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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.
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