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Stop, Look & Listen: Railroad Retirement Benefits Q&A

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

How Divorce Affects Railroad Retirement Benefits

(Posted January 3, 2003)

Question 205: How would a divorce affect the disability benefits I draw on my husband's earnings?

Answer: Your question is a little confusing. Railroad Retirement does not provide any benefits for a husband or wife based on the spouse's disability status.

But divorce will affect regular benefits for husbands and wives of rail workers. You will lose your automatic entitlement to a Tier 2; but if you provide for it in the final divorce decree, you can receive a portion of your husband's Tier 2.

Under certain conditions, you can receive a Tier 1 as a divorced spouse but the amount is limited to what Social Security would pay you if your husband's rail credits were counted by Social Security.

Important notice: Answers are provided as general guidance on the subjects covered in the question and are not provided as legal advice to the questioner's situation. Any legal issues should be reviewed by your legal counsel to apply the law to the particular facts of your situation. The laws, regulations and court decisions in this area change frequently. Answers are believed to be correct as of the posting dates shown. The completeness or accuracy of a particular answer may be affected by changes in the laws, regulations or court decisions that occur after the date on which that Q&A is posted.
Copyright 1997-2015 Robert S. Kaufman
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