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An agreement effective November 1, 1978, between the United States and Italy improves Social Security protection for people who work or have worked in both countries. It helps many people who, without the agreement, would not be eligible for monthly retirement, disability or survivors benefits under the Social Security system of one or both countries. It also helps people who would otherwise have to pay Social Security taxes to both countries on the same earnings.
For the United States, the agreement covers Social Security taxes (including the U.S. Medicare portion) and Social Security retirement, disability and survivors insurance benefits. It doesn’t cover benefits under the U.S. Medicare program or the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. For Italy, it also includes family allowances.
You don’t have to do anything to have your credits in one country counted by the other country. If they need to count your credits under the Italian system to help you qualify for a U.S. benefit, the SSA will get a copy of your Italian record directly from Italy when you apply for benefits. If Italy needs to count your U.S. credits to help you qualify for an Italian benefit, they will get a copy of your U.S. record directly from the Social Security Administration when you apply for the Italian benefit.If you qualify for Social Security benefits from both the United States and Italy and you didn’t need the agreement to qualify for either benefit, the amount of your U.S. benefit may be reduced. This is a result of a provision in U.S. law which can affect the way your benefit is figured if you also receive a pension based on work that was not covered by U.S. Social Security.
You can apply for Italian benefits at any U.S. Social Security office by completing an application form SSA-2490.