How Railroad Retirement Disability Benefits Might Change

November 12,2013
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If you or a loved one works for a railroad, you should be aware of potential changes to railroad retirement disability after sickness and unemployment benefits were cut. While the law exempts Social Security benefits and disability benefits from the cuts, that might change in the future. Because of an adjusted sequestration rate, railroad unemployment and sickness benefits are supposed to decrease. This began on the first of October in 2015. The United States Railroad Retirement Board, or RRB, planned to reduce unemployment and sickness insurance benefits by nearly 7 percent. This number is down from the previous 7.3 percent reduction and can be attributed to federal budgetary cuts. It will continue through September 30, 2016. Because the benefit rate per day is $72, the reduction in benefits means someone who may have earned $720 in ten days of unemployment will instead earn a little over $671. Some railroad sickness benefits are also being affected by the budget cuts. Benefits that are prone to basic tier I railroad retirement taxes are being decreased by 7.65 percent. The new maximum two-week total for sickness benefits is now just over $619. In fiscal year 2014, the United States Railroad Retirement Board paid roughly $11.9 billion in retirement and survivor benefits to around 562,000 people. Net unemployment and sickness benefits of $84.4 million were distributed to nearly 25,000 claimants. It might be a matter of time before retirement and disability benefits are cut. These reductions are legally required after the Budget Control Act of 2011. The subsequent sequestration order that implemented the cuts sealed them into effect. The law does state that Social Security, disability and retirement benefits cannot be cut by the current law, but that is not necessarily going to be the case forever.

Contact a Railroad Retirement Disability Lawyer

For more information, contact Hermann Law Group, PLLC at (914) 286-3030 to reach a railroad retirement disability lawyer you can trust.