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Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman
Disabled Worker With Less Than 10 Years of Service
(Posted July 23, 2003)
Question 289: I'm trying to get disability benefits under SSI (Supplemental Security Income). I worked for Southern Railway for over 13 years but I only have 108 months of creditable rail service. Can I get anything from Railroad Retirement?
Answer: Only if at least 60 months (5 years) of your railroad service were earned after 1995. With 60 or more months after 1995, you would be vested under the recent admendments to the Railroad Retirement program, so you would be eligible for a Tier 1 disability benefit if you are found to be permanently disabled.
Otherwise, you are not vested for Railroad Retirement and your 108 months will be transfered to Social Security, where the Social Security Administration would combine them with your Social Security credits.
You talk about SSI, but you might be eligible for basic Social Security disability benefits as well. The Social Security office can assist you in filing claims under the disability and the SSI programs.
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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.
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