Current Connection

August 28, 20200

Dismissals have caused the current connection to be of much more concern now than in the past. A current connection is required for survivor benefits, supplemental payment, and occupational disability. It is not required for regular retirement based on age and service years or total disability. An employee or former employee loses current connection due to employment outside the railroad industry for over 12 months in a 30 month period, making a good rule of thumb’ don’t go over 18 months. Self-employment will not cause loss of the current connection. I have seen exceptions made in cases of leaving the railroad for the ministry. Going on occupational disability In the timely manner described above will not affect it.

As information, a few other benefits permanently lost by certain other mistakes are:

  • Having a dependent child with issues making that child a dependent adult and not reporting the child to RRB as your permanent dependent before reaching age 22 will cause loss of benefits later when you retire and expect benefits.
  • Being in dismissed status and have a disability and fail to file a proof of disability form before the expiration of four months from month of last compensation will terminate health insurance.
  • I have seen a dismissed/disabled employee qualified for occupational disability with an estimated annuity of over $3500 a month fail to submit the form to change status to disabled and protect insurance eligibility, take a job paying near minimum wage, lose his current connection working that job and after receiving an unfavorable PLB ruling, unable to return to service and also unable to file for occupational disability.

Many years of experience as a union officer seeing the traumatic effect on a railroad employee being dismissed has caused me to do a lot of study on what is the best route forward for most. In the crafts of engineer and conductor  with over 20 years, four main factors are most always present; they have been railroading so long they have no transferable skills to the private sector, if they do gain employment it is probably at unacceptable pay level, self-esteem is lost and depression is the result; most have had some occupational disability from their railroad craft they concealed; they lose their current connection. I am persuaded that occupational disability if objectively eligible is the prudent path to take.

There are many subjects I will cover in future blogs. I hope you will continue reading and if injured call Steel & Moss Law Firm, the best FELA Firm with full focus on your future with two of the finest F.E.L.A Trial Lawyers backed up by the very best disability specialist doing all possible to get you a disability annuity, early Medicare and dependent children benefits, a research & analysis expert on anything on locomotives and modern railroad technology who leaves no stone unturned assisting Steel & Moss plus an at large field man providing invaluable assistance.

Paul Wingo

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