If you worked under the social security system of a foreign country, the periods of work may be taken into account toward meeting U.S. insured status requirements for retirement, survivors, and disability insurance programs if:
A Social Security agreement between the U.S. and the foreign country (totalization agreement) (see §107) provides for counting the foreign periods of coverage;
You have at least six credits earned under the U.S. program; and
You would not be insured for benefits without taking the foreign periods into account.
If you qualify for benefits based on combined coverage, the amount payable is based on a primary insurance amount (see Chapter 7), which is reduced to reflect the fact that foreign coverage was used to make the benefit payable.
Last Revised: Aug. 2, 2005
Social Security Handbook