“Steel & Moss, who have represented injured railroad workers of all crafts for over 30 years know first-hand what it means for a client to not only have the very best jury verdict or settlement but to have a disability annuity and early Medicare attached, preserving much of the settlement for a lifetime of financial independence.“
Unique Top To Bottom
Employees of the Nation’s Class 1 Railroadshave the most unique top to bottom benefits program in the Nation. When injury or illness strikes, health insurancecoverage is extended for nearly three years for the employee and two for dependents and there is no contributory amount required each month during this period if he submits a proof of disability form.
100s of Variables
That is just the beginning of over 100 variables of options, eligibilities and special benefits for the employee and dependents found in the total package that the typical railroad employee pays little attention to, until needed.
Difficult to Understand
TheInsurance coverage has at leastfour different providers, UHC, AETNA, High Mark and union contract life insurance for both active and retired employees is handled by MetLife and allaresubject to collective bargaining by a negotiating team representing all 17 Rail Labor Unions. Unlike other industries that provide their new employees one Handbook that has it all indexed (which the railroads do for insurance), for class 1 Railroad Employees, three important benefits are under the jurisdiction of Congress such as the Railroad Retirement Act, administered by the Railroad Retirement Board although no taxpayer dollars fund the retirement program with the exception of the carriers who do fund the sickness and unemployment benefits.
Benefits that are overseen by Congress have three main categories but each category has dozens of very beneficial provisions and eligibility requirements making it all difficult to index into in any information booklet that covers it all as we are attempting to do in one conversation on our Steel & Moss website. However, with the Railroad Employees National Health & Welfare Agreement briefly discussed above and a lot of details throughout the Steel & Moss Website, the three remainingcategoriesof the four,provided by both unionagreements and legislated by Congress that we think, sets the railroad employee’s benefits apart from other industries are:
Simplifying Your Railroad Benefits
At any age, after 240 months of credible service or 120 months after age 60 if any or a combination of mental and physical health impairments prevent the employee from safely performing his/her highly safety-sensitive railroad occupation, he/she is most likely eligible.
A two-tier annuity after age 60 with 360 credible months service that qualifies your spouse at age 60 as well. Basic spouse annuity is 50% of employee’s Tier 1 and 45% of the Tier 2. However, there is a provision for the spouse to draw the greater of 100% of his/her social security if that amount exceeds 50% of the employee’s tier 1 and then draw the employee’s tier 2. It also has insurance attached to carry the employee to age 65/Medicare. If illness or injury forces you out a few months short of 360 credible months, there are options.
Injured railroad workers are not subject to Workers’ Compensation Guidelines. Instead, they are covered by F.E.L.A. the federal statute that governs recovery for on-the-job injuries for railroad workers. “FELA” is a fault-based law enacted by Congress for railroad workers provides for full recovery from on-duty injuries if the injury was caused in whole or in part by the negligence of the railroad. It is vitally important for railroad workers to understand the liability aspect of this law and why it is important to identify defective equipment and/or negligence on the injury report that must be submitted before going off-duty.
Since 2005 Steel & Moss have supported and provided the resources to maintain programs including the RRB, which has had amazing results, millions in back pay, early Medicare and much more for clients and non/clients.