Ask Larry

Am I Eligible For Benefits From My Father's Record?

My father worked for the Erie Lackawanna Railroad, when I was nine years old we went to Niagara Falls. On the return trip we were in the switching station, our engine had to release itself to let another train go by. The train was in the process of rehooking itself to our train. It approached our train at 30 miles an hour, I fell back across the seat in the men's room. The railroad said they were not liable for my injury, because we were traveling on my father's pass. Not a ticket, I found out in 2009 when I had a CT of my lungs it showed an old fracture at C2 in my neck. I know it is a very long time since the accident, I contacted the railroad and SS. They said since I started working at 17 or 18 I can't remember. I was not intiteled to any of my dad's SS, him and NY mom are divorced for many years. My dad passed in 2008, is there anything I can do to supplement my SS.


The only way that you could potentially qualify for disabled adult child's (DAC) benefits based on your father's Social Security earnings is if you are unmarried and you became disabled according to Social Security's standards prior to age 22. If you worked after age 22 and earned more than the amount considered by Social Security to be substantial gainful activity (SGA), then it's likely that Social Security could not consider you to have been continuously disabled since before you reached age 22. The monthly amount of earnings considered to be SGA has been different over time, but it's currently $1220 (

I'm not an expert on Railroad Retirement benefits, so if your father was a career railroad worker then you might want to check with the Railroad Retirement Board.

Best, Jerry

Sep 24 2019 - 5:56pm
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