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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 Husbands and Wives

(Posted April 5, 2002)

Question 169: My former husband was a railroad employee but he had to retire early on disability. He had 26 years of railroad work. He is only 59 now. I am also disabled and two years older than he is. We were married for 22 years before our divorce. Will I have to wait until he's 62 before I can get benefits as a divorced spouse?

Answer: Yes, you will qualify when he becomes 62 since he has less than 30 years of rail credits. Remember, your divorced spouse benefits will be reduced by the amount of your own social security.

Neither Social Security or Railroad Retirement provides early benefits for disabled spouses.

Because you are disabled, I assume you have applied for disability from Social Security based on your own work record.

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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