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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Should Rail Worker Change to Social Security If Spouse Dies?

(Posted July 22, 2013)

Question 1028: If I start collecting Railroad Retirement at 62 and my husband starts collecting Social Security at 66, but later he dies, can I change and collect his Social Security survivor benefit?

Answer: While you cannot receive full Railroad Retirement and Social Security benefits, there is no advantage to switching if your husband predeceases you. If you qualify for a Widow's benefit at Social Security, only your Tier 1 will be reduced. You will still receive a full Tier 2 from Railroad Retirement.


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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