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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Disability Benefits

(Posted March 31, 2006)

Question 572: I never paid into Social Security
I did pay into Railroad Retirement

I am now disabled with Cancer. How can I find out how much I can receive in disability benefits?

Answer: Whether you can collect benefits from Railroad Retirement for disability depends on how long your worked in the railroad industry.

You need atleast 5 years of rail service now to be vested for any monthly benefits. To receive full benefits you need at least 10 years of rail service.

Railroad Retirement provides two types of disability benefits, "occupational" &" total & permanent". It appears that having Cancer would undoubtedly qualify you for the "total & permanent" type.

If you are vested, you will need to file an application with the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) and submit proof of your disabling condition. You should contact the district office of the RRB serving your area as soon as you can. They will assist you in filing the application & securing the medical evidence to document your disability. To find the address & telephone number of the RRB office, go to their web site at:


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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