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"Period Of Disability" Protects Tier 1
(Posted September 16, 2003)
Question 308: Railroad Retirement Disability Annuity benefits seem to use the term "Disability Freeze." What's that mean?
Answer: "Disability Freeze" is actually an older term for "Period of Disability".
It's used by Social Security to protect the earnings record of a worker who becomes disabled before nornal retirement age.
In effect, the worker's earnings are frozen for Social Security purposes. Any years of lower earnings due to disability (or even zero earnings) are not counted in computing benefits.
The same principle is applied by Railroad Retirement in calculating Tier 1.
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