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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Prize Winnings Do Not Affect Disability Annuity

(Posted June 22, 2003)

Question 272: My wife receives a disability benefit. She just won $10,000 in a lottery. Will this count against the earnings limitations for disabled beneficiaries?

Answer: The earning limits for disability benefits under Railroad Retirement(currently $400 a month and $5,000 a year) only covers earnings from work activities. Her $10,000 windfall should have no affect on her disability payments.

The lottery winning might be taxable under federal and state income tax laws, so she should consult with a tax accountant, tax attorney or the IRS and state tax authorities.

Remember that income from any work activity, regardless of the amount of earnings, should immediately reported to the RRB. Earnings received from lotteries, investments, property, bank accounts, etc., do not count for this purpose because they are not considered work activities.

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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