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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

"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.


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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