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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Benefits for Families of Disabled Workers

(Posted May 11, 2006)

Question 579: My husband is 56 and receives a disability annuity from Railroad Retirement. We have a 13 year old child. I'm 45 and do not work.

I know that Social Security would pay benefits to a minor child and to a mother. What does Railroad Retirement provide?

Answer: Railroad Retirement does not provide direct benefits for family members of disabled workers. It does, however, guarantee that total benefits will be at least as much as the family would have received from Social Security.

To be considered for the guaranty, a disabled worker has to meet the requirements for a "Period of Disability" under Social Security.

All Railroad Retirement disability annuitants are evaluated under the Social Security criteria. If a "Period of Disability" is granted, the calculations are "tested" under the Social Security Guaranty formula to see if the inclusion of family members will produce a higher Railroad Retirment monthly rate.

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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