount for each year of the worker’s coverage up to 40 years; and

• The second tier pays earnings-related benefits based on a percentage of the worker’s total lifetime earnings and years of coverage.

In general, Luxembourg social security covers persons working in Luxembourg through contributions.

B. Types of coverage

1. Compulsory contributions

Covered employees and their employers, as well as self-employed workers, including public sector workers who entered the labor force after December 31, 1998, must make compulsory contributions based on a percentage of the worker’s earnings.

2. Voluntary contributions

Luxembourg permits workers who are not subject to compulsory contributions, and who meet certain qualifying conditions, to make voluntary contributions to build future benefit rights.

NOTE: Separate systems cover public sector workers who entered the labor force before January 1, 1999.

3. Retroactive contributions

Retroactive contributions are possible for periods of no work or reduced work for family responsibilities if the insured:

  • Is a resident of Luxembourg; and

  • Is younger than age 65 with at least 12 months of contributions; and

  • Is not entitled to any pension.

GN 01733.020 Luxembourg Social Security Benefits - Eligibility Requirements

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

A. Eligibility requirements for the workers

1. Retirement benefits

To qualify for Luxembourg's retirement benefits, the applicant must be:

  • Age 65, with at least 10 years of compulsory or voluntary contributions; or

  • Age 60, with 40 years of coverage, including at least 10 years of compulsory, voluntary, or certain types of noncontributory periods (e.g., periods of education, child rearing, etc.); or

  • Age 57, with 40 years of compulsory contributions.

    NOTE: The old-age (retirement) pension is payable abroad.

2. Disability benefits

To qualify for Luxembourg's disability benefits, the applicant must:

  • Be under age 65; and

  • Have a disability that prevents work in the last occupation or another occupation corresponding to his or her education and skills; and

  • Contribute 12 months of the 3-year period immediately before the onset of disability.

    NOTE: Luxembourg waives the 12-month requirement if the insured is working in covered employment at the time of disability onset and the disability is due to an accident or occupational disease.

IMPORTANT: Employment may continue if the insured’s monthly earnings do not exceed one-third of the legal monthly social minimum wage. The disability pension is payable abroad.

B. Eligibility for dependents of retired or disabled workers

Luxembourg does not pay auxiliary benefits to dependents (e.g., spouses and children) of retired or disabled workers.

C. Eligibility for survivors of retired or disabled worker

The deceased worker must:

  • Have 12 months of contributory coverage in the 3 years before death; or

  • Died due to an accident or occupational disease; or

  • Be receiving a retirement (pensioner) or disability benefit at the time of death.

The survivor must:

  • Be the surviving spouse; or

  • Be the surviving domestic partner as Luxembourg law defines this; and

  • Not be remarried or in a declared domestic partnership.

    NOTE: A domestic partnership is a legal relationship available to both different and same sex couples in Luxembourg.

Additionally, survivors of retired or disabled workers are eligible if:

  • The marriage or domestic partnership with the deceased worker took place at least 12 months before the deceased worker's retirement (if the deceased was a pensioner) or death; and

  • The deceased worker was not receiving a retirement or disability pension at the time of marriage, unless an exclusion below applies:

    • The death of the worker is accidental; or

    • A child is born of the marriage or domestic partnership; or

    • The marriage or domestic partnership lasted more than a year, and the difference between the spouses' or domestic partners' ages is less than 15 years; or

    • The marriage or domestic partnership lasted at least 10 years.

D. Surviving divorced widow(er) or separated domestic partner

A surviving divorced spouse or surviving separated declared domestic partner must meet the same requirements as a surviving spouse or surviving domestic partner. He or she cannot have remarried or entered into a new domestic partnership before the worker’s death. The benefit amount is proportional to the length of the marriage or domestic partnership.

NOTE: Luxembourg stops paying survivor benefits to surviving spouses, surviving domestic partners, and to persons treated as surviving spouses (see GN 01733.020F) the month following the month of remarriage or new domestic partnership.

E. Children who are eligible for survivors benefits

A child of a deceased worker is eligible for survivors benefits if he or she is:

  • An orphan who is under age 18; or

  • Up to age 27 if a full-time student or in vocational training; or

  • Any age if disabled before age 18.

F. Other persons treated as the surviving spouse

When a worker insured for a retirement or disability pension dies without leaving a spouse or surviving domestic partner, survivor’s benefits are sometimes payable to the deceased worker’s dependent parents or other eligible close relatives.

Subject to some requirements, Luxembourg can pay survivors benefits to the following relative of a deceased worker:

  • Child; or

  • Grandchild; or

  • Parent; or

  • Spouse of a child, grandchild, parent; or

  • Siblings; or

  • Adopted children.

The eligible relatives must have lived with the deceased worker for at least 5 years before the date of death and be over 40 years old.

G. Funeral grant

Luxembourg pays a lump sum for a pensioner (a person receiving a pension), covered worker, or family member. Luxembourg bases the amount on the highest of a set percentage of the deceased’s annual earnings or the minimum wage at the time of death.

H. Obtaining additional information about Luxembourg benefits

Advise inquirers that SSA cannot give official information about Luxembourg benefits.

Individuals who wish to contact Luxembourg by mail should use the following address:

Caisse Nationale d’Assurance Pension (CNAP)
1a, boulevard Prince Henri
L-2096 Luxembourg
LUXEMBOURG
Telephone: +352-224141-1 Fax: +352-224141-6443

GN 01733.110 Scope of the U.S. - Luxembourg Agreement

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

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

1. U.S. retirement, survivors, and disability benefits

  • The Agreement applies to U.S. retirement, survivors, and disability benefits under each countries system.

  • The Agreement does not apply to Medicare benefits, or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.

2. Luxembourg old age (retirement), survivors, and invalidity (disability) benefits

  • The Agreement applies to the Luxembourg retirement, survivors, and disability benefits.

  • The Agreement does not apply to other benefit programs, such as sickness insurance, occupational disease insurance, unemployment or family allowances.

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, including both Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) and Self-Employment Contributions Act (SECA), including the Medicare portion; and

  • Luxembourg social security taxes that finance retirement, survivors, and disability benefits, as well as sickness and maternity insurance, workers compensation, and family allowances.

C. References

  • RS 02001.750, Effective Date of the U.S.- Luxembourg Agreement.

  • RS 02001.755, Scope of U.S.- Luxembourg Agreement.

  • RS 02001.760, General Coverage Rule for Employment -U.S.- Luxembourg Agreement.

  • RS 02001.765, Detached Worker Rule - U.S.- Luxembourg Agreement.

  • RS 02001.770, Rule for Crews of Ships or Aircraft- U.S.- Luxembourg Agreement.

  • RS 02001.775, Rule for Government Employees - U.S.- Luxembourg Agreement.

  • RS 02001.780, Coverage Rule for Self Employment - U.S.- Luxembourg Agreement.

  • RS 02001.785, Special Exceptions to the Coverage Rules - U.S.- Luxembourg Agreement.

  • RS 02001.795, Certificates of Coverage - U.S.- Luxembourg Agreement.

  • RS 02001.950 - RS 02001.998, Agreement provisions for the elimination of dual coverage and taxation.

GN 01733.120 U.S. Totalization Benefits under the U.S. - Luxembourg Agreement

Under the Agreement, if a number holder (NH) has at least six U.S. Quarters of Coverage (QCs), but not enough to receive U.S. benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) can count the NH's periods of work under the Luxembourg social security system. These periods may permit the NH (or 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 Luxembourg credits.

A. Claims adjudication and processing responsibilities under the Agreement

1. SSA Field Office (FO)

When a NH does not have enough U.S. coverage to meet fully insured status, but the HN has at least six QCs. FO technicians must take the initial claim to process the insured status denial (see GN 01702.310GN 01702.525). This action automatically sends a notice informing the applicant that he or she does not meet insured status based solely on U.S. coverage, and that the Social Security Administration (SSA) is requesting the Luxembourg coverage 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

 

If a courier service is used, mail to:

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

2. SSA Division of International Operations (DIO)

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

B. Crediting Luxembourg coverage

SSA credits one U.S. QC for every three (3) months or remaining fraction of Luxembourg coverage in a calendar year.

NOTE: Luxembourg measures their coverage in months.

SSA does not credit coverage for:

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

  • More than four (4) QCs for any calendar year.

C. Computing benefits in the United States

When establishing U.S. insured status based on combined U.S. and Luxembourg coverage, the amount of the U.S. Totalization benefit will be determined using the computation method described in GN 01701.200.

D. References

  • GN 01701.200, Totalization Computations.

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

  • 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 01702.420, Disability Determination Services (DDS) Processing of Totalization Claims.

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

  • GN 01702.505, Representation of Applicants in Totalization Claims.

  • GN 01702.510, Disclosure of Information to Totalization Agreement Countries.

  • GN 01702.515, Applicability of Annual Earnings Test/Foreign Work Test.

  • GN 01702.520, Status Request and Post-Adjudicative Actions in Totalization Claims.

  • GN 01702.525, Totalization Coding.

  • GN 01733.020, Luxembourg Social Security Benefits Eligibility Requirements.

  • GN 01733.215, Application for Benefits Under the Luxembourg Agreement.

GN 01733.125 Eligibility for Luxembourg Benefits under the U.S.- Luxembourg Totalization Agreement

A. Determining eligibility

The Agreement provides that Luxembourg count a worker’s U.S. coverage when deciding eligibility for Luxembourg benefits if the worker:

  • Is not insured solely based on Luxembourg coverage; and

  • Has completed at least 12 months of coverage under Luxembourg laws.

B. Crediting U.S. coverage

  • Luxembourg credits three (3) months of Luxembourg coverage for each U.S. quarter of coverage.

  • However, Luxembourg does not credit any month already credited as a month of coverage under the Luxembourg system.

C. References

  • GN 01733.020, Luxembourg Social Security Benefits Eligibility Requirements.

  • GN 01733.215, Application for Benefits under the Luxembourg Agreement.

GN 01733.130 Work Requirements for Luxembourg Disability and Survivors Benefits under the Totalization Agreement

A. Requirement for disability benefits

Generally, a worker must have contributions for at least 12 months in the 3-year period immediately preceding his or her disability onset or the cessation of cash sickness benefits.

B. Requirement for survivors benefits

The worker must have paid contributions for at least 12 months during the 3-year period prior to death, unless the worker:

  • Died from an accident or occupational disease; or

  • Was a pensioner.

C. Extension of the three-year period

Luxembourg extends the 3-year period to take into account periods of education, child rearing, prior disability, and certain other periods during which contributions ordinarily are not paid. Under the Agreement, these periods may have occurred in the United States.

Do not develop for periods of education, child rearing, prior disability, etc. when obtaining the Form SSA-2490-BK (Application for Benefits under a U.S. International Social Security Agreement) . Luxembourg obtains this information on the application that it sends to the claimant and requires the claimant to submit other evidence directly to the Luxembourg agency.

For more information on evidence required, see GN 01733.210.

Luxembourg requests assistance from the Division of International Operations (DIO) if it subsequently needs to verify such periods.

GN 01733.140 Exception to Alien Nonpayment Provision (ANP) under the U.S. - Luxembourg Agreement

A. Exception for certain non-U.S. citizen beneficiaries residing in Luxembourg

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 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 citizens or residents of Luxembourg who receive regular retirement, survivors or disability benefits, as well as those who receive Totalization benefits.

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

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

If a claimant who does not meet another exception to the ANP alleges residence in Luxembourg, 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 ANP provision

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).

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 provides otherwise or includes a limitation on the exemption. The U.S.- Luxembourg Agreement does not contain a limitation on this exemption. Therefore, Luxembourg citizens (regardless of where they reside), and non-U.S. citizen beneficiaries who are residents of Luxembourg 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.

NOTE: The exception also applies to the additional requirements for adopted children. See RS 02610.030.

D. Development for dependents and survivors

If a non-U.S. citizen dependent or survivor does not meet the five-year U.S. residency requirement and alleges citizenship or residency of Luxembourg, the Field Office (FO) should develop for Luxembourg citizenship and residence status to verify that an exemption provided by the Agreement applies (Section 202(t)(1) of the Act).

E. 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 02610.000, Alien Nonpayment Provisions.

  • RS 02610.015, Status of Countries for Alien Nonpayment Provision (ANP) Exceptions.

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

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

GN 01733.150 Filing Appeals of Decisions on U.S. or Luxembourg Claims

A. Appeals policy

The Agreement allows a person who wishes to appeal a decision on an adjudicated claim for U.S. or Luxembourg social security benefits to file the appeal with either country.

B. References

GN 01733.210 Developing Evidence and Establishing Entitlement Factors in Claims for U.S. and Luxembourg Benefits

A. Filing applications

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

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

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

C. Establishing entitlement factors and evidence requirements

In addition to insured status, evidence of the following are required in support of an application for Luxembourg benefits. When a person files for U.S. Totalization benefits under the agreement with Luxembourg, the applicant must submit the same evidence necessary to establish a claim for regular (non-totalization) retirement, survivors, or disability insurance benefits. In addition, applicants must submit the evidence noted in GN 01702.200 - GN 01702.230.

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; and

  • Worker's Luxembourg insurance number; and

  • Marital status, (if spouse's supplement is claimed); and

  • Family composition; and

  • Dates of birth of all family members; and

  • Age and relationship of child, disability status, and school attendance (if a child's supplement is claimed); and

  • Age, marriage and divorce, (if divorced spouse's benefit is claimed); and

  • Age and relationship of parent, (if parent's or spouse's parent's supplement is claimed); and

  • Disability status of all family members.

2. Required evidence when filing an application for survivors benefits

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

  • Worker's Luxembourg insurance number; and

  • Worker's date of birth and death; and

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

  • Marriage and divorce or legal separation of partnership, (if a divorced widow(er)'s benefit is claimed); or

  • Age and disability status of child or grandchild, (if a child's benefits claimed).

  • Widower's age and disability status; and

  • Age or disability status of parents or grandparents (including spouse's parents or grandparents).

3. Developing evidence in support of an application for disability benefits

Entitlement factors for Luxembourg are based on the degree of the worker's disability.

Take the following actions when developing evidence to support applications for Luxembourg benefits:

  • Worker's date of birth; and

  • Worker's Luxembourg insurance number; and

  • Degree of disability (medical evidence required).

  • Marriage, (if spouse's supplement is claimed); and

  • Age, marriage and divorce, (if divorced spouse's benefit is claimed); and

  • Age and relationship of child, (if child's supplement is claimed); and

  • Age and relationship of parent, (if parent's or spouse's parent's supplement is claimed).

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

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

1. Research the type of evidence

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

2. Accepting evidence

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

  • SSA accepts any medical evidence the applicant wishes to submit; and

  • If the applicant does not want to release an original document, photocopy the evidence and certify the copy (see GN 00301.105); and

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

Send all submitted medical evidence to the Office of International Operations (OEIO)/Division of International Operations (DIO) at the following addresses:

 

 

Note: If claim is mailed via USPS, mail to:

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

 

Note: If courier service is used, address 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 Luxembourg claim to OEIO. Show "Totalization" as the ISSUE; and

  • Inform the applicant that the responsible Luxembourg agency will contact him or her directly to obtain evidence needed to make a determination.

    CAUTION: Do not hold claims for Luxembourg 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 OEIO/DIO without the evidence. Advise the applicant that the responsible Luxembourg agency will contact him or her directly to obtain any needed evidence.

3. Document the File

Document the file as follows:

  • Indicate on the Luxembourg benefit claim file any factor of entitlement verified previously for a 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 Luxembourg claim to OEIO/DIO.

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

Obtain NH's U.S. earnings record for all claims for Luxembourg benefits as follows.

  • When the applicant is filing for both U.S. and Luxembourg benefits, complete the modernized claims system (MCS) screens; and

  • The MCS screens will automatically generates a separate earnings record for the Luxembourg claim; and

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

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

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

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

E. Developing medical evidence for Luxembourg disability claims

In addition to the actions in GN 01733.210D, take the following actions when developing medical evidence for Luxembourg disability claims:

1. Luxembourg benefits only

  • Accept any medical evidence the applicant wishes to submit when the application is for Luxembourg benefits only. Do not attempt to secure evidence for the applicant or offer advice as to what types of evidence Luxembourg need; and

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

 

 

Note: If claim is mailed via USPS, mail to:

Social Security Administration
OEIO - DIO
P.O. Box 17769
Baltimore, MD 21235-7769
USA
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 Luxembourg 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 Luxembourg agency will contact him or her directly to obtain any required evidence.

2. Luxembourg benefits and concurrent U.S. Title II claim

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

F. 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 01702.400, 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.

  • 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 01733.215 Applications for Benefits under the U.S. - Luxembourg Agreement

A. Filing for benefits using multiple application forms

An applicant filing for benefits under the U.S. - Luxembourg Agreement 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 Luxembourg, or from both countries.

It is necessary to complete the Form SSA-2490-BK if the applicant is filing for any benefits under the Agreement: this could include benefits only from the United States, benefits only from Luxembourg, or benefits from both countries.

An applicant who is filing for Luxembourg benefits only, and NOT for benefits under the Agreement must complete a Luxembourg application, and does not need to complete Form SSA-2490-BK.

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

1. When to use Form 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 Luxembourg benefits.

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

Do not use the MCS version of the SSA-2490-BK to file an application for:

  • Luxembourg benefits only; or

  • U.S. or Luxembourg survivor benefits.

Use a paper or electronic Form SSA-2490-BK for Totalization survivor claims. For instructions 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 the form in connection with his or her application for benefits. The MCS version of the Form SSA-2490-BK may not be used to file for U.S. Totalization survivors benefits. A paper or electronic Form SSA-2490-BK must be used in this case. For further information see MS 03509.011.

3. Completing the required Form SSA-2940-BK screens in MCS

Use the following information to determine the application screens to complete when taking claims under the Agreement with Luxembourg for U.S. Totalization or Luxembourg 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 Form SSA-2490- BK.

b. Luxembourg benefits only (regular or Totalization)

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

c. Luxembourg 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 forms

1. The application process

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

SSA Field Offices (FO) do not accept special Luxembourg application forms.

After receiving an application for Luxembourg benefits filed with SSA, the Luxembourg agency mails the appropriate Luxembourg application forms to the applicant. The Luxembourg agency instructs the applicant to complete the forms and mail them directly to the Luxembourg agency with any required evidence.

2. Procedure for filing an application

If an applicant brings a Luxembourg special application form(s) (or Form SSA-2490-BK) to the FO, the FO should:

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

  • Photocopy and certify any additional documents (evidence) the Luxembourg agency requested the applicant to include with the Luxembourg 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 Luxembourg 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, Maryland 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, Maryland 21215

Once DIO receives the claim, they will send the claim directly to the Luxembourg 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 Luxembourg agency. When DIO receives the Form SSA-2490-BK, they will send a notice to the applicant explaining this requirement to file another application and referring the applicant to the nearest Luxembourg consulate or the Luxembourg Embassy if necessary. If the applicant is a non-Luxembourg citizen, advise the applicant that DIO will mail another application form to him or her to complete and return to DIO.

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 01733 TN 5 - Agreement With Luxembourg - 8/01/2022