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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Disability Benefits Under Railroad Retirement

(Posted May 13, 2003)

Question 255: If I become disabled, what benefits are provided by Railroad Retirement? Are they paid before 60? If so, do they change at 60? Would Railroad Retirement disability benefits offset supplemental disability insurance provided by the railroad?

Answer: There are two types of disability benefits from Railroad Retirement: (1) occupational and (2) total & permanent. If you have
at least 20 years of rail service and you have a "Current Connection," you can receive benefits if you are unable to work in your regular railroad occupation. If you have less than 20 years, occupational disability can begin at 60.

If you can't meet the eligibility requirements for an occupational disability, you can still qualify for disability benefits if you are totally disabled for any work.

Disability benefits are calculated the same way as retirement benefits so there is no change when you become 60 or 65.

Supplemental sickness benefits paid by a railroad or insurance company do not affect Railroad Retirement disability benefits or Sickness Benefits paid under the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Program.

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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