10.15.3.20 Benefits Payable under the Agreement with the USA

Benefits payable

Article 2 - Legislative Scope - lists the Australian and USA benefits covered by the Agreement.

The Australian benefits covered are:

  • age pension,
  • DSP for the severely disabled,
  • pensions payable to widowed persons (PPS and BVA), and
  • CP (to people who are caring for a partner who is in receipt of Australian Age or DSP who is severely disabled).

The USA benefits covered are:

  • US retirement benefits are paid to people who are 65 years of age. However, it should be noted that the age where a person can receive full retirement benefits is gradually increasing to 67. A person can access retirement benefits early at age 62. A person needs 40 quarters of coverage (10 years work) before they qualify for payment. The rate of payment is then based on the person's earnings in the USA over their working life.
  • US disability benefits are paid to people who are unable to work because of a long term illness and are between 18 and 65 years of age. The number of quarters of coverage a person needs to claim varies according to the applicant's age. For example, a person under 24 needs 6 quarters of coverage earned in the 3 years before they became disabled. The rate of payment is based on the person's lifetime earnings covered by social security.
  • US survivor benefits are paid to the widow or widower, unmarried children and dependent parents of a deceased person. The rate paid depends on the average earnings of the deceased person.

Note: Under the Agreement a person must have a minimum of 6 quarters of coverage before they can use the Agreement to qualify for US benefits.

More information on USA benefits is available on the US Social Security Administration website.

Act reference: SS(IntAgree)Act Schedule 13 USA

Last reviewed: 20 September 2017