These exceptions, based on the country of nationality or nationality of the worker, are provisions of the Social Security Act. In most cases, totalization agreements expand the ability of benefits to be nsogability based on their residence. Although totalization agreements vary according to the partner country`s social security system, Table A-1 summarizes some common coverage situations for U.S. workers posted abroad to work. As a general rule, a worker is covered by the social security system of the country in which he works. However, totalization agreements indicate exceptions for certain categories of U.S. workers. Since totalization agreements are inherently reciprocal, these waivers apply equally to foreign workers in the United States. Workers who have shared their careers between the United States and a foreign country may not be entitled to pensions, survivor benefits or disability insurance (pensions) from one or both countries because they have not worked long or recently enough to meet minimum conditions. Under an agreement, these workers may benefit from partially U.S.
or foreign benefits on the basis of combined or “totalized” coverage credits from both countries. Workers who are exempt from U.S. or foreign social security contributions under an agreement must document their exemption by obtaining a country coverage certificate that continues to cover it. For example, an American worker temporarily posted to the UK would need a SSA-issued coverage certificate to prove his exemption from UK social security contributions. Conversely, a UK-based employee working temporarily in the Us would need a certificate from the British authorities to prove the exemption from the US Social Security Tax. The provisions to eliminate dual coverage for workers are similar in all U.S. agreements. Each of them establishes a basic rule regarding the location of the employment of a workforce.
Under this basic “territorial rule,” a worker who would otherwise be covered by both the United States and a foreign regime is subject exclusively to the coverage laws of the country in which he or she works. 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 the absence of a totalization agreement, a large number of workers who work or are self-employed in another country, as well as employers in the first country, face the prospect of paying social security contributions to two countries with the same income.