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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Friend of Disabled Rail Worker Asks About Social Security

(Posted December 18, 2012)

Question 936: I am writing on behalf of a disabled friend who has been receiving Railroad Retirement benefits and health care benefits. He is unable to receive Social Security. He is 63. Is there any supplemental money he can get? He has been disabled since birth but he worked for a railroad before he had an accident that doesn't allow him to work any longer. He is single and has no dependents. Is there a chance he could receive benefits from his parents' Social Security? He lives in assisted living. The co-pays and living expenses are getting to be more that what he receives currently.

Answer: If he became eligible for any type of Social Security benefits, his Railroad Retirement Tier 1 would be reduced dollar-for-dollar by the amount of his benefit. So, he might not receive any more in total monthly benefits then he receives from just Railroad Retirement.

I'm not an expert on Social Security, but to receive a Disabled Child's Benefit as an adult, you would have had to be totally disabled before age 22. The fact that he was able to work for a railroad a substantial number of years will make it difficult to meet the Social Security criteria for child disability. If you want to pursue this, I suggest that you contact the Social Security Administration. Their toll-free number is (800) 772-1213. You will need to furnish your friend's Social Security Number as well as his parents' names and Social Security numbers.

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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