When there has been a disabling issue due to railroad work, workers must understand the governing principles for a railroad disability pension.

Principles the Railroad Retirement Board Follows When Deciding on Railroad Disability

Employers and employees must come to an agreement that there will be cooperation with the Railroad Retirement Board. The following principles will be adhered to when determining railroad disability:

  1. The benefits will be awarded to those who are suffering from a permanent mental and/or physical condition that leaves them with the inability to complete one or more of their job responsibilities.
  2. Workers will only be disqualified from being deemed disabled by the Railroad Retirement Board if no one would “reasonably conclude” that the employee is disabled.
  3. There cannot be a situation in which a person who has met the criteria for approval of Social Security disability and will not also meet the criteria for Railroad Retirement Disability Benefits.
  4. Those who were found to have been disabled based on certain standards must still be viewed under those same standards when re-evaluated.
  5. If there is a new system, it must issue a rating process in a timely fashion and be organized in such a way that it will reach the current standard for customer service of a review in 120 days.
  6. The updated system is required to be: A) cost-neutral; B) acknowledging of the increase of costs for the agency. If there are budgetary concerns in the future, it must be referred to Labor and Management.
  7. There must be updated medical information and practices in the system.
  8. All occupations and possible conditions that can cause disability must be complete within the system.
  9. If applicants must be tested, these tests must not duplicate, increase in invasiveness, or be more of a burden than what is required to arrive at an accurate decision.
  10. An applicant’s job duties must be fully described in the new system. This is to help the decision makers reach a conclusion.
  11. There must be lists of medications, how much pain the individual suffers from, what the effects of the impairments are, and if there are multiple impairments.
  12. There must be an assessment of the applicant’s ability or lack thereof to use a variety of tools. It will not rely solely on the Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE).
  13. The statements made by the worker and the Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) from the treating medical professional must be considered.

Call an Attorney About Railroad Disability

If you are applying for railroad disability and have concerns about the process, call (914) 286-3030 to speak to an attorney at Hermann Law Group, PLLC.