Generally, family members of a deceased railroad worker may be eligible for survivor benefits under the Railroad Retirement Act if the deceased individual is considered “insured” under the Act. A New Jersey railroad retirement claims attorney can tell you that this means that the individual must have had at least ten years of service working on the railroad or at least five years of service if those five years of service occurred after 1995 and the employee had a “current connection” with the railroad at the time of death.
Proving a Current Connect With a New Jersey Railroad Retirement Claims Lawyer
There are several ways that family members may show that a deceased railroad worker had a “current connection” with the railroad industry:
- Individuals that worked for at least 12 months in the railroad industry in the 30 months preceding the beginning of the railroad retirement annuity may be able to establish a current connection with the railroad. Similarly, if the employee dies before collecting the retirement annuity, establishment of railroad service of at least 12 months in the 30 months before the death will show a current connection; or
- Individuals that have at least 12 months of service in an earlier 30-month period may still be able to establish a current connection to the railroad industry if the individual did not have regular work outside the railroad industry following his or her railroad employment.
You should be aware that any work outside of the railroad industry before the individual collects the railroad retirement annuity or date of death has the potential of cutting the current connection thereby making family members ineligible for survivor benefits.
However, if you are able to establish a current connection by the time the railroad retirement benefits start or date of death of the employee, a New Jersey railroad retirement claims lawyer can tell you that the employee will not lose the current connection.
Contact a New Jersey Railroad Retirement Claims Attorney
If you have any questions about railroad retirement benefits and survivor benefits, contact an experienced attorney at Hermann Law Group, PLLC by calling 1-877-773-3030.