Experienced Disability Representation With A Personal Touch

Injured Railroad Worker Disability Claims In California

Working the railroads is an important job that often involves a considerable risk of injury ranging from minor accidents to serious incidents which may result in long-term disabilities that impact the worker’s ability to perform their duties and maintain their livelihood.

If you have been injured when working on the railroads, Leland Law may be in a position to provide legal assistance and support in filing disability claims to ensure you receive the compensation and benefits you deserve for your injuries and any resulting disabilities. For more than 40 years, we have consistently and successfully represented clients in disability claims related to railroad worker injuries in Whittier, Orange, Ontario and North Hollywood.

What Is FELA?

Also referred to as the Federal Employers Liability Act, FELA is a crucial piece of legislation that provides legal protection and recourse for railroad workers who suffer injuries or illnesses due to the negligence of their employer or co-workers. The Act covers a wide range of railroad worker injuries including but not limited to:

  • Injuries resulting from slips, trips and falls
  • Musculoskeletal injuries such as strains and sprains
  • Traumatic injuries like fractures and dislocations
  • Repetitive stress injuries
  • Occupational illnesses caused by exposure to hazardous materials
  • Injuries sustained in train collisions or derailments
  • Any other injury or illness resulting from negligence while on the job
  • Permanent disability including partial or full disability

It takes skilled representation to make sure that you receive all the benefits you are rightfully due.

Understanding The Railroad Retirement Act And Railroad Retirement Board

Railroad workers in the United States are covered by the Railroad Retirement Act (RRA) and governed by the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB), which provides the following benefits to railroad workers and their families:

  • Retirement benefits: Financial support for retired railroad workers based on their service and earnings history in the railroad industry
  • Disability benefits: Assistance for railroad workers unable to work due to a disabling injury or illness ensuring they have income to support themselves and their families
  • Survivor benefits: Financial aid for the surviving spouses, children and dependents of deceased railroad workers to help cope with the loss of income
  • Unemployment benefits: Temporary financial assistance for railroad workers who are involuntarily unemployed helping them bridge the gap between jobs and maintain financial stability

Differences Between Total Disability And Occupational Disability Under The RRA

When it comes to disability, the Railroad Retirement Act (RRA) distinguishes between total disability and occupational disability to address different circumstances and levels of impairment among railroad workers.

For total disability, a total disability annuity is based on disability for all regular work. It is payable at any age to employees with at least 10 years (120 months) of creditable railroad service and under certain conditions, to employees with 5 to 9 years of creditable railroad service if at least 5 years were performed after 1995.

When it comes to occupational disability, the Railroad Retirement Act (RRA) bases annuities on the employee’s regular railroad occupation. Payable at age 60 with 10 years (120 months) of service or at any age with 20 years (240 months) of service, it also requires a current connection with the railroad industry. This is typically met if the employee worked for a railroad in at least 12 of the 30 months preceding the annuity’s start.

Criteria For Qualifying For Occupational And Total Disability Annuities For Injured Railroad Workers

To qualify for an occupational disability annuity, an employee must meet the following criteria:

  • A current connection with the railroad industry
  • Filed an application for disability annuity
  • Acquired 240 service months (234 service months if application filed before April 1, 1982), or 120 service months and attained age sixty
  • Been rated permanently disabled for work in his regular occupation
  • Stopped compensated service to an employer under the Railroad Retirement Act

For a total and permanent disability annuity, the employee must meet the following criteria:

  • Filed an application for a disability annuity
  • Acquired 120 service months, or 60-119 service months, with at least 60 months after 1995 and the annuity beginning date is January 2, 2002, or later
  • Been rated permanently disabled for all work
  • Stopped compensated service to an employer under the Railroad Retirement Act

The RRA also includes special provisions such as early Medicare for totally disabled workers and those with ALS or Chronic Kidney Disease.

Contact Us Today To Discuss Your Railroad Worker Disability Claim

If you are a railroad worker who has been injured on the job and needs assistance with disability claims, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Call 562-219-4156 or email us to book a consultation and let us help you through the legal process to secure the compensation and benefits you deserve.