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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Correcting Mistakes in RRB Records

(Posted June 8, 1999)

Question 20: I was injured on the railroad while working as a locomotive engineer. In the settlement I received, I was supposed to get credit for service months in which I did not work due to my injury. Unfortunately, I did not vertify this with the Railroad Retirement Board for several years ... well after the "Statute of Limitations" had expired. Is it too late to have the records corrected? I already paid the Railroad Retirement taxes for the service as part of my settlement.

Answer: Usually the official service records maintained by the Railroad Retirement Board at their Chicago headquarters become final within four years. After that, it is extremerly difficult, but not impossible, to get additional service and earnings credited.

Here are some things I can suggest that might help you at this point:

If you have all of the "paper records" involved with the settlement, which clearly state you were to receive credit for "pay for time lost," including the exact amount of earnings and service months to be reported by the railroad to the Railroad Retirement Board, then this could point to an error made either by the railroad in failing to report the earnings to the RRB, or in the RRB failing to properly credit those earnings to your account.

Consider consulting with an attorney experienced in handling FELA cases. Also get your rail labor organization, your U.S. representative and your two senators involved in your case. Finally, consider writing to the three Board members directly, since it would probably take their action to override the normal RRB policies & procedures at this point.Address your letter to the Secretary to the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board, 844 North Rush Street, Chicago, IL 60611. Enclose copies of the settlement and any other written information you have to support your case.

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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