As a general rule, individuals should only take action on totalization benefits under an agreement when they are willing to apply for a pension, survival or disability. A person wishing to introduce a entitlement to benefits as part of a totalization agreement can do so with any social security agency in the United States or abroad. In addition to improving the social security of working workers, international social security agreements help ensure continuity of benefit protection for people who have received social security credits under the U.S. system and another country. — the Agricultural Social Insurance Fund for Mutual Benefits (Social Social Mutuality Fund) for people covered by the agricultural social security scheme, “instead of harmonising national social security schemes, EU social security rules provide for a simple coordination of these systems… In other words, each Member State is free to decide who should be insured under its legislation; Benefits and the conditions under which they are granted; how these benefits are calculated and the number of contributions to be made. EU legislation establishes common rules and principles that must be respected by all national authorities, social security institutions, courts and courts in the application of national law. They thus ensure that the application of different national laws does not affect those who exercise their right to travel and stay in the European Union and the European Economic Area.” Example: In the United States, a person born in 1929 or later must earn 40 credits, of which at least 6 are earned in the United States in order to receive pension benefits from the Social Security Administration. Those born before 1929 need less credit.

Benefits granted by an agency of a contracting state under the agreement are reassessed under the same provisions as those granted under the legislation of that contracting state. As a precautionary measure, it should be noted that the derogation is relatively rare and is invoked only in mandatory cases. There are no plans to give workers or employers the freedom to regularly choose coverage that contradicts normal contractual rules.

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