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Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman
(Posted May 6, 2002)
Question 177: I was injured in August 2000 in an on-the-job accident on the railroad. I was found to be "zero" negligent in the accident. I am still disabled; I cannot return to work. I have exhausted my Sichness Benefits. Are there other places I can contact for financial assistance?
Answer: Because you are still unable to work, you may be eligible for a Disability Annuity under Railraod Retirement. To be vested, you need either 10 or more years of railroad service, or five years of service after 1995. If you meet the vesting requirement, you should contact the nearest office of the Railroad Retirement Board for help in filing an application.
Railroads are exempt from State Workman's Compensation programs, which usually cover employyees injured on the job. Instead, injured railroad employees have the right to file suit under the Federal Employers Liability Act to recover damages due to injury. You may want to consult with an attorney who specializes in this type of ligitation. Your railroad labor organization can probably point you in the right direction.
If all else fails, then you should contact your State welfare office to find out if you qualify for any of their cash benefit programs, food stamps, and Medicaid.
Another source for information about possible government benefits for which you qualify is a web site run by a partnership of several Federal agencies: http://govbenefits.gov (click here)
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.
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