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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Other Benefits for Retired Railroaders

(Posted May 2, 2000)

Question 51: My father has been retired from the railroad for many years. He receives about $900 a month in Railroad Retirement. Is he entitled to any other benefits?

Answer: You have asked an excellent question.

As a Railroad Retirement Beneficiary, you father is eligible for Medicare at 65 (or earlier, if he is disabled). He can also qualify for Social Security if he worked long enough under that program but in most cases, it would not increase the total monthly payments. Railroad Retirement Benefits are reduced by any Social Security amount paid.

A former employer, railroad or other, may have had a private pension plan for their employees. He can check with them and see if he's entitled to any benefits. If they're out of business, he can contact the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation in Washington D.C..

There are other Federal and Federal/State programs such as Supplemental Security Income(SSI), Medicaid, and Food Stamps which provide additional payments or food coupons based on financial need. Usual there is a means test based either on annual income or personal assests. For SSI, contact the nearest Social Security office. For Medicaid, contact the State Welfare office. For food stamps, contact the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

There may be other means tested programs at the local level. The best place to go for information is your local governmental unit. They can direct you to the agency operating the program.

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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