March 8, 20210

Railroad Retirement Sickness Benefit and POD Form 

Basic steps to follow

  1. Call RRB at (877) 772-5772 for a Sickness Benefit application or apply online at rrb.gov.
    • You will have (2) pages and the doctor will have (1).
  2. Next call for your forms for Short-Term Disability Benefits from BLET, UTU or independent policies for the doctor to sign.
    • CSX is Cornerstone
    • NS is Railroad Marketing
    • UTU is Anthem
  3. You must submit a Proof of Disability Form (POD) to your insurance provider (fax direct to eligibility section at: 248-733-6080). To get your insurance locked in for the extended period of the rest of the qualifying year plus (2), the rest of qualifying year plus (1) for dependents, the rest of qualifying year plus (1) for dental and vision on you both.
    • There is no monthly contribution while in this status. 
  4. Normally the most direct path to getting the POD completed is to see your primary care physician, especially if you are being held out of service you have four months from last compensated service. Tell your doctor your job description and your conditions as related to being unable to continue in your occupation. Have he/she sign both the POD form and the RRB Sickness Benefits form and to circle yes on the POD form. If he/she does not, you will have to get it renewed at the expiration of the period stated on the form. Remind the doctor the form says disabled from your occupation, not totally disabled. Unlike a social security form, ask him/her either to put a date or circle yes (but not to say indefinite).
    • Fax the POD form directly to the eligibility department at (248) 733-6080 for all three providers as noted in #3 above.
    • Mark off from work sick/under doctor’s care.
    • Do not use FMLA.
    • Do not work after POD form is faxed.
  5. Call (800) 842-5252 in about five (5) days to confirm your insurance eligibility extension. (Again, if you are dismissed and in suspended status, you must get POD form filed in under 4 months from last compensated service to change status from dismissed to disabled and it must be a legitimate, objective disability)
  6. If applicable, call Railroad Marketing at: (877) 646-9951 for NS BLE Short-Term Disability application. For CSX, call Cornerstone at: (847) 387-3555. you may have additional coverages as well.

Work on feeling better, and trying to heal up.

 If you do not get better and cannot return to your job, and you have the qualifying months of service, stay tuned for our next check list, RRB OCCUPATIONAL DISABILITY ANNUITY 


Paul Wingo




January 20, 20210


Far too many railroad employees I talk with are losing out on Sickness Benefits due to delay in making the initial claim. There is a 7 day waiting period to apply but 5 days can satisfy the waiting period. However, RRB understands it takes time to obtain a claim form unless you file on line, then getting doctor appointment, have the statements of sickness completed, complete your portion and mail to Chicago. Therefore, 30 days from last day worked is tolerated as indicated on Block 21 of the Application. Good luck with an explanation if you exceed 30 days unless it is absolutely due to circumstances beyond your control. Once started, you will receive 10 days of benefits in each 14 day period when unable to work due to sickness or injury. Daily rate is currently $80.

A new Benefit Year begins each July 1. If you have exhausted benefits you may be able to start a new benefit year if you had earning in the previous year.

Unemployment benefits follow basically the same guidelines as sickness benefits. Both are funded by the Carrier. Unemployment benefits are subject to Federal Income Tax. Sickness benefits resulting from on-the-job injury are not taxable but will have to be paid back upon settlement of the injury. Neither are subject to state income tax.

RRB Telephone is 877-772-5772. Contact on line is RRB.GOV. Mailing address to submit application is: Railroad Retirement Board 844 North Rush Street, Chicago, IL 60611-2092

Hopefully, this blog will serve as a basic understanding and prevent benefit delays or losses.


Paul Wingo



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