Question 500: Our father died after 25 years of service for 2 railroads. How can his widow go about getting a survivor's benefit?
Answer: Your father's widow should contact the nearest office of the Railroad Retirement Board for information and assistance in filing an application for any benefits due her. You can find the location of the office by clicking on the hyperlink to the Railroad Retirement Board at the bottom of this question.
If she is already 60, she will qualify for a monthly benefit immediately. Otherwise, she will receive a Lump Sum Death Benefit now, plus a monthly benefit when she reaches 60.
She will need to show to the RRB a certified copy of her birth certificate, their marriage certificate and your father's death certificate.
Author's Note-- This is the 500th question posted, another significant milestone.
I want to thank the loyal readers of the column whose challenging questions continue to help broaden the understanding of one of the most complex retirement systems in the world!