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dylatess, ATTORNEY
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 3441
Experience:  37 plus years of SSD practice
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I have worked in US years and paid social security period. I

Customer Question

I have worked in US for five years and paid social security for the period. I haven't collected 40 credits so far. But I worked in Canada before for 15 years and paid CPP all the time. Now I am thinking to retire. Do I get my social security benefit or not?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Arthur Rubin replied 1 year ago.

There is a Social Security totalization agreement between the US and Canada, which allows Canadian credits to be used to qualify for US Social Security, and the fraction of the calculated benefit due to US credits is then paid by the US. You must have at least 6 (US) Social Security credits to qualify.

You can apply on form CDN-USA 1. If you live in the US when you retire, you can apply for both US and Canadian benefits at any Social Security office. If you live in Canada, you can apply at any border US Social Security office, or any Canadian Social Security office.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Do you know how the fraction is calculated? Is it simply proporational to the US credits? Say I collected 20 US social security credits, the fraction will be 50% (based on total 40 credits)? I just want to know a rough estimate. Thanks in advance.
Expert:  Arthur Rubin replied 1 year ago.

I'm afraid I don't know precisely how the fraction is calculated. The treaty, Article VII Paragraph 3, states:

  • Where entitlement to a benefit under United States laws is established according to the provisions of paragraph (1) of this Article, the agency of the United States shall compute a pro rata primary insurance amount in accordance with United States laws based on the duration of the person's periods of coverage credited under United States laws. Benefits payable under United States laws shall be based on the pro rata primary insurance amount.

The procedure is as described in POMS section GN 01701.200 It appears to create a virtual US earnings schedule based on US average earnings in the years added, calculating the benefit, and then using the fraction based on US quarters earned divided by US quarters required.