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Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman
Early Benefits Not Provided for Spouses
(Posted August 25, 2006)
Question 587: My father worked on the railroad for 20 years. He became disabled due to an injury on the job; he receives Railroad Retirement disability benefits. He will be 55 this year. I have a question about benefits for my mother. She's been sick for at least 10 years, but she her claims for social security disability benefits have been denied. She is 56. Can she submit an application for RRB benefits?
Answer: Your mother will qualify for a spouse benefit when she becomes 62. This is the earliest eligibility age for a spouse of a rail worker who has less than 30 years of service.
You might want to investigate other resources available to your parents beyond Railroad Retirement and Social Security. The local welfare agency might be helpful.
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