U.S.-Greek Social Security Agreement

Agreement and administrative arrangement both signed at Athens June 22, 1993.
Entered into force September 1, 1994.

Contents

Principal Agreement
Part I - General Provisions
Part II - Provisions on Coverage
Part III - Provisions on Benefits
Part IV - Miscellaneous Provisions
Part V - Transitional and Final Provisions
Administrative Arrangement
 

AGREEMENT ON SOCIAL SECURITY

BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

AND THE GOVERNMENT OF

THE HELLENIC REPUBLIC

 

The Government of the United States of America and

the Government of the Hellenic Republic,

Being desirous of regulating the relationship between their two countries in the field of Social Security, have agreed as follows:

 

PART I

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 1

  1. For the purpose of this Agreement:


    1. "National" means,


    as regards the United States, a national of the United States as defined in Section 101, Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended, and

    as regards Greece, a citizen of Greece;

    1. "Laws" means the laws and regulations specified in Article 2;


    1. "Competent Authority" means,


    2. as regards the United States, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and

      as regards Greece, the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Social Security;

    3. "Agency" means,

    as regards the United States, the Social Security Administration, and

    as regards Greece, the institution which is responsible for implementation of the laws specified in Article 2;

    1. "Period of coverage" means a period of payment of contributions or a period of earnings from employment or self-employment, as defined or recognized as a period of coverage or a period of insurance by the laws under which such period has been completed, or any similar period insofar as it is recognized by such laws as equivalent to a period of coverage; and


    1. "Benefit" means any benefit provided for in the laws specified in Article 2 of this Agreement.


  2. Any term not defined in this Article shall have the meaning assigned to it in the applicable laws.

Article 2

  1. For the purpose of this Agreement, the applicable laws are:

    1. As regards the United States, the laws governing the Federal old-age, survivors, and disability insurance program:

      -- Title II of the Social Security Act and regulations pertaining thereto, except sections 226, 226A and 228 of that title and regulations pertaining to those sections,

      --Chapters 2 and 21 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and regulations pertaining to those chapters;


    2. As regards Greece,


    3. --The general legislation on Social Security for employed persons and persons treated as such, legislation concerning special Social Security systems that cover specific categories of employed persons and persons treated as such, and for self-employed persons and professionals and for farmers,


      --For the purposes of implementing paragraph 3 of Article 3 of this Agreement, the special systems that cover seafarers and civil servants.


  1. Unless otherwise provided in this Agreement, the laws referred to in paragraph 1 shall not include treaties or other international agreements or supranational legislation on Social Security that may be concluded between one Contracting State and a third State, or laws or regulations promulgated for their specific implementation.

  2. This Agreement shall also apply to future laws which amend or supplement the laws specified in paragraph 1 of this Article.

 

Article 3

  1. Unless otherwise provided, this Agreement shall apply to:


    1. Persons who are or have been subject to the laws of one or both of the Contracting States and


    2. Other persons with respect to the rights they derive from the persons mentioned in subparagraph (a).


  2. (a) A person who is or has been subject to the laws of one Contracting State and who resides within the territory of the other Contracting State shall, together with his dependents, receive equal treatment with nationals of the other Contracting State in the application of its laws.

    (b) This paragraph shall be applied by the United States in a manner consistent with section 233(c)(4) of the United States Social Security Act.

  3.  

  4. Unless otherwise provided in this Agreement, any provision of the laws of a Contracting State which restricts entitlement to or payment of old-age, survivors or disability benefits solely because the person resides outside or is absent from the territory of that Contracting State shall not be applicable to the persons who reside in the territory of the other Contracting State.


PART II

Provisions on Coverage

Article 4

  1. Except as otherwise provided in this Article, a person employed within the territory of one of the Contracting States shall, with respect to that employment, be subject to the laws of only that Contracting State.
  1. Where a person who is normally employed in the territory of one Contracting State by an employer in that territory is sent by that employer to the territory of the other Contracting State for a temporary period, the person shall be subject to the laws of only the first Contracting State as if he were employed in the territory of the first Contracting State, provided that the period of employment in the territory of the other Contracting State is not expected to exceed five years. For purposes of applying this paragraph in the case of an employee who is sent from the territory of the United States by an employer in that territory to the territory of Greece, that employer and an affiliated company of the employer (as defined under the laws of the United States) shall be considered one and the same, provided that the employment would have been covered under United States laws absent this Agreement.
  1. Paragraph 2 shall apply where a person who has been sent by his employer from the territory of a Contracting State to the territory of a third State is subsequently sent by that employer from the territory of the third State to the territory of the other Contracting State.


  2. A self-employed person who resides within the territory of a Contracting State shall be subject to the laws of only that State.


  3. Where the same activity is considered to be self-employment under the laws of one Contracting State and employment under the laws of the other Contracting State, that activity shall be treated according to the provisions of this Article concerning self-employment if the person is a resident of the first Contracting State and according to the provisions of this Article concerning employment in any other case.

  4. Traveling employees of air transportation companies who perform work in the territories of both Contracting States and who would otherwise be covered under the laws of both Contracting States shall, with respect to that work, be subject to the laws of only the Contracting State in the territory of which the firm has its home office. However, if such employees reside in the territory of the other Contracting State, they shall be subject to the laws of only that State.


  5. A person employed as an officer or member of a crew on a vessel which flies the flag of one Contracting State and who would otherwise be covered under the laws of both Contracting States shall be subject to the laws of only the Contracting State whose flag the vessel flies. A vessel which flies the flag of the United States is one defined as an American vessel under the laws of the United States.

  6. (a) This Agreement shall not affect the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of April 18, 1961, or of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of April 24, 1963.

  7. (b) Nationals of one of the Contracting States who are employed by the Government of that Contracting State in the territory of the other Contracting State but who are not exempt from the laws of the other Contracting State by virtue of the Conventions mentioned in subparagraph (a) shall be subject to the laws of only the first Contracting State. For the purpose of this paragraph, employment by the United States Government includes employment by an instrumentality thereof.

  8. The Competent Authorities of the two Contracting States may agree to grant an exception to the provisions of this Article with respect to particular persons or categories of persons, provided that any affected person shall be subject to the laws of one of the Contracting States.

 

Article 5

  1. In determining eligibility for voluntary insurance in accordance with Greek laws, periods of coverage completed by a person under United States laws shall be considered as periods of coverage completed under Greek laws if the person fulfills the other requirements provided in Greek laws.


  2. Law No. 1469/84 concerning voluntary coverage for Greek nationals and foreign nationals of Greek origin under the Greek pension insurance scheme shall apply to United States nationals where the person concerned:


    1. resides in the territory of the United States and has in the past been compulsorily covered under the Greek pension insurance scheme; or


    2. regardless of the place of residence, has previously either:


      1. resided in the territory of Greece for at least 10 years, whether consecutive or not, after attainment of age 18 (or prior to attainment of age 18, if the person was covered under the Greek pension insurance scheme) or


      2. been covered under the Greek pension insurance scheme, whether compulsorily or voluntarily, for a period of at least 1,500 days.

 

PART III

PROVISIONS ON BENEFITS

 

Article 6

The following provisions shall apply to the United States:

  1. Where a person has completed at least six quarters of coverage under United States laws, but does not have sufficient periods of coverage to satisfy the requirements for entitlement to benefits under United States laws, the agency of the United States shall take into account, for the purpose of establishing entitlement to benefits under this Article, periods of coverage which are credited under Greek laws and which do not coincide with periods of coverage already credited under United States laws.

  2. In determining eligibility for benefits under paragraph 1 of this Article, the agency of the United States shall credit one quarter of coverage for every 75 days of coverage certified by the agency of Greece; however, no quarter of coverage shall be credited for any calendar quarter already credited as a quarter of coverage under United States laws. The total number of quarters of coverage to be credited for a year shall not exceed four.

  3. Where entitlement to a benefit under United States laws is established according to the provisions of paragraph 1, the agency of the United States shall compute a pro rata Primary Insurance Amount in accordance with United States laws based on (a) the person's average earnings credited exclusively under United States laws and (b) the ratio of the duration of the person's periods of coverage completed under United States laws to the duration of a coverage lifetime as determined in accordance with United States laws. Benefits payable under United States laws shall be based on the pro rata Primary Insurance Amount.


  4. Entitlement to a benefit from the United States which results from paragraph 1 shall terminate with the acquisition of sufficient periods of coverage under United States laws to establish entitlement to an equal or higher benefit without the need to invoke the provision of paragraph 1.

 


Article 7

The following provisions shall apply to Greece:

  1. If a person is entitled to a Greek benefit without regard to the provisions of paragraphs 2 and 3 of this Article, the amount of the benefit shall be calculated according to Greek laws on the basis of the periods of coverage completed under those laws.


  2. If no right to a Greek benefit exists on the basis of the Greek periods of coverage, periods of coverage completed under United States laws shall be added to them in order to establish the right to old-age, invalidity and survivors benefits under Greek laws, insofar as these periods do not coincide.


  3. If, according to the preceding paragraph, periods of coverage under United States laws are taken into account to establish eligibility, the benefit due under Greek laws shall be determined as follows:


    1. The competent Greek agency shall first calculate the amount of the benefit which would have been awarded to the person concerned (theoretical amount) if the periods of coverage completed under United States laws and totalized according to the preceding paragraph to establish eligibility for old-age, invalidity and survivors benefits, had been completed under its own laws.


    2. For the calculation of the amount of the benefit, the competent agency shall take into account the salary (earnings), income or contributions paid during periods of coverage completed under Greek laws.


    3. If the amount, as determined above, is less than the minimum benefit provided under Greek laws, the minimum benefit amount shall be taken into account.


    4. If the benefit amount is not dependent on the length of the periods of coverage, this amount shall be considered to be the theoretical amount.


    5. Based on the amount calculated according to the preceding subparagraphs of this paragraph, the competent agency shall calculate the partial benefit payable by it according to the ratio between the length of the periods of coverage completed under its own laws and the total duration of the periods of coverage which have been taken into account.


  4. If the total length of the periods of coverage that are completed under Greek laws for the calculation of a benefit do not amount to 300 days, and provided that no entitlement to a benefit under Greek laws exists without applying the preceding paragraphs, no benefit shall be payable under those laws.


  5. For the determination of the kind of benefit and the competent agency, only Greek periods of coverage shall be taken into account.

  6. If the award of certain benefits under Greek laws depends on the condition that periods of coverage be completed in a profession covered by a special system, periods of coverage completed under the laws of the United States in a respective special system or, in cases where no respective special system exists, in the same profession or the same employment, shall be taken into account for the award of these benefits.

    If, taking into account the periods thus completed, the person concerned does not meet the required conditions, these periods shall be taken into account for the award of benefits under the general system.



  7. For the purposes of this Article:


    1. One quarter of coverage under United States laws shall equal 75 days of coverage under Greek laws.


    2. Four quarters of coverage under United States laws in a year shall equal 300 days of coverage under Greek laws in that year.


  8. If a person who is entitled to a benefit resides in Greece, the total amount of the benefit payable by the competent agencies of both Contracting States may not be less than the minimum benefit provided under Greek laws. If the total amount is less than the minimum benefit, the Greek competent agency shall pay the difference.


  9. Provisions of Greek laws which provide for a reduction or suspension of benefits on account of receipt of another benefit or income from gainful activity shall be applied even if such other benefit is payable under the laws of the United States or the income is derived from within the territory of the United States.


  10. In determining whether a benefit shall be reduced or suspended in accordance with paragraph 9, the Greek agency shall take into account another benefit or income from gainful activity only in proportion to the ratio between the Greek partial benefit referred to in paragraph 3(e) and the theoretical benefit amount referred to in paragraph 3(a).



PART IV


MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

Article 8

The Competent Authorities of the two Contracting States shall:

    1. Make all necessary administrative arrangements for the implementation of this Agreement and designate liaison agencies;

    2. Communicate to each other information concerning the measures taken for the application of this Agreement; and

    3. Communicate to each other, as soon as possible, information concerning all changes in their respective laws which may affect the application of this Agreement.

 

Article 9

The Competent Authorities and the agencies of the Contracting States, within the scope of their respective authorities, shall assist each other in implementing this Agreement. This assistance shall be free of charge, subject to exceptions to be agreed upon in an administrative arrangement.

 

Article 10

Unless otherwise required by the national statutes of a Contracting State, information about an individual which is transmitted in accordance with the Agreement to that Contracting State by the other Contracting State shall be used exclusively for purposes of implementing the Agreement. Such information received by a Contracting State shall be governed by the national statutes of that Contracting State for the protection of privacy and confidentiality of personal data.



Article 11

  1. Where the laws of a Contracting State provide that any document which is submitted to the Competent Authority or an agency of that Contracting State shall be exempted, wholly or partly, from fees or charges, including consular and administrative fees, the exemption shall also apply to corresponding documents which are submitted to the Competent Authority or an agency of the other Contracting State in the application of this Agreement.


  2. Documents and certificates which are presented for purposes of this Agreement shall be exempted from requirements for authentication by diplomatic or consular authorities.

  3. Copies of documents which are certified as true and exact copies by an agency of one Contracting State shall be accepted as true and exact copies by an agency of the other Contracting State, without further certification. The agency of each Contracting State shall be the final judge of the probative value of the evidence submitted to it from whatever source.

 

Article 12

  1. The Competent Authorities and agencies of the Contracting States may correspond directly with each other and with any person wherever the person may reside whenever it is necessary for the administration of this Agreement. The correspondence may be in the official language of either Contracting State.


  2. An application or document may not be rejected by a Competent Authority or agency of a Contracting State because it is in the official language of the other Contracting State.

 

Article 13

  1. A written application for benefits filed with an agency of one Contracting State shall protect the rights of the claimants under the laws of the other Contracting State if the applicant requests that it be considered an application under the laws of the other Contracting State.

  2. If an applicant has filed a written application for benefits with an agency of one Contracting State and has not explicitly requested that the application be restricted to benefits under the laws of that Contracting State, the application shall also protect the rights of the claimants under the laws of the other Contracting State if the applicant provides information at the time of filing indicating that the person on whose record benefits are claimed has completed periods of coverage under the laws of the other Contracting State.

 

Article 14

  1. A written appeal against a decision made by an agency of one Contracting State may be validly filed with an agency of either Contracting State. The appeal shall be dealt with according to the procedure and laws of the Contracting State whose decision is being appealed.


  2. Any claim, notice or written appeal which, under the laws of one Contracting State, must have been filed within a prescribed period with an agency of that Contracting State, but which is instead filed within the same period with an agency of the other Contracting State, shall be considered to have been filed on time.


 

Article 15

In any case to which the provisions of Article 14 apply, the agency to which the claim, notice or written appeal has been submitted shall indicate the date of receipt on the document and transmit it without delay to the liaison agency of the other Contracting State.

 

Article 16
  1. Payments under this Agreement may be made in the currency of the Contracting State making the payments.


  2. Benefits payable under Greek laws or Greek benefits payable under this Agreement to citizens or residents of the United States shall not be subject to reduction or suspension because of any provision in Greek laws or other Greek legislation or regulations that is designed to restrict payments, remittances or transfers of funds or financial instruments from Greece to locations outside the territory of Greece.


  3. Benefits under United States laws or United States benefits under this Agreement shall be paid to Greek nationals outside the territory of the United States in accordance with Article 11, paragraph 2, of the United States-Greek Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation signed August 3, 1951.


  4. In case provisions restricting the transfer of currency are promulgated in either of the Contracting States, the two States shall immediately adopt measures necessary to guarantee the rights derived from this Agreement.

 

Article 17

Any disagreement regarding the interpretation or application of this Agreement shall be resolved by consultation between the Competent Authorities.

 

Article 18

This Agreement may be amended in the future by supplementary agreements which, from their entry into force, shall be considered an integral part of this Agreement. Such agreements may be given retroactive effect if they so specify.

 

PART V


TRANSITIONAL AND FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 19

  1. This Agreement shall not establish any claim to payment of a benefit for any period before the date of the entry into force of the Agreement, or to a lump-sum death benefit if the person died before the entry into force of the Agreement.

  2. In determining the right to benefits under this Agreement, consideration shall be given to periods of coverage and other events which occurred before the entry into force of this Agreement. However neither Contracting State shall take into account periods of coverage which occurred prior to the earliest date for which periods of coverage may be credited under its laws.


  3. In applying paragraph 2 of Article 4 in the case of persons who were sent to the territory of a Contracting State prior to the date of entry into force of this Agreement, the period of employment referred to in that paragraph shall be considered to begin on that date.

  4. (a) Determinations made before the entry into force of this Agreement shall not affect rights arising under it.


  5. (b) Any benefit which was denied or suspended under the domestic law of either Contracting State but which is payable by virtue of this Agreement shall, upon application of the person concerned, be awarded or reinstated upon entry into force of the Agreement, provided that the right to such benefit has not been settled by a lump-sum payment.

    (c) Benefit rights which a person acquired prior to the entry into force of this Agreement may be reviewed upon application of the person concerned, taking into account the provisions of this Agreement.

  6. The application of this Agreement shall not result in any reduction in the amount of a benefit to which entitlement was established prior to its entry into force.


  7. The provisions of Part III shall apply only to benefits for which an application is filed on or after the date this Agreement enters into force.




Article 20

  1. This Agreement shall remain in force and effect until the expiration of one calendar year following the year in which written notice of its termination is given by one of the Contracting States to the other Contracting State.


  2. If this Agreement is terminated, rights regarding entitlement to or payment of benefits acquired under it shall be retained. The Contracting States shall make arrangements dealing with rights in the process of being acquired.

 

Article 21

This Agreement shall enter into force on the first day of the third month following the month in which each Government shall have received from the other Government written notification that it has complied with all statutory and constitutional requirements for the entry into force of this Agreement.

 

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the undersigned, being duly authorized thereto, have signed the present Agreement.

 

DONE at Athens on June 22, 1993, in duplicate in the English and Greek languages, the two texts being equally authentic.

 

FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

James A. Williams

 

FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF THE HELLENIC REPUBLIC:

Dimitrios Sioufas

 

 

 

ADMINISTRATIVE ARRANGEMENT
FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE AGREEMENT ON SOCIAL SECURITY
BETWEEN
THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
AND THE GOVERNMENT OF THE HELLENIC REPUBLIC


The Government of the United States of America and

the Government of the Hellenic Republic,

in conformity with Article 8(a) of the Agreement on Social Security of this date between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Hellenic Republic,
hereinafter referred to as the "Agreement", have agreed as follows:

 

Chapter I

General Provisions

Article 1


The terms used in this Administrative Arrangement shall have the same meaning as in the Agreement.

 

Article 2

  1. The liaison agencies referred to in Article 8(a) of the Agreement shall be:

    1. for the United States, the Social Security Administration;


    2. for Greece, the Social Security Institute.

  2. The liaison agencies designated in paragraph 1 shall agree upon the joint procedures and forms necessary for the implementation of the Agreement and this Administrative Arrangement.

Chapter II

Provisions on Coverage

Article 3

  1. Where the laws of a Contracting State are applicable in accordance with any of the provisions of Article 4 of the Agreement, the agency of that Contracting State, upon request of the employer or self-employed person, shall issue a certificate stating that the employee or self-employed person is subject to those laws and indicating the duration for which the certificate shall be valid. This certificate shall be proof that the named worker is exempt from the laws on compulsory coverage of the other Contracting State.


  2. The certificate referred to in paragraph 1 shall be issued:

    1. in the United States, by the Social Security Administration;

    2. in Greece, by the Social Security Institute.

  3. The agency of a Contracting State which issues a certificate referred to in paragraph 1 shall furnish a copy of the certificate to the liaison agency of the other Contracting State as needed by the latter agency.

Article 4

For the application of Article 5 of the Agreement, the United States liaison agency, upon request of the Greek liaison agency, shall certify to it the periods of coverage completed under United States laws.

Chapter III

Provisions on Benefits

Article 5

  1. Applications for benefits under the Agreement shall be submitted on forms to be agreed upon by the liaison agencies of the two Contracting States.


  2. The agency of the Contracting State with which an application for benefits is first filed in accordance with Article 13 of the Agreement shall provide the liaison agency of the other Contracting State with such evidence and other information as may be required to complete action on the claim.


  3. The agency of a Contracting State which receives an application that was first filed with an agency of the other Contracting State shall without delay provide the liaison agency of that Contracting State with such evidence and other available information as may be required for it to complete action on the claim.

  4. The agency of the Contracting State with which an application for benefits has been filed shall verify the information pertaining to the applicant and his family members. The types of information to be verified shall be agreed upon by the liaison agencies of both Contracting States.


Chapter IV


Miscellaneous Provisions

Article 6

In accordance with measures to be agreed upon pursuant to Article 2, paragraph 2, of this Administrative Arrangement, the liaison agency of one Contracting State shall, upon request of an agency of the other Contracting State, furnish available information relating to the claim of any specified individual for the purpose of administering the Agreement.


Article 7

The liaison agencies of the two Contracting States shall exchange statistics on the number of certificates issued under Article 3 of this Administrative Arrangement and on the payments made to beneficiaries under the Agreement. These statistics shall be furnished annually in a form to be agreed upon.

 

Article 8

  1. Where administrative assistance is requested under Article 9 of the Agreement, expenses other than regular personnel and operating costs of the agency providing the assistance shall be reimbursed, except as may be agreed to by the Competent Authorities or liaison agencies of the Contracting States.

  2. Upon request, the liaison agency of either Contracting State shall furnish without cost to the liaison agency of the other Contracting State any medical information and documentation in its possession relevant to the disability of the claimant or beneficiary.

  3. Where the agency of a Contracting State requires that a person in the territory of the other Contracting State who is receiving or applying for benefits under the Agreement submit to a medical examination, such examination, if requested by that agency, shall be arranged by the liaison agency of the other Contracting State in accordance with the rules of the agency making the arrangements and at the expense of the agency which requests the examination.


  4. The liaison agency of one Contracting State shall reimburse amounts owed under paragraph 1 or 3 of this Article upon presentation of a statement of expenses by the liaison agency of the other Contracting State.


Article 9

This Administrative Arrangement shall enter into force on the date of entry into force of the Agreement and shall have the same period of validity.

 

DONE at Athens on June 22, 1993, in duplicate in the English and Greek languages, the two texts being equally authentic.


FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

James A. Williams

FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF THE HELLENIC REPUBLIC:

Dimitrios Sioufas