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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.
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