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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Applying for a Disability Annuity

(Posted June 11, 2014)

Question 1140: I am a 52 year old male with 24 years on the rail. I may be put out on occupational disability. My wife is 42 years old, currently working as a school teacher. We have two children, ages 7 and 9. Are my children or wife eligible for any extra payment through occupational disability, or is permanent disability a better route for me?

Answer: When you apply for a Disability Annuity, the Railroad Retirement Board will make two decisions on your case. First they will determine if you are eligible for an Occupational Disability Annuity based on your age and amount of rail service. Second, they will determine if you meet the requirements for disability under the Social Security Act.

If you meet the SSA definition of disability, your wife and minor children may increase your annuity rate under the Special Guaranty formula. You also would be covered by Early Medicare after 29 months.

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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