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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 Young Children of Disabled Workers

(Posted November 3, 2003)

Question 325: My husband has been on Railroad Retirement due to disability. We are both 49. Can I (as a spouse) receive a check because we have a child who is 14 years old?

Answer: Unlike Social Security, Railroad Retirement does not pay spouse benefits until the disabled worker is old enough to qualify for regular retirement benefits. The worker has to be at least age 60 with 30 years of rail service, or at least age 62 with less than 30 years of rail service.

However, under the Social Security minimum guaranty, the disabled worker's benefits may be increased by including a spouse and child under 18 in the benefit calculation. In order for the guaranty provision to apply, your husband would have to be considered disabled with the meaning of the Social Security program.

You husband should ask the RRB if he meets the Social Security disability definition, and whether the RRB has calculated his benefits under the Social Security minimum guaranty.


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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