7 FAM 530 SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION (2023)

UNCLASSIFIED (U)

7 FAM 530

SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION

(CT:CON-940; 10-31-2022)
(Office of Origin: CA/OCS)

7 FAM 531 INTRODUCTION

(CT:CON-931; 09-09-2022)

a. More than 760,000 beneficiaries abroad receive 6.1 billiondollars in Social Security benefits each year. The Social SecurityAdministration (SSA) is responsible for the issuance of Social Security Number(SSN) Cards and the administration of the Retirement, Survivors, and DisabilityInsurance (RSDI) program, the Special Veterans Benefits (SVB) program, and theSupplemental Security Income (SSI) program as authorized by the Social SecurityAct, as amended.

b. Overseas Federal Benefits Operations:

(1) Regional Federal Benefits Officers (RFBO): AsDepartment of State (DoS) limited non-career specialist appointees, RFBOsrecommended by SSA and hired by DoS are subject to all applicable DoS pre-employmentclearances and appointment processes. As the primary manager of FederalBenefits Unit (FBU) staff at his/her residing post the RFBO is responsible forevaluating FBU staff according to DoS standard Locally Employed (LE) Staffrating practices. RFBOs are under Chief of Mission authority (see 1 FAM 013.2 Responsibility ofChiefs of U.S. Missions and 2 FAM 131b.)

(2) Federal Benefits Units (FBUs), also known asclaims taking posts, serve as part of the Consular Section, American CitizensServices units within U.S. Embassies and Consulates General (posts) incountries where the SSA beneficiary population is concentrated.

(a) FBUs are staffed by LE Staff. LE Staff are DoSemployees, recruited and hired in conformance with the U.S. Mission’shiring procedures for DoS LE Staff and in consultation with SSA and RFBOs. Generally,FBU staff are hired at the trainee level and promoted to the full-performancelevel after successful completion of a two-year training program.

(b) SSA fully trains FBU staff in SSA policies andprocedures, and FBUs connect directly to SSA’s computer systems.

(c) FBUs provide a broad range of services includingadvising applicants about benefits; providing necessary forms; assistingapplicants in completing forms; arranging medical appointments; developingclaims (but not adjudicating them); following up with SSA when necessary; andprocessing applications for Social Security Numbers (SSNs). FBUs also providefederal benefits services on behalf of other federal benefits agencies such asthe Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Railroad Retirement Board (RRB),Office of Personal Management (OPM), and Department of Labor (DOL). RFBOsoversee all FBUs across six regions worldwide. The following is the list of the21 FBUs in 17 countries.

Frankfurt region

Rome region

London region

Frankfurt, Germany

Rome, Italy

London, United Kingdom

Paris, France

Naples, Italy

Dublin, Ireland

Warsaw, Poland

Athens, Greece

Oslo, Norway

Krakow, Poland

Jerusalem, Israel

Lisbon, Portugal

Madrid, Spain

Manila region

San Jose region

Mexico region

Manila, Philippines

San Jose, Costa Rica

Mexico City, Mexico

Tokyo, Japan

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Ciudad Juarez, Mexico

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Guadalajara, Mexico

(3) Non-Claims Taking Posts (NCTPs):

(a) All U.S. embassies, consulates general, consulates,and consular agencies outside the designated FBU posts are considerednon-claims taking posts (NCTPs). The ACS units of these consular sections arewithout staff fully trained in SSA policies and procedures and are serviced byan assigned FBU;

(b) NCTPs in Canada are serviced by SSA domestic borderfield offices and by SSA’s Division of International Operations.

c. The Department of State, Bureau of ConsularAffairs, Directorate of Overseas Citizens Services works with two SSA Officeswith distinct missions:

(1) The SSA Office of Earnings and InternationalOperations (OEIO) is responsible for administering the Social Security programoutside the United States and for the implementation of the benefit provisionsof international agreements.

(a) CA’s Overseas Citizens Services, Management SupportUnit (CA/OCS/MSU) serves as the primary liaison between consular sections andfederal benefits agencies.

(b) SSA communicates directly with FBUs regardingindividual cases, SSA policy, SSA systems, administration, and other relatedissues. To ensure coordination and consistency in applicable guidance toNCTPs, SSA shares with CA/OCS/MSU any instruction or policy related to servicesperformed at NCTPs.

(c) Any communications related to foreign policy issues,including post closures or evacuations, must proceed through CA/OCS/MSU. Inaddition, SSA shares with CA in advance any SSA instruction that may affectNCTP consular workload and resources for concurrence from CA to ensure properresource coordination and availability.

(d) Posts may consult CA/OCS/MSU (FedBen@state.gov) forfurther program management information or guidance.

(2) The SSA Office of International Programs (OIP) isresponsible for negotiation of international Social Security Agreements, knownas totalization agreements, and works with OCS and L in drafting them.

d. Social Security laws and regulations are complex. 7FAM provides guidance on consular matters and does not address SSA laws andprocedures in detail. Consular officers are encouraged to consult with theirRFBO for guidance about situations not addressed in this 7 FAM section.

e. In order to ensure uniformity on federal benefitsprocesses across FBUs and NCTPs, SSA coordinates FBU training as the serviceprovider and notifies CA/OCS/MSU prior to training. RFBOs coordinate withCA/OCS/MSU to provide guidance to NCTPs as needed to promote consistency offederal benefit processes throughout an SSA region. Development and provisionof all training and related resources for the execution of federal benefitswork is performed and paid for by SSA.

f. To develop a closer working relationship betweenSSA and the Department of State, both parties meet to discuss the effectivenessof the programs abroad, staffing, implication of any legislative changes, andany other matter that affect the operations of the programs abroad.

g. SSA funds the administration of federal benefitsprograms abroad and reimburses DoS for services performed in connection withthe administration of SSA’s programs overseas. SSA reimburses DoS fordirect program support, including the salaries and related costs for RFBOs andLE Staff at FBUs, for services performed on its behalf at NCTPs, and forindirect administrative costs at FBUs, which are paid through the InternationalCooperative Administrative Support Services (ICASS) system.

7 FAM 532 authoRITIES AND DEFINITIONS

(CT:CON-940; 10-31-2022)

a. Consular authority regarding Social Security mattersabroad is derived from:

(1) 22 U.S.C. 3904 Functions of Service (Subparagraph3) which states

"Members of the Service shall, under the direction of the Secretary:(3) Perform functions on behalf of any agency or other government establishment (including any establishment in the legislative or judicial branch) requiring their services.”

(2) Interagency Agreement (IAA) between the Departmentof State, Bureau of Consular Affairs and the Social Security Administrationentered into pursuant to the Economy Act, 31 U.S.C. 1535. SSA is responsiblefor the issuance of Social Security Number (SSN) cards and the administrationof the Retirement, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (RSDI) program, theSpecial Veterans Benefits (SVB) program, and the Supplemental Security Income(SSI) program as authorized by the Social Security Act, as amended.

(3) 42 U.S.C. Chapter 7 (Social Security) sets forthlegal authority for SSA programs, but does not give DoS any particularauthority.

b. Definitions

Beneficiary: A person who isentitled to Social Security benefits.

Claimant: A person who isapplying for Social Security benefits, whether on their own Social Security record or on therecord of a worker upon whom the applicant is or was dependent.

Claim number: Social SecurityNumber (SSN) of the worker, living or deceased, on whose record the benefitsare claimed and an alphabetical suffix assigned by SSA identifying the type ofbenefit involved. (For example: 000-00-000A.)

Covered employment or self-employment:Employment or self-employment that is subject to the payment of U.S. SocialSecurity taxes. (Voluntary contributions cannot be made to the U.S. SocialSecurity program.)

Disability: For claims filedon or after July 1965, disability means the inability to engage in substantialgainful activity (SGA) by reason of any medically determinable physical ormental impairment which can be expected to result in death or has lasted or canbe expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months. Forwidows and widowers, the disability must begin within a certain prescribedperiod.

Post: U.S. embassy orconsulate abroad.

Representative payee: Aperson, agency, organization, or institution who receives and manages benefitson behalf of a child or an incapable adult beneficiary.

Worker: The holder of a SocialSecurity number, male or female, living or deceased, who engaged in employmentor self-employment covered under the Social Security Act and acquired coveragecredits toward Social Security benefits for self and dependents.

7 FAM 533 Guidance to posts

7 FAM 533.1 SSA-related inquiriesand outreach

(CT:CON-931; 09-09-2022)

a. NCTPs should direct all SSA-related inquiries to theFederal Benefits Unit (FBU) that services the country where the NCTP islocated. NCTPs should already be familiar with the FBU that handles SSA claimsin their country; see SSA FBU list. In Canada, individuals with SSA-relatedinquiries should be referred to the appropriate SSA field office in the United States.See a complete list of the SSA field offices.

b. Post Outreach: OCS/MSU is offering an SSA TrainingToolkit that will provide NCTPs with guidance, tools, and resources for usingthe SSA Service Tracker. This basic kit of information will be updated basedon the feedback that OCS/MSU receives from NCTPs. If you have questions pleasereach out to the OCS/MSU Federal Benefits Team at FedBen@state.gov.

7 FAM 533.2 Managing FederalBenefits Units (FBU)

(CT:CON-931; 09-09-2022)

a. RFBOs have direct supervisory responsibility overthe FBUs assigned to their region. RFBOs provide technical advice, guidance andtraining to the FBUs and the NCTPs within their geographic region. As part ofthese regional responsibilities, RFBOs work closely with the senior consularofficers. The respective Consuls General (CG) or American Citizens Services(ACS) Chiefs evaluate RFBOs annually following the same standards as any otherForeign Service Officer. The six RFBOs are located in: Frankfurt, San Jose,London, Manila, Mexico City, and Rome.

b. FBU LE Staff are DOS employees, recruited and hiredin conformance with U.S. Mission's hiring procedures for DOS LE Staff and inconsultation with SSA and the RFBOs. Generally, FBU staff are hired at thetrainee level and promoted to the full-performance level after successfulcompletion of a two-year training program.

c. LE Staff located in the FBUs will be evaluated bythe respective RFBO or delegated to the FBU supervisor for evaluation. ForFBUs participating in the Merit Based Compensation (MBC) appraisal system, theRFBO will be designated as the Pool Supervisor for all FBU staff.

7 FAM 534 LIST OF SERVICES PROVIDED ANDVOLUME METHODOLOGY FOR INVOICING

(CT:CON-931; 09-09-2022)

a. The following are the six services requested by SSAto be performed at the NCTPs. The services will be performed after the post hasreceived the request/approval from the RFBO or FBU designee. The only servicethat does not require prior approval is the mandatory in-person interview forU.S. citizen SSN applicants age 12 or older.

b. Please note that NCTPs in a country that has an FBUand NCTPs in Canada must have an approval to perform any of these services,including the in-person interviews.

Form Type/

Service Description

FY 2022 Service Provided and

Volume Methodology for Invoicing

Interviews for Social Security Number (SSN) applicants age 12 or older.

Service Provided:

DoS will conduct mandatory interviews for U.S. citizens age 12 or older applying for a SSN for the first time. DoS has been authorized by SSA to provide this service without individual written request of the RFBO unless located in Canada or in a country that has a FBU. NCTPs that are located in Canada or in a country that has a FBU need RFBO approval to provide this service.

For any U.S. citizen under the age of 12, RFBO approval is needed. Please inform CRBA applicants (if the child is under 12) that they must apply for a Social Security number for the child through the appropriate FBU.

For all replacement cards, RFBO approval is needed as these applications do not require face-to-face interviews and typically do not require passports.

For non-U.S. citizens, RFBO approval is needed in all cases.

DoS will conduct mandatory interviews for foreign citizens age 12 or older applying for a SSN for the first time only at the written request of the RFBO.

This service may include, but is not limited to, the following steps:

· Receive approved request from the RFBO.

· Examine application for completeness.

· Accept original evidence—proof of age, citizenship, and identity—and review for authenticity.

· Copy and certify proof of age, citizenship, and identity.

· Complete the In-person Interview Report with the applicant.

· Copy evidence submitted to prove non-U.S. presence.

· Scan and forward via PDF all documents and application to FBU.

Volume Methodology: Volumes will be based totals generated by the performance accounting tool maintained by DOS.

Validation Methodology: RFBOs will validate the number of requests sent by the RFBOs and their designees.

Consultative Exams (CEs) and Medical Appointments.

Service Provided:

DoS will work with local physicians to schedule CEs and other medical appointments for disability beneficiaries in connection with SSA eligibility determinations only at the written request of the RFBO.

This service may include, but is not limited to, the following steps:

· Receive approved request from the RFBO.

· Forward the request to the identified medical provider.

· Forward the projected costs for the medical examination to the RFBO.

· Schedule the medical examination, if not scheduled by medical provider, with RFBO authorization.

· Forward the completed medical review to the RFBO.

· Arrange the payment of the medical provider with RFBO authorization.

Volume Methodology: Volumes will be based on totals generated by the performance accounting tool maintained by DoS.

Validation Methodology: RFBOs will validate the number of requests sent by the RFBOs and their designees. SSA will use RFBOs' numbers to validate the quarterly reports." This is true for all the following services.

Field Investigations Travel

Service Provided:

DoS will conduct document or information verification investigations (life study, fraud investigations), to the extent possible, and report the results back to SSA only at the written request of the RFBO.

This service may include, but is not limited to, the following steps:

· Receive approved request from the RFBO.

· Schedule in-person visit.

· If travel is required, identify the cost of travel and provide to the FBU for approval.

· Review evidence of identity from individual.

· Obtain additional information from the beneficiary that was identified in the FBU request.

· Forward results to the FBU for determination.

Volume Methodology: Volumes will be based on totals generated by the performance accounting tool maintained by DOS.

Validation Methodology: RFBOs will validate the number of requests sent by the RFBOs and their designees.

Investigations In Office

Service Provided: DoS will conduct document or information verification investigations (life study, fraud investigations), to the extent possible, and report the results back to SSA only at the written request of the RFBO.

This service may include, but is not limited to, the following steps:

· Receive approved request from the RFBO.

· Schedule in-person visit.

· Review evidence of identity from individual.

· Obtain additional information from the beneficiary that was identified in the RFBO request.

· Forward results to the RFBO for determination.

Volume Methodology: Volumes will be based on totals generated by the performance accounting tool maintained by DOS.

Validation Methodology: RFBOs will validate the number of requests sent by by the RFBOs and their designees.

Representative Payee Verification

Service Provided:

DoS will conduct mandatory face-to-face interview to determine a representative payee’s authenticity as a representative for the beneficiary only at the written request of the RFBO.

This service may include, but is not limited to, the following steps:

· Receive approved request from the RFBO.

· Verify identity of representative payee applicant.

· Obtain evidence of identity from individual (Form SSA-11-BK Representative Payee Application

· Forward results of interview to the RFBO.

· Provide names of potential representative payee applicants as appropriate.

Volume Methodology:

Volumes will be based on totals generated by the performance accounting tool maintained by DOS.

Volume Validation:

RFBOs will validate the number of requests sent by the RFBOs and their designees.

Services Related to Restricted Countries

Service Provided: Services related to restricted countries at the written request of the RFBO..

These services may include, but are not limited to, the following steps:

· Communicate with foreign government as appropriate and as requested by SSA.

· Conduct visit with individual. Visits occur every 6 months.

· Review evidence of identity from individual.

· Forward the visit information to the RFBO via e-mail.

· Issue paper check to individual if beneficiary has not established direct deposit.

· Provide the annual FEQ mailing to the beneficiaries.

Volume Methodology: Volumes will be based on totals generated by the performance accounting tool maintained by DOS.

Validation Methodology: RFBOs will validate the number of requests sent by the RFBOs and their designees.

Authentication Certification of Documents and Intake of Initial Claims.

Service Provided:

DoS will copy and certify authenticity of document(s) and transmit customer submissions that are SSN related and initial claims applications at the written request of the RFBO.

DOS copying, certifying, and/or transmitting of all other documentation must be specifically approved or requested by the RFBO in writing in advance on a case-by-case basis, unless performed as part of another RFBO-authorized service.

This service includes the following steps:

SSN Related

· Accept original evidence—proof of age, citizenship, and identity—and review for authenticity.

· Copy and certify proof of age, citizenship and identity.

· Scan and forward via PDF all documents and application to FBU.

Initial Claims Related

· Accept original evidence—proof of age, citizenship, and identity—and review for authenticity.

· Copy and certify proof of age, citizenship and identity.

· Scan and forward via PDF all documents and application to FBU.

Volume Methodology: Volume will be based on totals generated by the performance accounting tool maintained by DoS.

Validation Methodology: RFBOs will confirm the number of requests sent by the RFBOs and their designees. SSA will use RFBOs' numbers to validate the quarterly reports.

b. For all replacement Social Security cards, RFBOapproval is needed as these applications do not require face-to-face interviewsand typically do not require passports.

7 FAM 535 PERFORMANCE ACCOUNTING TOOL

(CT:CON-931; 09-09-2022)

a. Under the new Interagency Agreement (IAA) betweenSSA and the Bureau of Consular Affairs (CA), posts will need to track theservices performed on behalf of SSA using a new SharePoint-based data gatheringtool, effective October 1, 2017. CA has a SSA Training Toolkit that explainsin detail how to use this tool.

b. RFBOs may authorize these specific services in oneof two ways. First, the RFBO may contact the NCTP directly by email,specifically identifying the service and the applicant. Second, the RFBO maysend an authorization letter directly to the applicant and instruct thatapplicant to make an appointment with the nearest NCTP and present the letterduring the appointment. In either case, the NCTP must preserve theauthorization document (either by attaching the email authorization or byscanning and attaching the authorization letter presented by the applicant) inthe data-gathering tool that will record the NCTP’s services.

c. Under the IAA, ACS sections at posts that do nothave a Federal Benefits Unit (FBU) or a resident Regional Federal BenefitsOfficer (RFBO) (also known as “Non-Claims Taking Posts”, or NCTPs)may only perform services on behalf of SSA if they have received priorauthorization from the RFBO. Furthermore, NCTPs must track the SSA-relatedservices that they perform in the SSA Service Tracker, a SharePoint-based datagathering tool. Staff at NCTPs must use the Service Tracker to record theamount of time they spend on each SSA-related service and to upload theauthorization for that service from the Regional Federal Benefits Officer(RFBO) or RFBO designee. The data gathered using this tool will be used to invoiceSSA for this work under the IAA.

d. The SSA Service Tracker tool is located on theOverseas Citizens Services, Management Support Unit (MSU) SharePoint landingpage. A complete user guide to the Tracker is available on the Trackerhomepage.

e. Upon completion of a SSA service at a NCTP, the NCTPstaff member should perform the following steps to enter service data fortracking:

(1) Access the SSA Service Tracker via OpenNet.

(2) Click the Enter New Service Icon.

(3) Upload the RFBO authorization documentation(either the email from the RFBO or the RFBO authorization document presented bythe applicant or beneficiary) by selecting Attach File in the upper left cornerof the webpage.

(4) Enter in required responses for the ServiceCompletion Date, Post, Requesting RFBO, Service Type, Client First Name, ClientLast Name, Direct Time Spent on Service by staff type, RFBO Approval, Copy ofAdditional Communication or Reference (if applicable) and RFBO Approval Name orNumber.

(5) Click the Save button.

(6) NCTP staff should create only one entry per SSAservice, regardless of the number of staff members who worked on the case orhow much time was spent on it. NCTP staff will not be able to edit or deleteentries in the Service Tracker once they are made; therefore, all data must beentered only once when the service is completed, and the data must be enteredaccurately. The cumulative total number of minutes worked on the single casewill be entered for each staff type who worked the case. For example, if botha Consular Officer and LE Staff member jointly performed an SSA-related fieldinvestigation authorized by the RFBO, both times would be entered together in asingle entry into the Tracker (e.g. Direct Time Spent on Service by LE Staff:53 minutes and Direct Time Spent on Service by Consular Officer: 42 minutes).Time should not be rounded up; exact time is required (e.g., 17 minutes).

(7) For management controls purposes, only OCS/MSUstaff members will be able to edit the Tracker data. All Tracker data changesshould be reported to the OCS/MSU Federal Benefits Team at FedBen@state.gov.

(8) All questions or concerns about the SSA ServiceTracker, its permission settings, or related SSA service data, including anydata entry errors, should be directed to the OCS/MSU Federal Benefits Team atFedBen@state.gov.

7 FAM 536 Frequently Asked Questions

(CT:CON-940; 10-31-2022)

a. Certified True Copies:

(1) Q: Should NCTPs continue to make certifiedcopies of documents that will be used in connection with an application forSocial Security benefits? If so, should NCTPs forward the certified copiesdirectly to the applicable Federal Benefits Unit?

(2) Answer (A) Under the Schedule of Fees forConsular Services, consular sections should not charge any fee for notarial,authentication, or certification services when the service is being performed“with respect to documents to be presented by claimants, beneficiaries,or their witnesses in connection with obtaining Federal, state, or municipalbenefits.” This provision is not affected by the IAA. Thus, NCTPsshould continue to make certified copies of documents, without charge, if thosedocuments are going be used as part of an application for federal, state, ormunicipal benefits – including Social Security benefits. Such servicesshould not be recorded in the SSA Service Tracker; instead, NCTPs should issuea no-fee notarial receipt, using ACRS code 45. NCTPs should not forward thesecertified copies of documents to SSA or the Federal Benefits Unit (FBU). Instead,they should be given back to the applicant.

(3) Question (Q): When making certified copies ofdocuments in connection with applications for federal, state, or localbenefits, should posts just use the “original seen and returned”stamp, or the consular seal (either wet or raised) used for full-fledgednotarials? And must an officer certify the copy?

(4) A: SSA has informed us that, if the documentscome from the applicant, they can only accept fully notarized documents thatcontain a wet or raised notarial seal. Thus, when an applicant requestscertified copies of a document in connection with the application for a SocialSecurity benefit, posts should fully notarize the certified copy using Form DS-1985,Certification of true Copy. This action may only be taken by anofficer authorized to provide notarial services.

b. Form SS-5 Application for Social SecurityCard

(1) Q: May NCTPs continue to accept Form SS-5 applicationsfor a Social Security card as part of a combined application for a ConsularReport of Birth Abroad (CRBA) and a passport?

(2) A: No, if the child is under the age of 12.(Unless you received prior authorization from the RFBO). NCTP staff shouldinform the parents of the child that they must apply directly with the applicableFBU for a Social Security card for their child. Yes, if the U.S. citizen childis 12 years or older (posts would also perform the required interview), unlessthe NCTP is located in a country that contains an FBU or is located in Canada.Note that all first-time applicants who are not U.S. citizens must applydirectly with the FBU, even if they are 12 years or older.

c. Passport, Consular Report of Birth Applications andSocial Security Cards

(1) Q: If the parents are applying for a CRBA andpassport for their child, and can’t submit an application for a SocialSecurity card to the NCTP at the same time, must the parents or legal guardiansof the child submit a declaration under perjury that the child has never beenissued a Social Security number?

(2) A: Yes. Because parents in this situation arenot applying for a Social Security card along with the CRBA and passport, theymust submit the declaration.

e. Death Notification to SSA

(1) Q: Should NCTPs continue to forward ConsularReports of Death Abroad (CRODA) to the SSA pursuant to 7 FAM 276.1?

(2) A: Yes. Since this is not a service directlyperformed on behalf of the SSA, NCTPs should continue to comply with 7 FAM 276.1. Consular officers arerequired by regulation at 22 CFR 72.5(b)(1) to provide a copy of the CRODA toSSA if the decedent was a Social Security beneficiary. Additional questions onthis topic may be addressed to L/CA.

(3) Q. Should NCTPs notify FBUs or RFBOs of deaths ofnon U.S. citizens?

(4) A. Regarding reporting the death of a non-U.S.citizen, NCTPs should refer the relatives to the appropriate FBU or to the SSAwebsite.

f. FBU Authorization for Services

(1) Q: Should NCTPs contact a FBU to obtainauthorization to perform a service on behalf of an applicant?

(2) A: No. NCTPs should not proactively seekauthorization to perform SSA-related services on behalf of an applicant.Instead, NCTPs should counsel the applicant to contact the FBU directly. TheFBU will then determine if the provision of services by the NCTP is necessaryin that case.

g. Distribution of Social Security Cards

(1) Q: Can NCTPs continue to receive Social Securitycards for applicants?

(2) No. NCTPs should not permit Social Securitybeneficiaries to use the NCTP’s address (either physical or pouch) toreceive Social Security cards. The beneficiary should use their own address.

Please note that an updated FAQ documentcan be found on the Service tracker webpage.

7 FAM 537 LIST OF COUNTRIES WITHASSOCIATED SERVICING REGION AND FBU

(CT:CON-931; 09-09-2022)

The list of countries below identifies eachcountry’s servicing SSA region and servicing FBU. A NCTP that is locatedin the same country as a FBU may not carry out any services without theauthorization of the appropriate RFBO, even if that NCTP could otherwise do so.

Country or Other Area

NCTP Located Outside of FBU Country

Servicing Region

Servicing FBU

Afghanistan**

Y

Rome

Rome FBU

Albania

Y

Rome

Rome FBU

Algeria

Y

Frankfurt

Paris FBU

Andorra

N (Madrid FBU)

London

Madrid FBU

Angola

Y

London

Lisbon FBU

Anguilla

Y

San Jose

Santo Domingo FBU

Antigua and Barbuda

Y

San Jose

Santo Domingo FBU

Argentina

N (Buenos Aires FBU)

San Jose

Buenos Aires FBU

Armenia

Y

Rome

Athens FBU

Aruba

Y

San Jose

Santo Domingo FBU

Australia

Y

Manila

Manila FBU

Austria

Y

Frankfurt

Frankfurt FBU

Azerbaijan

Y

Rome

Athens FBU

Bahamas, The

Y

San Jose

Santo Domingo FBU

Bahrain

Y

Rome

Jerusalem FBU

Bangladesh

Y

Manila

Manila FBU

Barbados

Y

San Jose

Santo Domingo FBU

Belarus

Y

Frankfurt

Warsaw FBU

Belgium

Y

London

Dublin FBU

Belize

Y

San Jose

San Jose FBU

Benin

Y

Frankfurt

Paris FBU

Bermuda

Y

London

London FBU

Bhutan

Y

Manila

Manila FBU

Bolivia

Y

San Jose

Buenos Aires FBU

Bonaire

Y

San Jose

Santo Domingo

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Y

Rome

Athens FBU

Botswana

Y

London

London FBU

Brazil

Y

London

Lisbon FBU

Brunei

Y

Manila

Manila FBU

Bulgaria

Y

Rome

Athens FBU

Burkina Faso

Y

Frankfurt

Paris FBU

Burma (Myanmar)

Y

Manila

Manila FBU

Burundi

Y

Frankfurt

Paris FBU

Cambodia

Y

Manila

Manila FBU

Cameroon

Y

Frankfurt

Paris FBU

Canada

N (SSA Border Offices)

SSA Domestic

Varies

Cabo Verde

Y

London

Lisbon FBU

Cayman Islands

Y

San Jose

Santo Domingo FBU

Central African Republic

Y

Frankfurt

Paris FBU

Chad

Y

Frankfurt

Paris FBU

Chile

Y

San Jose

Buenos Aires FBU

China

Y

Manila

Manila FBU

Colombia

Y

San Jose

Santo Domingo FBU

Comoros

Y

Rome

Athens FBU

Congo, Democratic Republic of the

Y

Frankfurt

Paris FBU

Congo, Republic of the

Y

Frankfurt

Paris FBU

Costa Rica

N (San Jose FBU)

San Jose

San Jose FBU

Cote d'Ivoire

Y

Frankfurt

Paris FBU

Croatia

Y

Rome

Athens FBU

Cuba**

Y

San Jose

Santo Domingo FBU

Curacao

Y

San Jose

Santo Domingo FBU

Cyprus

Y

Rome

Athens FBU

Czechia

Y

Frankfurt

Warsaw FBU

Denmark

Y

London

Oslo FBU

Diego Garcia

Y

Rome

Athens FBU

Djibouti

Y

Frankfurt

Paris FBU

Dominica

Y

San Jose

Santo Domingo FBU

Dominican Republic

N (Santo Domingo FBU)

San Jose

Santo Domingo FBU

Ecuador

Y

San Jose

San Jose FBU

Egypt

Y

Rome

Naples FBU

El Salvador

Y

San Jose

San Jose FBU

Equatorial Guinea

Y

London

Madrid FBU

Eritrea

Y

Rome

Rome FBU

Estonia

Y

Frankfurt

Warsaw FBU

Ethiopia

Y

Rome

Rome FBU

Eswatini

Y

London

London FBU

Fiji

Y

Manila

Manila FBU

Finland

Y

London

Oslo FBU

France

N (Paris FBU)

Frankfurt

Paris FBU

French Polynesia (Tahiti)

Y

Manila

Manila FBU

Gabon

Y

Frankfurt

Paris FBU

Gambia, The

Y

London

London FBU

Georgia

Y

Rome

Athens FBU

Germany

N (Frankfurt FBU)

Frankfurt

Frankfurt FBU

Ghana

Y

London

London FBU

Greece

N (Athens FBU)

Rome

Athens FBU

Grenada

Y

San Jose

Santo Domingo FBU

Guadeloupe

Y

San Jose

Santo Domingo FBU

Guatemala

Y

San Jose

San Jose FBU

Guinea

Y

Frankfurt

Paris FBU

Guinea-Bissau

Y

London

Lisbon FBU

Guyana

Y

San Jose

Santo Domingo FBU

Haiti

Y

San Jose

Santo Domingo FBU

Holy See

N (Rome FBU)

Rome

Rome FBU

Honduras

Y

San Jose

San Jose FBU

Hong Kong

Y

Manila

Manila FBU

Hungary

Y

Frankfurt

Krakow FBU

Iceland

Y

London

Oslo FBU

India

Y

Manila

Manila FBU

Indonesia

Y

Manila

Manila FBU

Iran*

N (Frankfurt FBU)

Frankfurt

Frankfurt FBU

Iraq

Y

Rome

Rome FBU

Ireland

N (Dublin FBU)

London

Dublin FBU

Israel

N (Jerusalem FBU)

Rome

Jerusalem FBU

Italy

N (Rome/Naples FBU)

Rome

Rome/Naples FBU

Jamaica

Y

San Jose

Santo Domingo FBU

Japan

N (Tokyo FBU)

Manila

Tokyo FBU

Jordan

Y

Rome

Naples FBU

Kazakhstan

Y

Rome

Athens FBU

Kenya

Y

London

London FBU

Kiribati

Y

Manila

Manila FBU

Korea, North **

Y

Manila

Manila FBU

Korea, South

Y

Manila

Manila FBU

Kosovo

Y

Rome

Athens FBU

Kuwait

Y

Rome

Rome FBU

Kyrgyzstan

Y

Rome

Athens FBU

Laos

Y

Manila

Manila FBU

Latvia

Y

Frankfurt

Warsaw FBU

Lebanon

Y

Rome

Rome FBU

Lesotho

Y

London

London FBU

Liberia

Y

London

London FBU

Libya**

Y

Rome

Rome FBU

Liechtenstein

Y

Frankfurt

Frankfurt FBU

Lithuania

Y

Frankfurt

Warsaw FBU

Luxembourg

Y

London

Dublin FBU

Macau

Y

Manila

Manila FBU

Macedonia

Y

Rome

Naples FBU

Madagascar

Y

Frankfurt

Paris FBU

Malawi

Y

London

London FBU

Malaysia

Y

Manila

Manila FBU

Maldives

Y

Manila

Manila FBU

Mali

Y

Frankfurt

Paris FBU

Malta

Y

Rome

Rome FBU

Marshall Islands

Y

Manila

Manila FBU

Martinique

Y

San Jose

Santo Domingo FBU

Mauritania

Y

Frankfurt

Paris FBU

Mauritius

Y

Rome

Athens FBU

Mexico

N (Mexico FBUs)

Mexico City

Mexico FBUs

Micronesia, Federated States of

Y

Manila

Manila FBU

Moldova

Y

Rome

Athens FBU

Monaco

N (Paris FBU)

Frankfurt

Paris FBU

Mongolia

Y

Manila

Manila FBU

Montenegro

Y

Rome

Athens FBU

Montserrat

Y

San Jose

Santo Domingo FBU

Morocco

Y

Frankfurt

Paris FBU

Mozambique

Y

London

Lisbon FBU

Namibia

Y

London

London FBU

Nauru

Y

Manila

Manila FBU

Nepal

Y

Manila

Manila FBU

Netherlands

Y

London

Dublin FBU

New Caledonia

Y

Manila

Manila FBU

New Zealand

Y

Manila

Manila FBU

Nicaragua

Y

San Jose

San Jose FBU

Niger

Y

Frankfurt

Paris FBU

Nigeria

Y

London

London FBU

Norway

N (Oslo FBU)

London

Oslo FBU

Oman

Y

Rome

Rome FBU

Pakistan

Y

Manila

Manila FBU

Palau

Y

Manila

Manila FBU

Palestinian Territories

Y

Rome

Jerusalem FBU

Panama

Y

San Jose

San Jose FBU

Papua New Guinea

Y

Manila

Manila FBU

Paraguay

Y

San Jose

Buenos Aires FBU

Peru

Y

San Jose

San Jose FBU

Philippines

N (Manila FBU)

Manila

Manila FBU

Poland

N (Warsaw/Krakow FBU)

Frankfurt

Warsaw/Krakow FBU

Portugal

N (Lisbon FBU)

London

Lisbon FBU

Qatar

Y

Rome

Rome FBU

Romania

Y

Rome

Naples FBU

Russia

Y

Frankfurt

Warsaw FBU

Rwanda

Y

Frankfurt

Paris FBU

Saba

Y

San Jose

Santo Domingo FBU

Saint Kitts and Nevis

Y

San Jose

Santo Domingo FBU

Saint Lucia

Y

San Jose

Santo Domingo FBU

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Y

San Jose

Santo Domingo FBU

Samoa

Y

Manila

Manila FBU

San Marino

N (Rome FBU)

Rome

Rome FBU

Sao Tome and Principe

Y

London

Lisbon FBU

Saudi Arabia

Y

Rome

Rome FBU

Senegal

Y

Frankfurt

Paris FBU

Serbia

Y

Rome

Athens FBU

Seychelles

Y

Rome

Athens FBU

Sierra Leone

Y

London

London FBU

Singapore

Y

Manila

Manila FBU

Sint Eustatius

Y

San Jose

Santo Domingo FBU

Sint Maarten

Y

San Jose

Santo Domingo FBU

Slovakia

Y

Frankfurt

Warsaw FBU

Slovenia

Y

Rome

Rome FBU

Solomon Islands

Y

Manila

Manila FBU

Somalia

Y

London

London FBU

South Africa

Y

London

London FBU

South Sudan

Y

Rome

Rome FBU

Spain

N (Madrid FBU)

London

Madrid FBU

Sri Lanka

Y

Manila

Manila FBU

Sudan

Y

Rome

Rome FBU

Suriname

Y

San Jose

Santo Domingo FBU

Sweden

Y

London

Oslo FBU

Switzerland

Y

Frankfurt

Paris FBU

Syria*

Y

Rome

Naples FBU

Taiwan

Y

Manila

Manila FBU

Tajikistan

Y

Rome

Athens FBU

Tanzania

Y

London

London FBU

Thailand

Y

Manila

Manila FBU

Timor-Leste (East Timor)

Y

Manila

Manila FBU

Togo

Y

Frankfurt

Paris FBU

Tonga

Y

Manila

Manila FBU

Trinidad and Tobago

Y

San Jose

Santo Domingo FBU

Tunisia

Y

Frankfurt

Paris FBU

Turkey

Y

Rome

Athens FBU

Turkmenistan

Y

Rome

Athens FBU

Turks and Caicos Islands

Y

San Jose

Santo Domingo FBU

Tuvalu

Y

Manila

Manila FBU

Uganda

Y

London

London FBU

Ukraine

Y

Frankfurt

Warsaw FBU

United Arab Emirates

Y

Rome

Rome FBU

United Kingdom

N (London FBU)

London

London FBU

Uruguay

Y

San Jose

Buenos Aires FBU

Uzbekistan

Y

Rome

Athens FBU

Vanuatu

Y

Manila

Manila FBU

Venezuela**

Y

San Jose

Buenos Aires FBU

Vietnam

Y

Manila

Manila FBU

Yemen

Y

Rome

Athens FBU

Zambia

Y

London

London FBU

Zimbabwe

Y

London

Lisbon FBU

*Services provided under a Protecting Power Agreement.(See 7 FAM 1000)

**Services provided in a different, regional post/country.

7 FAM 538 SSA Restricted Countries

(CT:CON-940; 10-31-2022)

a. SSA restrictions prohibit the payment of benefitsto, or on behalf of, beneficiaries in some former U.S. Treasury-restrictedcountries. Although the Treasury Department restrictions have been lifted,payment cannot be made because the appropriate officials in those countrieshave not given SSA assurance of free access to beneficiaries/claimants and tovital statistics' records. These countries are:

Azerbaijan

Tajikistan

Belarus

Turkmenistan

Kazakhstan

Uzbekistan

Kyrgyzstan

NOTE: The necessary assurances of access were first requested by SSA through the Department of State when the Treasury restrictions were lifted. For various reasons, those assurances still have not been provided.

b. Generally, beneficiaries in these countries canreceive benefits withheld while they were in an SSA restricted country oncethey leave that country and go to a country where SSA can send payments.However, they must meet all other requirements for payment.

c. Exceptions to the nonpayment policy can be made forcertain eligible beneficiaries residing in an SSA restricted country if theymeet and agree to certain restricted conditions. Unless local instructionsstate otherwise, if a beneficiary contacts a post in one of the restricted countriesand requests that an exception be made to the nonpayment policy, the postshould take a written statement to this effect from them and send it to the servicing FBU. Includethe beneficiary's name, SSN, and complete local address.

7 FAM 539 Totalization Agreements

(CT:CON-931; 09-09-2022)

a. Since the late 1970's, the United States hasestablished a network of bilateral Social Security agreements that coordinatethe U.S. Social Security program with the comparable programs of other countries.International Social Security agreements, often called "Totalizationagreements," have two main purposes. First, they eliminate dual SocialSecurity taxation, the situation that occurs when a worker from one countryworks in another country and is required to pay Social Security taxes to bothcountries on the same earnings. Second, the agreements help fill gaps inbenefit protection for workers who have divided their careers between theUnited States and another country. Such workers may fail to qualify for socialsecurity benefits from one or both countries because they have not worked longenough to meet minimum eligibility requirements. Under an agreement, eachcountry can count credits in the other country if it will help a person qualifyfor benefits. Although each country may count credits in the other country,credits are not actually transferred from one country to the other.

Note:

See Social Security, International Programs, U.S. International Social Security Agreements

b. NCTPs refer all inquiries from individuals relatedto totalization agreements to the FBUs.

c. Questions from posts about negotiation orimplementation of a totalization agreement prior to its entry into force shouldbe directed to L/CA.

d. In regards to totalization agreements, the FBUs dothe following:

(1) Issue earning records.

(2) Provide other information from SSA systems neededby the foreign agency to execute provisions of the agreement.

(3) Make corrections to SSA records when necessary.

(4) Process leads for benefits.

(5) Obtain earnings or other information from theforeign agency.

(6) Answer inquiries regarding rules of coverageand/or how to obtain a certificate of coverage.

e. Questions from posts about negotiation orimplementation of a totalization agreement prior to its entry into force shouldbe directed to L/CA.

f. The United States has totalization agreements withthe following countries:

Country

Entry Into Force

Hungary

September 1, 2016

Slovak Republic

May 1, 2014

Poland

March 1, 2009

Czech Republic

January 1, 2009

Denmark

October 1, 2008

Japan

October 1, 2005

Australia

October 1, 2002

Chile

December 1, 2001

South Korea

April 1, 2001

Greece

September 1, 1994

Luxembourg

November 1, 1993

Ireland

September 1, 1993

Finland

November 1, 1992

Austria

November 1, 1991

Netherlands

November 1, 1990

Portugal

August 1, 1989

France

July 1, 1988

Spain

April 1, 1988

Sweden

January 1, 1987

United Kingdom

January 1, 1985

Canada

August 1, 1984

Norway

July 1, 1984

Belgium

July 1, 1984

Switzerland

November 1, 1980

Germany

December 1, 1979

Italy

November 1, 1978

UNCLASSIFIED (U)

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