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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Railroad Credits of Nonvested Workers

(Posted April 5, 2002)

Question 170: In 1969 and 1970, I worked for a railroad. I recently applied for Social Security; they have no record of my railroad earnings. I know I'm not vested for any Railroad Retirement benefits, but I need help to get the records for Social Security. Can you tell me where I can go for help?

Answer: Something about the situation you have described isn't right.

Your railroad earnings in 1960-70 were reported to the Railroad Retirement Board in Chicago. When you applied for Social Security, the Social Security Administration (SSA) is responsible for contacting the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) and transferring your earnings. The transfers are made by computer every business day. They should never ask the worker to play any role in this.

Now, if SSA has told you that they contacted RRB but RRB has no record of your railroad credits, that's a different situation. To be honest, it's probably too late to do anything about this now. Errors and omissions of railroad service generally have to be corrected within 4 years.

I would suggest that you recontact the SSA office and ask them to explain why they can't get your records from the RRB. If you are not satisifed with their explanation, ask to talk to the office manager.

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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