Railroad Retirement Board Release Regarding Unemployment and Sickness Benefits Payable Under the Railroad Retirement Insurance Act (RUIA)

The Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) released a questions and answers that describes unemployment and sickness benefits payable under the Railroad Retirement Insurance Act (RUIA), their eligibility requirements, and how to claim them. In addition, it details how the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, affects the RRB’s administration of benefits under the RUIA.

Click here to read the release.

Question 3 of the release states the current daily rate effective July 1, 2020 is $80. However, due to the Budget Control Act of 2011, a reduction of 5.9% is required, bringing the rate to $75.28/day through September 30, 2020. Effective October 1, 2020, the Board expects the reduction percentage to be lowered to 5.7% whereby increasing the daily rate. The daily rate is also subject to tier I payroll taxes of 7.65%.

Sickness and unemployment benefits are based on a 14-day period and benefits will be paid for all days claimed after the 4th day. It should be noted that the CARES Act provided for the waiver of the initial 7-day waiting period in any benefit year. At this time, the waiver will expire on December 31, 2020. However, even with the initial 7-day waiting period being temporarily waived, all sickness and unemployment claims are still subject to the first 4 days being held to accommodate an individual’s off days.

For example, under normal circumstances, the initial 7-day waiting period would be applied to the 14-day claim period, if the individual claimed all 14 days; he/she would get paid 7 days out of the initial 14-day claim period in a benefit year.

With the temporary waiver of the 7-day waiting period, benefits for the initial 14-day period would still apply the 4-day waiting period. If the individual claimed all days in the 14-day period, he/she would get paid 10 days. The 4-day waiting period is the standard for every claim thereafter.

Further, the CARES Act provided for an additional $1,200 per 2-week benefit period. The payment of these additional funds for those filing for unemployment benefits ended and expired on July 31, 2020.

Click here for the latest update of the Board’s questions and answers regarding unemployment and sickness benefits under the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act (RUIA) during COVID-19 virus outbreak.

Please pay attention to question 21 that addresses questions regarding the recent Presidential memorandum providing for $400 in additional weekly State unemployment benefits. Unfortunately, the Board states this additional money does not apply to unemployment benefits under RUIA.

Both releases outline the eligibility rules and procedures members should use when applying for benefits. Online registration is highly suggested at https://rrb.gov/Benefits/myRRB. If member haven’t registered for online access, they should do so in advance. We have discovered that the member’s personal information may differ from the Board’s records which will require the request of a password via mail. This process can take approximately 10-15 working days to receive.

As updates are received they will be distributed. Further information can be found on the www.rrb.gov website. Should you have any questions, please contact the TCU Social Services Department at 301-840-8746.

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