SSA logo: link to Social Security Online home216. Totalization-Coordination of Social Security Systems of the United States and a Foreign Country

216.1 Is your work performed in a foreign country taken into account for determining U.S. Social Security benefit eligibility?

If you worked under the social security system of a foreign country, the periods of work may be taken into account toward meeting U.S. insured status requirements for the U.S. Social Security Act’s title II retirement, survivors, and disability insurance programs if:

  1. A social security agreement between the U.S. and the foreign country (Totalization agreement) (see §107) provides for counting the foreign periods of coverage;

  2. You have at least six credits earned under the U.S. program; and

  3. You would not be insured for benefits without taking the foreign periods into account.

216.2 What happens if you qualify for benefits based on combined coverage?

If you qualify for benefits using combined coverage, the amount payable is based on a U.S. primary insurance amount (see Chapter 7). This is pro rated to reflect the fact that although foreign coverage helped you acquire insured status, the benefit payable is based on your U.S. coverage only.

216.3 Totalization-Coordination of Social Security Systems of the United States and A Foreign Country - Other Resources

http://www.ssa.gov/international/agreement_descriptions.html

Last Revised: Aug. 8, 2011