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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Further Benefits Unlikely Following A Widow's Death

(Posted April 18, 2001)

Question 94: My father worked for the railroad and died many years ago. My mother died recently. Are there any further Railroad Retirement benefits payable to my father's family?

Answer: It is highly unlikely that there are any further benefits payable based on your father's account. Railroad Retirement does not pay any additional benefits due to the death of a widow or widower. Also, there are no benefits paid for the month of death even if death occurs late in the month.

There are, however, two situations in which there would be the possibly of further payments. If any of your brothers or sisters is younger than 18, or is over 18 and totally disabled for any work before they were 22, then benefits still might be payable. Also, if the total payout on your father's account was less than the amount he paid in Railroad Retirement taxes through 1974, a "Residual Lump Sum" payment could be made.

If either of these situations apply, contact the Railroad Retirment Board for assistance in filing a new claim for benefits.

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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