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Coordination with Social Security When Disability Is Involved
(Posted December 20, 1999)
Question 37: My brother worked for the railroad for 22 years, from 1969 to 1991. He lost his job due to automation and went into telemarketing. He's now 51 and unable to work due to disability. What action does he need to take to coordinate any disability benefits from Railroad Retirement and Social Security?
Answer: He needs to file for both Railroad Retirement and Social Security disability benefits. (See Q&A-32 for information about filing for Railroad Retirement Disability benefits.) Once a worker files with both SSA and RRB for disability, the two agencies will coordinate their evidence development and decisions. They will also share information with each other.
Both programs follow the same disability critera for "total and permanent" disabling conditions, so if he qualifies for one he should be eligible for both benefits. Remember, he won't receive full benefits from both, because Railroad Retirement will reduce its payments by the amount of his Social Security. But he will get more in total benefits by filing at both agencies.
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