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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Rail Worker and His Wife Are Living Apart

(Posted May 15, 2010)

Question 751: My husband is a rail worker. We have been married for 15 years. For the last nine years we have lived apart. We might divorce. A friend told me that if I've been married for at least 10 years, I should receive Railroad Retirement benefits. True?

Answer: If you remain married, you will be eligible for regular spouse benefits when you husband retires and you both reach the required ages. The fact that you live apart has no bearing on your eligibility.

If you divorce and do not remarry, you will qualify for a Divorced Spouse benefit. This pays less than a regular Spouse benefit. You could receive part of his Tier 2 benefit if it is divided by the divorce decree.

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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