One of the main purposes of Totalization agreements is to help people who have worked
under both the United States’ Social Security system and the system in an agreement
country, but who have not worked long enough under either the U.S. or foreign system
to qualify for a benefit. Under the agreements, either country can count the number
holder’s (NH) credits in the other country to help the NH meet the insured status
requirements. In these claims, special processes will apply.
Totalization agreements also provide that the United States and our agreement partners
will provide each other with limited assistance in helping applicants file claims
for benefits. This means that U.S. residents who wish to claim benefits from an agreement
country may submit their applications, and any supporting evidence, to the Social
Security Administration (SSA). SSA will then forward the necessary information and
forms to the agreement country.
This subchapter provides general instructions for processing claims for benefits (U.S.
or foreign) under an agreement. In addition to the general instructions in this subchapter,
separate agreement-specific subchapters describe special routing and/or development
requirements for claims filed under those agreements.