Under a special minimum guaranty provision, railroad families will not receive less in monthly benefits than they would have if railroad earnings were covered by social security rather than railroad retirement laws. This guaranty is intended to cover situations in which one or more members of a family would otherwise be eligible for a type of social security benefit which is not provided under the Railroad Retirement Act.
For example, social security provides children's benefits when an employee is totally disabled, retired, or deceased. The Railroad Retirement Act only provides children's benefits if the employee is deceased. Therefore, if a retired rail employee has children who would otherwise be eligible for a benefit under social security, the employee's annuity would be increased to reflect what social security would pay the family, unless the annuity is already more than that amount.