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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.
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