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Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman
Family Benefits for Disabled Workers
(Posted January 31, 2007)
Question 617: I'm receiving railroad retirement disability. I'm married with two minor children, whom my wife takes care of. I'm only 37 and my wife is 33. I'm confused as to whether my wife can receive benefits because she takes care of the children. Do I need to be 60 for her to receive a spouse annuity, or is she eligible now since she takes care of the minor children?
Answer: Unlike Social Security, Railroad Retirement does not provide for direct benefits to family members of disabled workers. If the worker's condition is severe enough to meet the definition of disability under Social Security, the disabled worker's Railroad Retirement benefit could be increased under the "Special Guaranty" provision.
You need to contact the Railroad Retirement Board to see if you are entitled to such an increase because of your wife and minor children.
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