SSA logo: link to Social Security Online home967. Is work covered by the Railroad Retirement Act covered by Social Security?

Work covered by the Railroad Retirement Act is not covered by Social Security. However, earnings from railroad employment are counted for Social Security purposes at the death or retirement of a worker if he or she does not qualify under the railroad retirement program. For example, when a railroad worker retires with less than 120 months of railroad service and with less than 60 railroad service months accrued after December 31, 1995, no railroad retirement annuity is payable. However, we then consider his or her railroad earnings after 1936 in determining his or her rights to Social Security disability or retirement benefits.

In the event of disability, if you file with the Railroad Board, they will either advise you if you also need to contact Social Security or forward your claim to us for processing. Please go to http://www.govbenefits.gov to find additional information on the Railroad Retirement Act.

Last Revised: Aug. 8, 2011