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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

56-Year-Old Unemployed Rail Worker Can Apply for Disability Annuity

(Posted November 25, 2012)

Question 926: My husband was discharged from rail service (35 years) a few months ago. He is 56 years old and has been receiving unemployment since. Would he be able to apply for Railroad Retirement disability if he becomes disabled?

Answer: If you husband becomes disabled before he reaches his full retirement age, he can apply for a Disability Annuity.

Your husband will be eligible at 60 for a full retirement Annuity. Until then, he should be aware that if he begins working outside the railroad industry and has substantial earnings he may lose his "Current Connection" with the rail industry. This would mean the loss of a Supplemental Employee Annuity (up to $43 a month), he no longer would be entitled to receive to an "Occupational Disability Annuity," and payment of survivor benefits by Social Security rather than 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.

Copyright 1997-2017 Robert S. Kaufman
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