Railroad workers have the unique benefit of the Railroad Retirement Board through payroll deduction and matching funds from employers. Railroad workers have access to two (2) Tiers of benefits: Tier I is the equivalent of Social Security. Tier II is a supplement available only to railroad employees.
All through your railroad career, you are paying into the Railroad Retirement Board system and you are credited by the months in service. The basic requirement for a regular railroad employee annuity is 120 months (10 years) or 60 months (5 years) if such service was performed after 1995.
Railroad workers who are sick or injured from employment are eligible to receive benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board. It is required that you fill out an application which can be obtained from either the Railroad Retirement Board, your union officials or you can contact our office.
To qualify for these benefits, a new employee must have railroad service of at least 5 months in his/her first year of work and qualify in the new benefits year, which begins every July 1st. To learn whether or not you qualify, contact the Railroad Retirement Board or you can contact our office.
By law, Railroad Retirement is entitled to be repaid any benefits paid from any recovery either by judgment or settling a personal injury case against either the railroad or any third party. This right is known as a lien, which is asserted against the claim and will be satisfied out of the proceeds of any settlement.
Administratively, this will be handled by the attorneys for the railroad and the injured employee. It is important to note, that by repaying sickness benefits at the end of a personal injury case, the employee is not purchasing or being credited with the months in service that are lost due to disability.
Under special circumstances, employees can purchase months in service. For this exception to the rule, contact the Railroad Retirement Board or our office.
If you have 240 months in service (20 years) and you are unable to perform your regular work job, you may qualify for an occupational annuity. You are required to submit an application with medical evidence from licensed physicians to support your claim.
You can handle the application process yourself or you can have it handled professionally by a legal representative who is experienced in these matters. If your application is denied, there are rights of appeal.
If your application is granted, there are restrictions on the amount in which you can earn from any outside source and your annuity is subject to review if it appears that you have engaged in substantial gainful activity.
Railroad workers are eligible for total disability benefits after having amassed 120 months in service (10 years). Total disability differs from occupational disability because it requires you to be able to prove that you have a permanent medical condition that prevents you from performing any substantial gainful employment as opposed to just your railroad job.
In addition, there is also an earnings requirement that is dependent upon your age. The process is similar, requiring both an application and proof of your medical condition.
To find out more information, visit the Railroad Retirement Board’s web site at: http://www.rrb.gov or contact our office at (866) 877-FELA to speak to an experienced railroad attorney.
ATTORNEY ADVERTISING - Prior results don’t guarantee a similar outcome in your claim. This website and blog are for informational purposes and do not constitute legal advice, since only after knowing the details of your claim can any advice be provided. Please understand that particular laws vary by state. You must speak directly with an attorney about your situation to determine what laws apply.