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Social Security and Railroad Retirement for Spouses
(Posted June 29, 2002)
Question 182: As the spouse of a rail worker, can I draw both my own Social Security benefits as well as a spousal benefit from Railroad Retirement?
Answer: Yes, you can qualify for both but your Railroad Retirement Tier 1 will be reduced for your Social Security. You will receive a full Tier 2. Your Social Security payments will be made by the Railroad Retirement Board and you will qualify for Medicare at 65 through Railroad Retirement.
You can qualify for Railroad Retirement as early as age 60 depending on your spouse's age and how much railroad service (s)he has. If your Railroad Retirement begins before Social Security, your Tier 1 will not be reduced until your Social Security begins.
When you apply, you will need to furnish the Railroad Retirement Board proof of your age and a certified copy of your marriage certificate.
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