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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Disability Annuity Can Produce A Higher Tier 1

(Posted February 2, 2003)

Question 214: My Husband has 35 years of rail service. He will turn 60 in August 2003. He was planning to retire under 60/30 on September 1, 2003. He recently suffered a career ending injury, however, and he has been disqualified by the railroad's doctor.

The RRB representative told us that it is to his advantage to file for a disability annuity before the end of February. If he doesn't, he might lose $58 a month. Can you explain the difference between the disability annuity rate, and what he would get under 60/30?

Answer: Disability and retirement benefits are calculated using the same method. But there would be a diffierence in the number of years used to determine the average monthly earnings.

In your husband's case, one less year would be used for disability-- so his average monthly earnings would be higher than they would for a 60/30 retirement benefit.

Your husband has nothing to lose by filing for disability. He can always file for 60/30 if disability benefits are not granted. The reason February is important is because there is a 5 month waiting period for disability. Filing in February would ensure that benefits begin before he reaches age 60.

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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