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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Benefits for Divorced Widows

(Posted July 26, 2009)

Question 712: I'm 60 and just applied for a disability benefit at Social Security. My current husband and I are in the process of divorcing. My previous husband received a Railroad Retirement disability annuity before his death. We were married for 20 years.

After my divorce, will I be entitled to a benefit from Railroad Retirement?

Answer: If you do not remarry, you could receive a "Surviving Divorced Spouse" benefit at 62. But that benefit will be reduced by any Social Security benefit to which you are entitled. It would be reduced to zero if your Social Security benefit is higher than what you would receive from 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.


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