My mother is collecting railroad retirement benefits because of my father's employment. He is deceased since 1978. My mother worked many years and payed into social security. Isn't she entitled to collect social security benefits as well?
Railroad Retirement (RR) Benefits consist of two tiers. Tier 1 is a rough equivalent of Social Security benefits. Tier 2 is like a company pension based on railroad service only. If your mother files for Social Security benefits, her Social Security benefit amount will be offset against her tier 1 RR benefit (https://www.rrb.gov/opa/qa/pub_1606.asp). So, she would likely not want to apply for Social Security benefits unless and until the rate payable would be higher than her tier 1 RR benefit amount.