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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Former Spouse Does Not Know Rail Worker's Social Security Number

(Posted July 23, 2012)

Question 888: I am eligible for a Divorced Spouse Annuity, I will be 62 in Nov 2012.

I called the Railroad Retirement Board for an appointment to apply. They won't give me an appointment or answer any questions, because I do not know my former husband's Social Security number.

I have tried to get it from the Social Security Administration but I was told that I have I have no access to that information.

What can I do now?

Answer: The RRB might not have given you an appointment to file an application because it is too early. Because your annuity can't start until sometime in November, you cannot file an application until 90 days before you are first eligible.

The RRB needs your former husband's Social Security Number to access the proper records including his current annuity payments & his lifetime earnings record. Your former husband would be the best source for the information. If he won't cooperate, then you consult with an attorney to find out if there are legal ways to require his former employers to disclose the information.

The RRB should be cooperative in assisting you. You should contact Ms. Martha M. Barringer Director of the Field Service at the RRB headquarters in Chicago IL (312-751-4701) to discuss your past experience with the local RRB office.

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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