U.S. Railroad Retirement Board Benefits
When an employee is injured on the railroad and will be medically restricted from returning to work for a period of time, the railroad itself is not obligated to pay the employee while off work recovering from the injury. The employee is eligible to receive Sickness Benefits through the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) as a source of income while off work. For these benefits to start, the employee and his treating doctor must complete forms that need to be sent to the RRB for processing. There is a seven day waiting period following the last day the employee worked before benefits will be paid and the forms need to be completed and forwarded to the RRB on a regular basis for these benefits to continue.
A railroad employee may qualify for a RRB Occupational Disability Annuity if the employee has 240 months of credited RRB service, maintains a current connection with the railroad, and is physically unable to perform the employment duties of his/her customary railroad position. To qualify for an Occupational Disability, the employee does not have to be totally disabled from all occupations. An employee can also file for an Occupational Disability annuity if the employee is over age 60 and has at least 120 months of RRB credited railroad service and meets all of the above criteria.
A railroad employee may also be eligible for a RRB Permanent/Total Disability Annuity if the employee’s medical condition is severe enough that the employee is rendered permanently and totally disabled from all work. Eligibility for this RRB disability is similar to the requirements for receipt of a Social Security disability annuity.
A railroad employee can apply for a Regular Age/Service Retirement Annuity and receive a full annuity at age 60 provided the employee has at least 360 months of credited RRB railroad service. Their spouse can also receive benefits at age 60, provided the employee is 60 years old and retired. The spouse may also receive benefits at an earlier age if there is a minor or disabled child in their care.
Comprehensive information can be found at www.rrb.gov