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Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman
60/30 Retirement with a Special Needs Family
(Posted June 21, 2004)
Question 468: I will be retiring this December under 60/30. I have an autistic son. Will he get a benefit from Railroad Retirement? I also have a wife who is disabled and 55. Can she get a benefit?
Answer: Your son can be included; he can increase your annuity under the Special Social Security Guaranty formula. If your son is already 18, the RRB will request complete medical evidence of your son's condition when you file for benefits.
Unfortunately, neither Railroad Retirement nor Social Security pays a benefit to a disabled spouse. Your wife will be eligible for a full spouse benefit at 60. In the event of your death before she attains age 60, she could qualify for a disabled widow's benefit.
If your wife has at least 40 quarters of coverage under Social Security and she worked at least 5 years out of the 10 years prior to her becoming disabled, she should file for a disability benefit through Social Security.
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.)
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