FSMC, TITLE 53.  SOCIAL SECURITY & PRIOR-SERVICE BENEFITS
 
 
 
Chapter 8:  Coverage and Benefits

801.   Scope of coverage; Verification of employment.
802.   Surviving spouses benefits.
803.   Dependents benefits Disability benefits.
804.   Amount of retirement and disability insurance benefits.
805.   Reemployment after retirement.
806.   Amount of survivor insurance benefits.
807.   Lump sum benefits.
808.   Adjustments to correct for overpayments and underpayments to an individual.
809.   Payment of benefits to foreign citizens outside Federated States of Micronesia.
810.   Optional lump sum payment to individuals not fully insured who reach retirement age.

      801.  Scope of coverage; Verification of employment.

    (1)     All employees, wherever employed by an employer incorporated or doing business in the Federated States of Micronesia, shall be covered unless both the employer and the employee are currently subject to any other recognized Social Security System.  The highest administrator of the Social Security System, or his designees, shall cause at least two unannounced employment site checks to be conducted upon every non-government employee who first begins to contribute to the Social Security System after age 45 years to ensure that such non-government employee is actually engaged in an employer-employee relationship that will allow him to be covered and eligible for benefits under this subtitle.  The two employment site checks shall not be conducted within one month from each other and both shall be conducted within the first six months of the employees first contribution payment to the Social Security System.  For the purposes of this subtitle, any elected official in any Government unit or body in the Federated States of Micronesia is deemed to be an employee employed by a Federated States of Micronesia employer.  The governmental unit or body to which such person is elected is subject to the provisions in this subtitle relating to the duty and obligations of a Federated States of Micronesia employer.

    (2)     Every person who:

    (a)     is a fully insured individual, as defined in this subtitle;

    (b)     has attained age 60 years; and

    (c)     has filed application for old age insurance shall be entitled to an old age insurance benefit for each month, beginning with the month for which both paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subsection are satisfied and ending with the month preceding the month in which he dies, subject to the earnings test as defined in this subtitle.

Source:  PL 2-74 301; PL 5-120 6.

      802.  Surviving spouses benefits.
     The surviving spouse of an individual who died fully insured, if such spouse has filed application, shall be entitled to a survivor insurance benefit for each month beginning with the month of death of the fully insured spouse and ending with the month preceding the month in which the surviving spouse dies or remarries; provided, that such benefit shall be subject to the earnings test as defined in this subtitle.

Source:  PL 2-74 302.

      803.  Dependents benefits Disability benefits.

    (1)   Every surviving child who is dependent upon an individual entitled to old age benefits or who was dependent upon an individual who died fully insured or currently insured, shall be entitled, upon filing application, to a childs insurance benefit for each month beginning with the month of death of such individual and ending with the month preceding whichever of the following first occurs:

    (a)   attainment of age 18 years, except that benefits are payable until the month before the attainment of age 22 so long as the beneficiary is a bona fide student, and except that benefits are payable during the disability of a child who was disabled before the attainment of age 22;

    (b)   marriage; or

    (c)   adoption.

    (2)   A child shall be deemed dependent upon his parent or adopting parent unless such individual was not living in the same household with or contributing to the support of such child.  Childs insurance benefits shall be paid to the individual upon whom the child is currently dependent, except such benefit shall be subject to the earnings test as defined in this subtitle.
 
    (3)   Every individual who is a fully insured individual and is disabled and has been disabled for at least three full calendar months, upon filing an application for disability insurance benefits, shall be entitled to a disability insurance benefit for each month beginning with the first month of the waiting period and ending with the month preceding the month in which he dies or recovers from his disability, subject to the earnings test as defined in this subtitle.

Source:  PL 2-74 303; PL 9-56 1.

      804.  Amount of retirement and disability insurance benefits.

    (1)   An insured eligible individual shall be paid a monthly old age benefit for life, except for any month of disqualification as provided by this subtitle, in an amount calculated upon an annual basis of 16.5 percent of the first $10,000 of cumulative covered earnings, plus three percent of cumulative covered earnings in excess of $10,000 but not in excess of the next $30,000, plus two percent of cumulative covered earnings in excess of $40,000. Earnings for employment after commencement of payments for retirement or disability insurance benefits shall be included in benefit calculations upon subsequent application for benefits, but such earnings shall be applicable for benefits for months after the calendar year in which such earnings occurred. For the purpose of this section cumulative covered earnings includes earnings on which contributions have been paid by the individual to the Trust Territory Social Security System.
 
    (2)   An insured, eligible individual shall be paid a minimum monthly benefit of $50 if the benefit amount calculated in accordance with subsection (1) of this section is less than $50 monthly.

    (3)   An individual who is fully insured and who has been under a disability for three full calendar months shall be paid a monthly benefit for life or until recovery from the disability, except for any month of disqualification as provided by this subtitle in an amount calculated in accordance with the preceding subsections of this section.  Further, the amount of the benefit as so determined shall, if the individual is receiving a periodic workmens compensation benefit, be reduced each month by the excess of the sum of the workmens compensation benefit for that month and the benefit payable under this act over 80 percent of one-twelfth of the highest annual covered wages in the period consisting of the year in which the disability occurred and the preceding five years.  If a workmens compensation benefit was payable in periodic benefits but was commuted to a lump sum, for purposes of this subsection it will be considered that the periodic benefit originally available was paid in each month that it would have been paid if the commutation had not occurred.

Source:  PL 2-74 304; PL 5-120 7; PL 7-118 2; PL 9-56 2.

Editors note:  Amendments to this section made by PL 7-118 2 became effective July 1, 1993 pursuant to PL 7-118 3.
 
      805.  Reemployment after retirement.
     In the event an individual who is receiving retirement insurance benefits returns to covered employment, the benefit shall be recomputed at the end of the calendar year and paid as provided in this subtitle beginning with the year after the calendar year the earnings were made.

Source:  PL 2-74 305.

      806.  Amount of survivor insurance benefits.

    (1)   The surviving spouse of a fully insured worker eligible in accordance with section 802 of this chapter shall be paid a monthly benefit or disability in an amount equal to 60 percent of the retirement or disability insurance benefit calculated for the deceased spouse at the date of death.

    (2)   Each eligible child of an insured worker shall be entitled to a monthly benefit of 15 percent of the retirement insurance benefit calculated for the deceased parent at the date of death.

    (3)   If the spouse of the deceased insured worker is eligible for retirement or disability benefits based on his or her own employment coverage, and is also eligible for survivors benefits, the spouse shall receive whatever benefit pays the largest monthly payment.

    (4)   The total survivors benefit paid to the spouse and children may not exceed the retirement benefit calculated for the decedent as of the date of death, except that if the surviving spouse receives benefits based on his or her own employment coverage, that amount plus the survivors benefits for the children may exceed the amount of the deceaseds retirement benefit.  In no event shall the amount paid be less than the minimum established by the Social Security Administration, as set out in section 804 of this chapter.

Source:  PL 2-74 306; PL 5-120 8; PL 7-119 1, modified.

Editors note:  Amendments to this section made by PL 7-119 1 became effective December 11, 1992.

      807.  Lump sum benefits.

    (1)   When a worker dies and the benefits paid, including survivor benefit, have been less than four percent of his cumulative covered earnings, the survivors, heirs, or the estate of such individual shall be paid a lump sum benefit, after all rights to survivor benefits have terminated, in an amount equal to four percent of the decedents cumulative covered earnings, reduced by the amount of any benefits paid to the insured worker and his eligible dependents.  For the purpose of this section, cumulative covered earnings includes earnings on which contributions have been paid by the individual to the Trust Territory Social Security System.
 
    (2)   In the absence of a will, survivors shall be paid in the following order:

    (a)   spouse, if living, otherwise children in equal shares or guardian, if such children are minors;

    (b)   parents in equal shares; or

    (c)   duly appointed legal representatives of the deceased or, if none, person or persons determined to be entitled thereto under the laws and customs of the last domicile of the deceased person.

Source:  PL 2-74 307.

      808.  Adjustments to correct for overpayments and underpayments to an individual.

    (1)   Whenever an error has been made with respect to insurance payments to an individual, proper adjustment shall be made, under regulations promulgated by the Board by increasing or decreasing subsequent payments to which such individual is entitled.  If such individual dies before such adjustment has been completed, adjustment shall be made by increasing or decreasing subsequently paid survivor benefit payments payable with respect to the wages which were the basis of benefits of such deceased individual.

    (2)   No adjustment shall be made when adjustment or recovery would be against equity and good conscience.

Source:  PL 2-74 308.

      809.  Payment of benefits to foreign citizens outside Federated States of Micronesia.

    (1)   Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, no monthly benefits shall be paid under this chapter to any individual who is not a citizen or national of the Federated States of Micronesia for any month which is:

    (a)   after the sixth consecutive calendar month during all of which the administrator finds, on the basis of information furnished to him by the Attorney General or information which otherwise comes to his attention, that such individual is outside the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau; and

    (b)   prior to the first month thereafter for all of which such individual has been in the Federated States of Micronesia.  For purposes of this subsection (1), after an individual has been outside the Federated States of Micronesia for any period of 30 consecutive days he shall  be treated as remaining outside the Federated States of Micronesia until he has been in the Federated States of Micronesia for a period of 30 consecutive days.

    (2)   Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to any individual who is a citizen of a foreign country which the Administrator finds has in effect a social insurance or pension system which is of general application in such country and under which:

    (a)   periodic benefits, or the actuarial equivalent thereof, are paid on account of old age, retirement, or death, and

    (b)   individuals who are citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia but not citizens of such foreign country and who qualify for such benefits are permitted to receive such benefits or the actuarial equivalent thereof while outside such foreign country without regard to the duration of the absence.

Source:  PL 2-74 309.

      810.  Optional lump sum payment to individuals not fully insured who reach retirement age.

    (1)   Any individual who reaches retirement age and who is not fully insured for Social Security benefits may, at his or her own option, elect to have a lump sum payment of four percent of his or her total cumulative covered earnings.  If an individual elects to accept the lump sum payment, he or she shall lose credit for all quarters of coverage earned up to that point.  If that individual returns to work, he or she shall start over again to earn quarters of coverage leading to being currently or fully insured.  Only individuals who have resided in the Federated States of Micronesia for at least one year preceding their applications for these benefits, and who have either resided in the Federated States of Micronesia for a period of time of not less than 10 years total, or who were born in the Federated States of Micronesia, are eligible for this optional lump sum payment.

    (2)   For the purpose of this section, total Social Security contributions include contributions paid by the individual to the Trust Territory Social Security System.

Source:  PL 7-120 1, 3, modified.

Editors note:  PL 7-120 was signed into law by the President on December 11, 1992.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
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