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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Spouse Benefits After Divorce

(Posted June 12, 2003)

Question 268: My mother was married a long time ago to a man who is now on Railroad Retirement. They were married for 15 years; she has never remarried. Would my mother be entiled to any benefits or Medicare from her former husband?

Answer: It appears she would be entitled to a Divorced Spouse's Benefit at 62. The amount would be restricted to what Social Security would pay based on her former husband's earning record. It also would be reduced for any Social Security benefits she is receiving. Through her entitlement to Railroad Retirement, she would be eligible for Medicare at 65.

She should contact the local RRB district office and find out how much she is entitled to receive. She'll need her former husband's full name and his Social Security number. To suppoert her claim, she will need proof of her age, her marriage certificate and a copy of the divorce decree. If she is eligible, the RRB will assist her in filing a claim.


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.


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