DI 11050.020 Disability Freeze Determinations for Railroad (RR) Employees
SSA has the responsibility for making all freeze determinations which affect the Retirement, Survivors and Disability Insurance (RSDI) benefit rights of career RR employees.
An SSA disability freeze may protect a career RR employee's benefit rate based on Social Security earnings and any creditable military service.
The freeze reduces the number of quarters of coverage (QC's) otherwise required for fully insured status and may result in a higher primary insurance amount (PIA).
If SSA has jurisdiction of the survivor claim because the NH did not have a current connection with the RR industry, the freeze will usually increase the survivor benefit amount.
RRB applies the same substantive rules as SSA in its freeze determination.
As explained in Disability Claims Arising from Applications Filed with the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) - DI 11050.050, an application for a disability annuity filed with RRB is deemed to be a freeze application with SSA.
Disability freeze determinations for Career RR and surviving dependent RR annuitant cases are excluded from State DDS jurisdiction. Great Lakes Program Service Center-Disability Processing Branch (GLPSC-DPB) handles the disability determinations in such cases, including the coordination with RRB and any subsequent reconsideration or continuing disability action.
For more information on GLPSC processing of freeze cases, see DI 44005.001, Background on Joint Freeze Cases.