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Stop, Look & Listen: Railroad Retirement Benefits Q&A

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Getting Benefits After Rail Worker's Death

(Posted August 10, 2004)

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!

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.

Copyright 1997-2017 Robert S. Kaufman
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