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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Survivor Benefits for Young Children

(Posted August 4, 2003)

Question 295: When my boyfriend was age 5, his father died. He is now 23 and has not received any money from Railroad Retirement. When he asks his mother about this, she says it is tied up in high interest accounts for his future. The problem is, his future is now. He wants to access the money his father left him. How can he find out how much money is due to him?

Answer: When a rail worker dies with a wife and children who are under 18, the family is entitled to monthly benefits from Railroad Retirement until the youngest child reaches 18. Those benefits usually are paid to the surviving parent, and are to be used for the benefit of the children.

It appears that your boyfriend's mother might have invested some or all of those monthly payments in different types of financial accounts, saving for your boyfriend's future. This in itself is permitted.

The question about how and when your boyfriend can gain control of those funds is not really a Railroad Retirement issue. If he and his mother cannot come to an agreement, then he needs to consult with an attorney to see if there are any legal remendies possible to gain control of those funds now that he is no longer a minor.


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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