The two main offices in Poland that are involved in the application process for the Polish pension are:
UDSKiOR: This is an acronym for “Urząd do Spraw Kombatantów i Osób Represjonowanych”, which is the Office for Veterans and Victims of Oppression. They are responsible for evaluating each application and ultimately making the final decision.
ZUS: This acronym stands for “Zakład Ubezpieczeń Społecznych”, which is the Social Insurance Institution in Poland. If the application is approved, ZUS is responsible for sending out the quarterly payment.
Step 1: Application should be sent to UDSKiOR.
The initial application is made up of two parts:
1) One part must be sent to UDSKiOR.
Comprehensive information about this application can be found on the Website of the World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO), and the application can be found here.
An annotated guide is available here.
2) The second part must be sent to the Auschwitz Jewish Center (AJC), which will serve as a proxy. Since UDSKiOR will not mail any correspondence outside of Poland, AJC’s office in Poland will receive the correspondence, and then forward it to all applicants living outside of the country.
The proxy form is available on the WJRO Website here.
Step 2: UDSKiOR will do research to find evidence of applicant’s claim.
Research is done primarily in Polish institutions.
Step 3: UDSKiOR will then send back a response.
Step 4: The response will generally be one of three types.
Step 5: An approval of the application
UDSKiOR will (1) send an approval letter and other documents to the applicant, who will then (2) submit some of the documents to ZUS. (3) ZUS then will move toward sending the applicant his quarterly pension.
Step 6: A request for more information
Either UDSKiOR or ZUS (1) might send further letters to the applicants to ask for more information for clarification. This letter (2) must be sent be back to the respective office.
Step 7: A denial of the application
UDSKiOR will (1) deny the applicant’s claim either because the office could not find evidence to support the claim, or because the applicant is ineligible for the pension. However, in many cases (2) applicant can appeal.