Claimants can apply for unemployment benefits by mail or online.
To apply by mail, claimants must obtain an application from their labor organization, employer, local RRB field office, or our website. The completed application should be mailed to the local RRB field office as soon as possible and, in any case, must be filed within 30 days of the date on which the claimant became unemployed or the first day for which he or she wishes to claim benefits. Benefits may be lost if the application is filed late.
Claimants with RRB online accounts can apply electronically by visiting Benefit Online Services. Instructions for establishing an online account are available by clicking on the link for requesting a Password Request Code (PRC) in that same section. For security purposes, first-time users must apply for a PRC. The agency automatically mails a PRC to any employee who files a paper application for unemployment or sickness benefits. If an individual has not received a PRC, they can request one by clicking the appropriate box in Benefit Online Services. Employees are encouraged to establish online accounts while still employed so the account is ready if they ever need to apply for these benefits or use other select Internet services.
The local RRB field office reviews the completed application, whether it was submitted by mail or online, and notifies the claimant's current railroad employer, and base-year employer if different. The employer has the opportunity to provide information about the benefit application.
After the RRB processes the application, biweekly claim forms are mailed to the claimant, and are also available online, as long as he or she remains unemployed and eligible for benefits. Claim forms should be signed and sent on or after the last day of the claim. This can be done by mail or electronically. The completed claim must be received by an RRB office within 15 days of the end of the claim or the date the claim was mailed to the claimant or made available online, whichever is later. Claimants must not file both a paper and online claim form for the same claim period(s).
Only one application need be filed during a benefit year, even if a claimant becomes unemployed more than once. However, a claimant must, in such a case, request a new claim form from an RRB office within 30 days of the first day for which he or she wants to resume claiming benefits. These claims may then be filed by mail or online.