TN 2 (03-10)
DI 44001.101 Introduction to Processing Railroad (RR) Cases
Great Lakes Program Service Center-Disability Processing Branch (GLPSC-DPB) is responsible for processing disability claims filed by claimants who receive, or are eligible for, an annuity with the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) and for coordination between the two agencies.
GLPSC-DPB uses the same disability criteria and guidelines used by the State disability determination services (DDS) when processing railroad (RR) disability claims, and they disclose the decision to the RRB.
These RR cases are divided into 2 groups:
Dual eligibility, and
NOTE: The material contained in this chapter is unique to processing dual eligibility RR cases.
A. Dual eligibility cases
Dual eligibility cases are claims for disability filed with SSA, including:
1. Career RR
A disability claim filed by a RR worker who has at least 60 months of creditable RR service earned after 12/31/95 (or 120 months earned at any time).
2. Dependent RR survivor disability annuitant
A claimant who is receiving or filing for a childhood disability annuity or a disabled widow(er)’s annuity with RRB on the account of a deceased RR employee, and is filing a disability claim with SSA on a different Social Security account.
The surviving child or widow(er)’s RR annuitant could be filing for disability with SSA for:
Disability insurance benefits (DIB) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) on their own record,
CDB on another parent’s record, or
DWB on another prior spouse’s record
IMPORTANT: If the spouse or child of a living career RR worker files for DIB or SSI on his or her own Social Security number, GLPSC-DPB does not have jurisdiction of the claim. Route the claim to the DDS in the claimant’s state of residence per DI 11050.010.
Dual eligibility processing:
The field office (FO) takes a disability claim that fits the dual eligibility RR criteria and forwards the case to GLPSC-DPB instead of the DDS.
GLPSC-DPB makes the determination on an initial or reconsideration claim and returns the case to the FO for final processing.
If the claimant files for reconsideration on a dual eligibility claim, GLPSC-DPB has jurisdiction. The claimant is entitled to a reconsideration determination by GLPSC-DPB even if he or she resides in a Prototype state.
Case processing at the administrative law judge (ALJ) level is unchanged. The PSC that effectuates the ALJ decision is required to forward a copy of the decision to GLPSC-DPB for coordination with RRB.
GLPSC-DPB has jurisdiction for initial and reconsideration determinations on continuing disability review cases (CDR). If GLPSC-DPB cannot issue a fully favorable decision at the initial or reconsideration level on a CDR, they refer the case to the Federal Disability Hearing Office in Region V for a disability hearing per DI 33025.010.
B. Joint freeze cases
Joint freeze cases are claims for disability FILED WITH RRB by a career RR worker.
An application for a disability annuity with the RRB is deemed a freeze application (joint freeze) with SSA. The number holder does not need to contact SSA for a freeze determination. The RRB makes their determination based on SSA disability program policy and procedures and sends the file to GLPSC-DPB to review and process the SSA freeze.