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Applying for Railroad Retirement Benefits

March 31, 2015 Blog

Do I Need to Apply for Benefits Under Railroad Retirement?

If you are a railroad worker who is vested through the Railroad Retirement Board, you do need to apply in order to receive your retirement annuity. It is not automatic. Indeed, if you wait too long after retiring, you can lose money because of certain limitations on retroactive pay. It is important as a retiring railroad worker that you have a complete understanding of how to apply and what to expect when you do so. A Tampa railroad retirement lawyer can provide you with assistance on such matters, as well as help you if you are having difficulty being approved.

A Tampa Railroad Retirement Attorney Explains Where and How to File
The Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) has field offices in many localities. When you file for retirement benefits, you may do so one of three ways: in person at one of the field offices, by telephone or by mail. It is important to note that those who apply by phone will still need to submit certain documents by mail that need to be signed. Your Tampa railroad retirement lawyer can help you with any questions you have about the actual application. If you do not know where the closest field office is located, you can find out either by going to the RRB website, or calling (877) 772-5772. This is a toll-free call.

A Tampa Railroad Retirement Attorney Explains When to File
You do not have to wait until your actual date of retirement to file your application. Your Tampa railroad retirement lawyer will tell you that it is, indeed, advisable to file prior to this time so that there will not be a delay in receiving your first annuity payment. Applicants may file as early as three months prior to your retirement date.

If you become disabled and need to file for disability payments, you also may file three months in advance. However, you cannot be in active service, though it can be compensated time. Disability applications are a bit more complicated than those for retirement, and it is in your best interests to consult with a Tampa railroad retirement lawyer before filing your application.

A Tampa Railroad Retirement Lawyer on Receiving Annuity Payments
In general, if you file before your actual retirement date, you can expect a decision within 35 days. If you wait until the retirement date, the wait may be 60 days. Once your application is approved, you should receive payment into your account in about one week. Your Tampa railroad retirement lawyer will tell you that payment is made in one of two ways: either by direct deposit into your bank account or by debit card if you don’t have a bank account.

It is important to keep in mind that you are required to relinquish your rights to work in any type of railroad employment in order to receive your annuity. You can work in an unrelated field, but if you haven’t reached full retirement age, your annuity may be reduced.

Finally, there are certain documents that are essential when you file your application. It may be in your best interests to speak with your Tampa railroad retirement lawyer to make sure your application is complete. This is especially important with disability applications, which require medical proof of disability.

A Tampa Railroad Retirement Attorney Can Answer Your Questions
If you have questions or concerns about your railroad retirement or are having trouble being approved, a Tampa railroad retirement lawyer can help. Call Mike Murburg today at (877) 774-2889.