Question 941: Does a surviving spouse get a monthly payment when a rail worker dies? Is it paid regardless of the age of the surviving spouse? How much would it be each month?
Answer: Railroad Retirement does not always pay survivor benefits to eligible family members.
When a rail worker dies, earnings under Railroad Retirement and Social Security are combined, and the Railroad Retirement Board determines whether the RRB or Social Security has responsibility for paying a benefit to eligible survivors.
A spouse can get a benefit at any age if he or she is caring for a minor or disabled child. Otherwise the earliest age for a surviving spouse is 50, if he or she is disabled for any employment; otherwise the earliest age is 60.
The amount paid to the surviving spouse usually is the same as the amount the rail worker was receiving, before any reductions for age and Social Security benefits.