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Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman
Minor Child of Disabled Worker
(Posted February 29, 2004)
Question 392: My father was a Railroad employee until he got hurt. Then he started receiving disability benefits from Railroad Retirement. When he became incarcerated, his benefits were divided in half between my mother (for the care of me) and his estranged wife. After about 2 years, his benefits being sent to me completely stopped. Being his minor child, I should have received benefits until I was 18, right?
Answer: As a child under 18, you were not really entitled to your own Railroad Retirement benefits. This is one of the most important differences with Social Security.
Under certain conditions, your father's benefit could have been increased to included your share under the Special Guaranty formula. When he went to prison, certain portions of his benefits are withheld by law. It sounds like the RRB might have paid the additional amount generated by your existence under the Special Guaranty to your mother until your father was released from prison. Then perhaps RRB resumed sending him his entire disability benefit.
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