TN 12 (01-14)

RS 01602.105 Identifying a Vested Claimant

A. Vested number holder (NH)

A vested NH is one who meets the requirements to be entitled and eligible for a RR annuity. For entitlement requirements, see RS 01601.120 for life claims and RS 01601.130 for survivor benefits.

You can identify whether a claimant is a vested RR employee by reviewing the earnings record.

  IF…

THEN…

Informational/Certified Earnings Records System (ICERS) shows the number holder (NH for a life claim, has 60 months of railroad service accrued after December 31, 1995 or 120 total months of railroad service.

RRB has certification responsibility (RR - Cert case). Adjudicate the claim fully and certify payment to RRB.

For information on processing life cases, see RS 01602.150 in this section.

For information on processing survivor cases, see RS 01602.200 and RS 01602.202 in this section.

For additional information on RR certification, see RS 01601.310.

Alleged military service (MS) plus railroad service months total at least 60 months after 1995, or a total of 120 months.

Follow instructions on handling cases involving RR and MS in RS 01601.430.

Proven MS plus RR service months total at least 60 months after 1995, or 120 total months

Process as a RR-Cert Case.

B. Vested spouse

The definition of a vested spouse for the RRB is located in RS 01601.120C. RR-Cert will apply to the spouse of a NH vested with the RRB, in the following circumstances.

IF…

THEN…

ICERS shows spouse of claimant has 60 months of railroad service accrued after December 31, 1995, or 120 total months of service:

The spouse of the claimant’s Master Beneficiary Record (MBR) shows:

Rail data, including an RLCN with a suffix of “10” indicating the receipt of an RRB retirement annuity. For more information, see SM 00510.515B.1.b. This is based on an interface with RRB; or

Account data line, railroad information (RR) field shows “ANN” or “ELG”.

Caution: This data is manually input by SSA and is not validated against other data or systems; or

Benefit data line, RRIC field shows a “R.”

Caution: The RRIC of “R” shows that the benefits are certified to the RRB, which is not the same as vesting.

To view an exhibit of the account data line, see SM 00510.070.

To view an exhibit of the benefit data field, see SM 00510.175.

Conclude spouse has 60 months after 1995, or 120 or more months or RR earnings and process as RR-Cert case.

CAUTION: The spouse of the claimant might be a widow(er) of a deceased railroad employee where the RRB has jurisdiction of the survivor benefit. For this situation, the spouse will have RRB certification (LAF E) but the number holder on the MBR will be paid by SSA (LAF C.)

For a SS beneficiary who is a child of a railroad worker, see RS 01601.310. If the child is entitled on a railroad w