The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia. Social Security System in the USA

USA's social security system

The USA's social security system is contribution based. In order to qualify for payments, people must meet a minimum period of contributions. Contributors are credited with 'quarters' of coverage based on their earnings. A person cannot accrue more than 4 quarters of coverage in any one year. The minimum qualifying period for a retirement benefit is normally 40 quarters of coverage (roughly equal to 10 years work). The amount of benefit paid is then based on the applicant's earnings prior to when they stopped work.

In terms of the Agreement, the USA social security benefits paid to agreement pensioners are paid under the SSAct (Title II). The Internal Revenue Code (Chapters 2 and 21) is also relevant in relation to the Double Coverage Provisions in Part II of the Agreement.

Act reference: SS(IntAgree)Act Schedule 13 USA

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