Can an employee be disqualified from receiving benefits?
To protect the system, various measures are provided in the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act and its administration by the RRB. First, the law specifies various conditions of eligibility. Second, the procedures for registration and adjudication of claims are designed to provide evidence that these conditions are met. Third, claimants may be temporarily disqualified for a number of reasons. The maximum amount payable in a benefit year is not affected by disqualifications.
A claimant for unemployment benefits may be disqualified for 30 days if he or she refuses to accept suitable work or fails to follow instructions to apply for work or to report to an RRB office or a State unemployment office for an interview.
A claimant who leaves either railroad or nonrailroad work voluntarily without good cause is disqualified, starting with the day he or she leaves work, until he or she has returned to railroad employment and earned wages sufficient to qualify for benefits again. This disqualification also applies to a claimant who leaves work voluntarily with good cause, but only with respect to periods in which he or she could receive unemployment benefits under another law.
A claimant is also disqualified for any day on which he or she takes part in a strike begun in violation of the Railway Labor Act or in violation of the established rules and practices of a labor organization of which he or she is a member. This disqualification only applies to claimants who work on the premises where the strike occurs and who do the same kind of work as the employees participating or directly involved in the strike.
An employee who is paid a separation allowance is disqualified for both unemployment and sickness benefits for roughly the period of time it would have taken to earn the amount of the allowance.
A claimant may be disqualified for sickness benefits if he or she fails to take a medical examination when required by the RRB.
If a claimant makes a false or fraudulent statement or claim to obtain unemployment or sickness benefits, he or she will be disqualified for 75 days and may also be subject to a fine or imprisonment. The RRB conducts checks with Federal agencies and all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico as well as railroads in order to detect fraudulent benefit claims. The RRB also checks with physicians to verify the accuracy of medical statements supporting sickness benefit claims.