Benefit Provisions

§ 404.1908. Crediting foreign periods of coverage.

(a) General. To have foreign periods of coverage combined with U.S. periods of coverage for purposes of determining entitlement to and the amount of benefits payable under title II, an individual must have at least 6 quarters of coverage, as defined in section 213 of the Social Security Act, under the U.S. system. As a rule, SSA will accept foreign coverage information, as certified by the foreign country's agency, unless otherwise specified by the agreement. No credit will be given, however, for periods of coverage acquired before January 1, 1937.

(b) For quarters of coverage purposes. (1) Generally, a quarter of coverage (QC) will be credited for every 3 months (or equivalent period), or remaining fraction of 3 months, of coverage in a reporting period certified to SSA by the other country's agency. A reporting period used by a foreign country may be one calendar year or some other period of time. QCs based on foreign periods of coverage may be credited as QCs only to calendar quarters not already QCs under title II. The QCs will be assigned chronologically beginning with the first calendar quarter (not already a QC under title II) within the reporting period and continuing until all the QCs are assigned, or the reporting period ends. Example: Country XYZ, which has an annual reporting period, certifies to SSA that a worker has 8 months of coverage in 1975, from January 1 to August 25. The worker has no QCs under title II in that year. Since 8 months divided by 3 months equals 2 QCs with a remainder of 2 months, the U.S. will credit the worker with 3 QCs. The QCs will be credited to the first 3 calendar quarters in 1975.

(2) If an individual fails to meet the requirements for currently insured status or the insured status needed for establishing a period of disability solely because of the assignment of QCs based on foreign coverage to calendar quarters chronologically, the QCs based on foreign coverage may be assigned to different calendar quarters within the beginning and ending dates of the reporting period certified by the foreign country, but only as permitted under paragraph (b)(1) of this section.