A DISABILITY ANNUITY can be paid for:
- Total disability, at any age, if an employee is permanently disabled for all regular work and has at least 10 years (120 months) of creditable railroad service. Employees with 5-9 years of creditable railroad service, if at least 5 years were performed after 1995, may qualify for tier I only before retirement age on the basis of total disability if they also meet certain social security earnings requirements. An age reduced tier II amount would be payable at age 62.
- Occupational disability, at age 60, if an employee has at least 10 years of railroad service or at any age if the employee has at least 20 years (240 months) of service, when the employee is permanently disabled for his or her regular railroad occupation. An annuity based on occupational, rather than total, disability also requires a current connection with the railroad industry.
A 5-month waiting period beginning with the month after the month of the onset of disability is required before any disability annuity payments can begin.
An employee can be in compensated service while filing a disability annuity application as long as the compensated service is not active service and terminates within 90 days from the date of filing. However, in order for a supplemental annuity to be paid by the RRB, or for an eligible spouse to begin receiving annuity payments, a disabled annuitant under full retirement age must relinquish employment rights.