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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Surviving Spouse Was Married to Rail Worker Less Than 10 Years But Later Remarried

(Posted May 5, 2012)

Question 873: I was married to a railroad employee for 8-1/2 years when he passed away. He had worked for the railroad for 20 years. I later remarried, at age 40. The marriage ended in a divorce 15 years later. Can I receive Railroad Retirement benefits when I reach retirement age?

Answer: From the information you have presented, it does not appear you can receive benefits from Railroad Retirement. You would have had to be married to the rail worker for at least 10 years.

You might be eligible for a similar benefit from Social Security on account of your second marriage, though. The amount of that benefit would be reduced by the amount of the Social Security benefit you've earned through your own employment.

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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