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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Benefits for Disabled Adult Children

(Posted May 29, 2001)

Question 100: Our 12 year old son has a serious mental impairment. It is doubtful that he will ever be able to support himself as an adult. Will be be eligible for some type of benefit from Railroad Retirement?

Answer: Like Social Security, Railroad Retirement provides protection for disabled adult children. The exact protection is different for retirement and death benefits.

If you retire and you have a child who was permanently disabled for all work before age 22, your benefits (and your wife's benefits) could be increased under the special Social Security Minimum Guaranty. You will have to submit medical evidence as directed by the Railroad Retirement Board to establish your child's disability status.

Upon your death, your child could qualify for a separate benefit for the rest of his life unless he married or recovered from his disability. If his condition is severe enough to require "personal care" by your wife, she can qualify for a benefit even if she has not reached age 60.

(Author's note: This is the 100th question I've answered since my column started in 1997. Thanks to my loyal readers, who continue to challenge me!)

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 or to readers. Any legal issues should be reviewed by your legal counsel to apply the law to the particular facts of this and similar situations.

The law in this area changes 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 law (statutes, regulations, rulings, court decisions, etc.) that occur after the date on which a particular Q&A is posted.

Copyright 1997-2017 Robert S. Kaufman
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