Can I Draw From My Deceased Spouse's Social Security And Still Get My Railroad Retirement Benefits?

Sep 9 2019 - 12:23pm

I am a retired railroader drawing my tier 1,tier 2 retirement benefits. My question is my wife of 25 years passe away several years ago and i never remarried, can i draw from "her" social security as a spouse survival benefit and draw my railroad retirement? She paid in Social Security all her life and it makes no sense to me that all she paid in to Social Security is for nothing.
Respectfully,
David

Hi David,

I'm sorry for your loss.

Just to preface, my expertise is limited to Social Security benefits and not Railroad Retirement (RR) benefits. However, my understanding is that If you file for Social Security widower's benefits the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) will offset your Tier 1 Railroad Retirement (RR) benefit dollar for dollar by the amount of your Social Security widower's benefit (https://rrb.gov/NewsRoom/NewsReleases/ReportingEvents). So, it probably would only make sense for you to file for Social Security benefits if that benefit rate would be higher than your Tier 1 rate. You may want to double check that with the RRB, though.

Best, Jerry