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Impact of Employment Gap on Benefits
(Posted June 23, 2003)
Question 277: After 19 years of service, my husband lost his rail job because of a merger. He was unemployed for two years, then went to work under Social Security. He's now totally disabled due to cancer. He has applied for Railroad Retirement disability. Will the two year employment gap affect his benefits?
Answer: Railroad Retirement uses the Social Security formula to calculate Tier 1. The 5 lowest years of earnings are dropped from calculations, so a 2-year gap will not lower the "average monthly wage" used to determine his Tier 1.
Tier 2 uses the highest 60 months (5 years)of rail earnings. So the 2-year gap will not affect the amount of his Tier 2 either.
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