The tribal council members obtain coverage through a formal written agreement between
the tribe and SSA. Once SSA approves the request, every member of the tribal council
receives coverage. The agreement applies to all current and future members in tribal
council positions, and cannot be modified or terminated.
a. The effective date of coverage is either:
the first day of the month after the month the agreement was executed by both parties;
a later date specified by the tribe.
b. Retroactive coverage
In addition to future coverage, a tribe may request retroactive coverage for periods
predating the effective date of the agreement. SSA will provide retroactive coverage,
at the tribe's request, for any specific period that the tribe specifies on the agreement,
which corresponds to tribal council member services for which the tribe:
timely paid taxes in an amount equivalent to what would have been due under the Federal
Insurance Contributions ACT (FICA) in good faith; and
any specific period for which the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) did not issue a
refund of these taxes.
SSA will not provide retroactive coverage if it is unable to verify that the FICA
taxes were paid, and that the tribe did not receive a refund.
NOTE: If SSA approves the request for retroactive coverage, the retroactive coverage applies
to any current or former tribal council members who made FICA-equivalent payments
during the approved period(s) of retroactivity.