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Benefits For Divorced Spouses
(Posted August 13, 2002)
Question 186: My husband was injured on his railroad job. He received a settlement and was awarded a disability benefit from Railroad Retirement. After 22 years of marriage, he recently filed for divorce. I have been a stay at home mother with no Social Security of my own. What am I entiled to, under Railroad Retirement, as a divorced spouse?
Answer: Because you have been married for over 20 years, you could get a divorced spouse benefit at age 62. If your husband dies, you could get a widow's benefit as a former divorced wife at age 60. The amount would be the same as what Social Security would pay if he had not worked for a railroad. The benefit would be reduced by any Social Security you qualified for, and it would end if you remarried.
You cannot receive a Tier 2 benefit from Railroad Retirement as a divorced spouse or widow. But you can receive a portion of your husband's Tier 2 if your final divorce decree includes a partition order that awards you a specific amount or percentage of your husband's Tier 2. Please see Q&As 97 and 98 of this column for more information on this subject.
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