SSR 64-64: SECTIONS 217(a). -- VETERANS -- MILITARY SERVICE WAGE CREDITS -- EFFECT OF BENEFIT AWARDED BY ANOTHER FEDERAL AGENCY

20 CFR 404.1308 and 404.1310

SSR 64-64

The worker was in active military service of the United States Army from 1914 through 1945. He was awarded Army retirement pay based upon his completion of 30 years of service on April 30, 1944. Held, the crediting of part of the worker's World War II military service for purposes of awarding Army retirement pay precluded granting of military service wage credits under section 217(a) for any World War II military service even though part of such service, i.e., his military service from May 1, 1944, through December 31, 1945, was not considered in determining his eligibility for or the amount of his retirement pay.

The worker, P, served on active duty as an enlisted man with the United States Army from 1914 until December 31, 1945. Although he was retired on April 30, 1944, having completed the 30 years of service required by law for such retirement, he was immediately recalled to service and continued to serve on active duty until December 31, 1945, since the United States was still engaged in World War II. He now receives Army retirement pay, based on 30 years of service. The Army did not use the period of service from May 1, 1944, through December 31, 1945, in determining his eligibility for, or in computing the amount of, his retirement pay.

In December 1962 P filed an application for old-age insurance benefits. Based upon his date of birth, February 26, 1897, he needs 11 quarters of coverage to be fully insured and entitled to old-age insurance benefits. P has 8 quarters of coverage in the years 1947-1949, based upon wages for covered employment during those years. (A worker has a quarter of coverage for any calendar quarter after 1936 in which he has been paid $50 in wages or meets other requirements not pertinent in this case.)

Since P has only 8 of the 11 quarters of coverage he needs to be fully insured, he is ineligible for the benefits claimed, unless he can be credited with at least 3 additional quarters of coverage by reason of his military service.

With the type of exception referred to hereafter, remuneration for service before 1957 in the armed forces of the United States is not creditable under the Social Security Act toward quarters of coverage. However, pursuant to section 217(a)(1), a veteran may, under certain conditions, be deemed to have been paid wages of $160 in each month during any part of which he served in the active military service of the United States during World War II, i.e., September 16, 1940, through July 24, 1947. P meets all the conditions for the granting of such military service wage credits except one. Section 217(a)(1) further provides in pertinent part:

This subsection shall not be applicable * * * if * * * a benefit * * * which is based, in whole or in part, upon the active military or naval service of such veteran during World War II is determined by any agency or wholly owned instrumentality of the United States (other than the Veterans' Administration) to be payable by it under any other law of the United States or under a system established by such agency of instrumentality. * * *

In the present case, a Federal agency (the United States Army) has awarded a benefit (P's retirement pay) based on P's World War II service before May 1, 1944. Without that service P would not meet the 30-year requirement for Army retirement pay. P recognizes that wage credits cannot be granted for his World War II service before May 1, 1944; but he contends that since his retirement pay is not based, either in whole or in part, on his World War II service from May 1, 1944, through December 31, 1945, he should be granted military service wage credits of $160 per month for that period.

Accordingly, the question to be decided is whether the fact that a Federal benefit is based on only a part of the veteran's World War II service precluded the granting of military service wage credits for the remainder of his World War II service. P's entitlement to old-age insurance benefits depends on the resolution of this issue. With such credits for the period May 1, 1944, through December 31, 1945, P would have 7 additional quarters of coverage, (for the last 3 calendar quarters of 1944 and the 4 calendar quarters of 1945), and consequently would be fully insured and entitled to the benefits claimed.

P's Army retirement benefit is based in part on his active military service during World War II within the purview of the limitation on the granting of social security credit for such service contained in section 217(a)(1). The prohibition applies, under Social Security Administration Regulations ยง 404.1310(c), "if any part of the veteran's active service during the World War II period has been credited toward another 'Federal benefit'." (Emphasis supplied.) See Moncrief v. Folsom, 233 F.2d 471 (4th Cir., 1956). It follows, pursuant to the law and regulations, that P cannot be credited with military service wage credits for any part of his active service during World War II.

Accordingly, it is held that since military service wage credits must be denied P, he is not fully insured and therefore is not entitled to old-age insurance benefits.


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