Special Railroad Retirement Board Terms Defined
The following are definitions of certain terms used throughout this booklet.
- Confinement - To be imprisoned or under a sentence of confinement means confinement to a jail, prison or other penal institution or correctional facility. This includes any facility which is under the control and jurisdiction of a penal system, or any facility in which a person may be confined. This also includes hospitals, institutions, and half-way houses which are used as a place of confinement. A person under a sentence of confinement to any of these facilities is considered confined even though he or she may go outside the facility to work, attend school, or for some other reason.
Note: A prisoner who is released on parole or because the sentence has ended or has been suspended or overturned is no longer considered to be confined or imprisoned.
- Imprisonment - See Item 1, Confinement.
- Medical Recovery - A person has medically recovered from a disability if, based on medical evidence or demonstration by the individual, it is determined that the individual is able to return to regular work or work in the individual's regular occupation or in a similar occupation.
Also see Item 7, Regular Work.
- Permanent Medical Condition - A permanent medical condition is a medically determinable mental or physical condition or impairment which has lasted, or is expected to last, for at least 12 months, or is expected to result in death.
- Permanently Disabled - To be permanently disabled, you must have a permanent medical condition that prevents you from working (see Item 4, Permanent Medical Condition).
Several unrelated conditions that are not considered severely disabling in themselves can be combined and considered together to see if, in this way, they prevent work.
You are considered unable to work if your condition prevents you from performing basic work activities. These activities are those physical and/or mental abilities and aptitudes required to do most jobs, such as:
You will not be considered permanently disabled if you fail to follow treatment prescribed by your doctor that may restore your ability to work. However, you will not be penalized if the reason you did not follow prescribed treatment is acceptable to the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB).
- walking, standing, sitting, lifting, pulling, pushing, reaching,carrying or handling;
- seeing, hearing, and speaking;
- understanding, carrying out and remembering simple instructions;
- using judgment;
- responding appropriately to supervision, co-workers, and usual work situations; and
- dealing with changes in the work setting.
- Prescribed Period - The prescribed period restricts the period of time a widow(er) may be eligible for disability benefits.
The period begins with the later of:
The period ends with the earlier of:
- the month the employee died; or
- the last month the widow(er) was entitled to annuity payments based on disability; or
- the last month the widow(er) was entitled to annuity payments based on caring for a child of the employee.
- the month before the month the widow(er) attains age 60, or
- the close of the 84th month (7 years) following the month in which the period began.
- Regular Work - Regular work means the regular performance, in the usual and customary manner, of the substantial and material duties of any regular and gainful employment, which is substantial and not trifling, with any employer.
- Trial Work Period - If you work after your disability benefits begin, you may receive a trial work period during which you may test your ability to work without penalty. A trial work period may last 9 months (not necessarily consecutive). The trial work period can be extended in some cases. After the trial work period, we will decide whether you are still disabled.
You may not qualify for a trial work period if you have medically recovered (also see Item 3, Medical Recovery).
All of the rules for determining if you qualify for a trial work period are not covered in this booklet due to their complexity. If you have any questions about them, contact the nearest field office of the RRB.