Since railroad retirement benefits are intended to replace part of the income on which most families are dependent and which is lost because of the disability, retirement, or death of the worker, the benefits will ordinarily be used to provide for the beneficiary's basic needs. First consideration must always be given to using the benefits for the person's day-to-day maintenance. This includes paying the expenses of food, shelter, clothing, and meeting personal needs, such as pocket money if the person is able to use it. Beyond this, benefits may be used to take care of special needs the person may have, such as school expenses, rehabilitation or medical expenses, and other purposes that are in the beneficiary's best interest.
When you use your own or other money to support the beneficiary, railroad retirement benefits which are not required for the beneficiary's current support and need must either be saved or otherwise invested. However, the money may sometimes be used for the support of a legally-dependent spouse, child, or parent. (See question 6).
If you decide to use your own or other money instead of the railroad retirement benefits for the current support of the beneficiary and save or invest the benefits for him, you cannot ordinarily use the conserved benefits to repay others or yourself later.