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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Reduction in Railroad Retirement Benefits by Amount of Social Security Benefits

(Posted December 3, 1997)

Question 7: I 'm totally disabled and I'm receiving disability benefits from both Railroad Retirement and the VA. I have more than 40 quarters of Social Security credits. Can I also qualify for Social Security benefits based on disability?

Answer: You can establish your eligibility for Social Security by filing an application and submitting evidence of your disability to SSA.

But, before going through all of the effort involved in filing a disability claim, I strongly recommend that you first ask the Railroad Retirement Board how your Social Security Benefit will change your Railraod Retirement. Chances are, after going through the Social Security claims process, you won't gain anything.

This is because Railroad Retirement payments are reduced by the exact amount of any Social Security benefits. There are a few exceptions to the general rule, but for most people who are vested under both programs, the net result is a zero increase in total benefits. Rest assured that your Social Security credits are not lost because they have been used in calculating the amount you receive in Railroad Retirement.

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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