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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Is Disabled Spouse Entitled to Benefits Before 60?

(Posted June 22, 2003)

Question 271: I'm 58 and receive Railroad Retirement due to my disability. I have over 24 years of rail credits. My wife is 57; she receives a disability benefit from Social Security. Because my wife is disabled, can she receive a spouse benefit from Railroad Retirement before 62?

Answer: Neither Railroad Retirement nor Social Security provides early benefits for disabled spouses. Unlike disabled widow(er)s who can qualify as early as 50, disabled spouses must wait until they are qualified based on thier age.

In your case, you wife will be eligible for a reduced spouse's benefit at age 62 because you have fewer than 30 years of railroad service.


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.


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