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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Benefits for Other Survivors After Widow's Death

(Posted September 1, 2003)

Question 306: I am the surving child of a retired railroad employee who passed away. My mother died before becoming eligible for benefits. Am I eligible to recieve benefits that were to come to my mother but didn't?

Answer: The only benefit that might be payable is a "residual lump-sum." That is a refund of the rail worker's payroll taxes for service before 1975 plus an allowance for interest. Any benefits paid to your late father are deducted. If your late father drew Railroad Retirement for more than 2 years, those payments probably exceed any residual amount in his account.

You should contact the local RRB district office to see if a residual lump-sum is payable. You will need your late father's full name and Social Security Number. If a residual lump-sum is payable, you will need to file an application and submit a copy of the death certificate along with a copy of your birth certificate.

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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