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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Will Rail Worker's Disability Affect Spouse's Benefits?

(Posted June 29, 2007)

Question 628: I have worked for the railroad for 33 years. I am 53 and my wife is 52. I will have major back surgery in July. I have been told by several people that they are 95% sure that I would probably not get back to work but I could collect a disability benefit. Would this affect my wife's annuity in any way?

Answer: If you are awarded a disability annuity, your wife will still be eligible for a full spouse annuity when she reaches 60.

There is a 5-month waiting period for a disability annuity to start, so you should file an application as soon as you stop working. You can receive Sickness Benefits (a short-term benefit for disability) until your disability annuity begins.


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.


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