Can I Get Six Months Of Back Pay?

Dec 2 2016 - 1:15pm

Its me again Larry. I am the 85 yr old drawing railroad retirement who had never filed for social security. I did file and they have adjusted my benefit and included my delayed retirement credits. Good raise! However, they said nothing about the six months retroactive benefit. Can I get that or will I forfeit DRCs. I do not want to jeopardize my new monthly amount. Tks

Hi,

Yes, assuming that your Social Security benefit rate is higher than your tier 1 Railroad amount, you should have elected to start your Social Security benefits 6 months prior to your month of filing. Delayed retirement credits (DRC) are only accrued up to age 70, so electing 6 months of retroactivity would not lower your benefit rate.

If you did not elect to receive maximum retroactivity when you applied for Social Security benefits, you will likely want to re-contact them and request to change your month of entitlement to the earliest possible month. Just a heads up, it will likely take quite some time before you receive any back pay. Social Security will need to make their changes and then coordinate with the Railroad Retirement Board, who will ultimately need to authorize the payment of any back pay due.

Best, Jerry