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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

When You Don't Agree With the Decision on Your Railroad Retirement Claim

(Posted June 25, 2002)

Question 181: I received my initial retirement award from Railroad Retirement. I think my monthly rate is too low & Railroad Retirment is deducting too much for my current earnings. What can I do?

Answer: You can ask the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) to "reconsider" their decision on your claim. But you need to ask fairly fast, because your right to ask for reconsideration ends 60 days from the date of the award notice you were sent by the RRB.

You don't need a special form to ask for reconsideration. Simply write a letter to the United States Railroad Retirement Board, 844 North Rush Street, Chicago, IL 60611, asking them to review your case. Include your Social Security Number (which is also your RRB Claim Number) and the reason(s) that you don't agree with their decision.

The RRB will have your claim reviewed by different personnel and then advise you of their findings. You will receive any additional benefits due.

If you still don't agree, you have additional rights to appeal to the independent Bureau of Hearings and Appeals within another 60 days. A special form is required, which the RRB will send you. A hearings officer will be appointed to review your claim. You will be given the opportunity to submit additional evidence in support of your appeal and have a face-to-face conference with the hearings officer.

Finally, if you are still not satisified, you have additional rights to appeal to the three member RRB, and even to file suit in the appropriate United States Circuit Court of Appeals.

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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