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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

How To Find Out If You Are Eligiible For Benefits

(Posted September 12, 2006)

Question 591: I hired onto the railroad in 1972. I was was hurt and laid off in 1980. I was recalled in late 1980 and laid off again in 1981. In 1988 I was recalled but denied employment because I didn't pass the physical exam. Would I be eligible for Railroad Retirement?

Answer: You can qualify for a Railroad Retirement benefit as early as age 62 if you have at least 120 service months. You could qualify for a disability benefit at any age if you are unable to work in any type of employment. From the dates of employment in your e-mail question, it appears you might not have 120 service months.

You might have received a BA-6 form issued by the Railroad Retirement Board following the year of your last service month. That would show how many total months of rail service you have. Otherwise you can ask the Railroad Retirement Board (see 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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