The U.S. Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) has announced that railroad workers can now file biweekly claims for railroad sickness benefits online.
Employees can access this new service by visiting the RRB's website at www.rrb.gov and clicking "Benefit Online Services." This new feature, along with existing ones, requires a secure Internet Services Account for each individual. First-time users will need to request a Password Request Code (PRC), which they will receive by regular mail in 7 to 10 days. Once employees have an established online account, they will be able to file biweekly claims for sickness benefits, as well as conduct other business with the RRB over the Internet. Employees who have already established online accounts do not need to do so again.
Railroad employees who miss work due to illness or injury will still have to file a paper form that serves as their initial application for sickness benefits. Once the application is received, they will continue to receive paper-based claim forms, generally for specific 2-week periods, by regular mail. However, they now have the option of filing the claims online in order to expedite processing and payment.
The RRB implemented a similar system for unemployment benefits in 2004. These services are part of the agency's plan to expand access to information and allow the railroad public to conduct its business with the agency in the most convenient manner possible. Individuals who do not wish to use online services can still call, visit or write one of the RRB's field offices.
Most RRB offices are open to the public from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except on Federal holidays. Individuals can be connected with their servicing field office or obtain its address by calling the agency's toll-free telephone number, 1-877-772-5772, which also provides a variety of automated services. Field office addresses can also be found on the RRB website.