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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 Divorced Widow

(Posted April 29, 2002)

Question 174: My former husband passed away four years ago. We were married for 14 years before being divorced. I'm now 55 and recently became disabled. I draw Supplemental Social Insurance (SSI) benefits. Can I also draw a Railroad Retirement Benefits based on my former husband's 33 years of rail work? If so, where do I go to apply and find out how much I can get?

Answer: You can qualify for a divorced disabled widow's benefit if you are considered to be permanently disabled from performing any work activities. You could receive a Tier 1 benefit, althought it would be reduced because you are not yet age 60.

You need to contact the nearest district office of the Railroad Retirement Board. See Q&A-9 of this column to find out how to locate the office serving the area where you live. The RRB will assist you in filing an application and in providing supporting medical evidence. They will also give you an estimate of what you can expect to receive.

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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