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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 Has A Disabled Child

(Posted October 17, 2012)

Question 917: I have worked for a Class 1 railroad for 34 years, and I presently have a biological child who has a verifiable handicap. I have always heard she will get a small monthly retirement benefit (~ $900) when I retire at age 60, until she turns 18. Is this true? If I am forced to take an Occupational Disability before I reach age 60, will this in any way affect her benefit?

Answer: You have asked several questions about benefits for your child. First of all, unlike Social Security, Railroad Retirement does not pay direct benefits for minor or disabled children. Instead, there is a special guaranty formula in which Railroad Retirement compare what Social Security would pay to you & your child based on your earnings & compares it to the rate of your Railroad Retirement Annuity. So your annuity may increase as a result of your minor or disabled child.

If you are awarded an Occupational Disability Annuity, your disability must also meet the stricter standards for a Disability Insurance Benefit under Social Security in order for the Special Minimum Rate to apply. The RRB will automatically test your case a few months after you receive your first monthly payment.

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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