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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Rail Worker Died Years Ago But No One Received Benefits

(Posted September 6, 2008)

Question 674: My dad worked for NY Central Railroad from 1942 to 1957 when he died of heart disease. My mother never applied for his benefits. There are three children surviving. Are we entitled to anything or is it too late to apply?

Answer: If neither your father nor your mother received any benefit based on your father's rail work, you and your siblings might be eligible for a Residual Lump Sum; it's roughly equal to the amount your father contributed to Railroad Retirement.

You should contact the local district office of the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) for further information. You can find the location & phone number by going to the RRB web site:

You will need to furnish your father's Social Security number, proof of death for your father and mother, your birth certificate, and birth certificate for your siblings. Each of the children needs to file an application with the RRB.

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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