Filing Requirements - To avoid losing sickness benefits, your benefit application must be received by a Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) office within 10 days of the first day for which you want to claim benefits. Your sickness claims must be filed within 30 days of the last day of the claim or 30 days from the date we mail the form to you, whichever is later.
Benefit Year/Base Year - A new benefit year begins each July 1. Eligibility for benefits in a benefit year is based on your earnings in the previous calendar year (base year). For an example, see section titled Qualification Requirements.
Waiting Period Requirement - To satisfy a one-week waiting period requirement, no benefits are payable for your first 7 days of sickness in your first claim in a period of continuing sickness, unless you have already served a waiting period in the benefit year. Even though no benefits are payable for the first 7 days of sickness, you must file a claim for your days of sickness during the waiting period; otherwise you may lose benefits for claims after the waiting period.
Do Not Claim Benefits for Days You Work or Receive Pay - Benefits are not payable for any day for which you receive pay. This includes wages from military reservist duty, full- or part-time work for a railroad, non-railroad employer, or self-employment. It also includes vacation pay, holiday pay, pay for time lost, guarantee pay and other types of remuneration.
Reconsideration Rights - You may request reconsideration of any decision denying you benefits. A request for reconsideration must be made in writing within 60 days of the date of notice of the Railroad Retirement Board's adverse decision.
Did You Know...Railroad employees do not pay for their sickness benefits protection. The funds come from a payroll tax on employers.
A fine, jail sentence, and disqualification may be imposed upon any person found to have withheld information or to have made false or fraudulent statements or claims for the purpose of causing benefits to be paid.
We encourage you to file certain proofs in advance of retirement-age, military service, and marriage. If married, you should also submit proof of your spouse's age. We record and store the information electronically until your retirement. Filing proofs in advance speeds the application process and helps avoid any delay in processing that could occur due to inadequate or missing proofs.
Fraud and Abuse Hot Line - Call the toll-free Hot Line if you have reason to believe that someone is receiving railroad unemployment or sickness benefits to which he or she is not entitled. The Hot Line has been installed by the Railroad Retirements Board's Inspector General to receive any evidence of fraud or abuse of the RRB's benefit programs.
The toll-free Hot Line number is 1-800-722-4258. Or you may send your complaints in writing to: RRB, OIG, Hot Line Officer, 844 North Rush Street, Chicago, Illinois 60611-1275. Please do not call the Inspector General's Hot Line with questions about eligibility requirements, delayed claims, or similar problems. Such matters should be directed to the nearest Railroad Retirement Board office.