Railroad Unemployment Insurance Benefits - RRB
The maximum Railroad Unemployment Insurance (RUI) daily benefit for July 2008-June 2009 is $61 per day. The maximum monthly benefit is $1,220 (the equivalent of 20 work days in a month.)
The RUI daily benefit increases July 1, 2009. The maximum RUI daily benefit for July 2009-June 2010 is $64 per day, or $1,280 per month.
Furloughed employees are eligible to receive RUI benefits through the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) if they were:
- Hired in 2007 and have five months of service, plus were paid at least $3,075 in RUI compensation during the base year (2007).
- Hired before 2007 and have three service months in 2007, as well as the same required RUI compensation.
Furloughed employees without enough service months to be eligible for RUI benefits should immediately contact their state unemployment offices to file for state unemployment insurance, based on pre-railroad employment earnings through Social Security. Generally, furloughed employees should contact their state offices if they were:
- Hired in 2008 (the 2008 benefit year began on July 1, 2008, and ends June 30, 2009.) However, employees with five months of service plus $3,200 of RUI earnings in 2008 will be eligible for RUI benefits on July 1, 2009 (the beginning of a new RUI benefit year).
- Hired in 2007 and do not have at least five service months during 2007; or
- Hired before 2007 and do not have at least three service months during 2007.
RUI Filing Process
Furloughed employees should immediately contact the Railroad Retirement Board to determine their eligibility and begin the filing process for unemployment benefits, which takes about three weeks.
- Eligible employees should go to the RRB’s Web site at www.rrb.gov. Under the “Beneficiaries & RR Employees” tab, click on “Benefit Forms & Publications” to access the UB-10 Unemployment Benefits for Railroad Employees handbook and UI-1 application form.
(Note: Employees can file their railroad unemployment claim via the Internet but they need to set up a PIN and Password (PPW) account. The Web site explains how to open a PPW account.)
- When the RRB receives the unemployment insurance application, a claim is released to the employee the next business day. The claim cannot be filed or returned to the RRB during a 14-day waiting period.
- Once the claim is submitted, it is processed under a three-day, pre-payment verification period, during which Union Pacific either verifies or challenges the claim.
- If no conflicts are reported, the RRB releases the claim to the U.S. Treasury for payment, which takes two business days.
- Applications must be received by the RRB within 30 days of the first date that an employee wishes to claim as a day of unemployment.
Generally, if employees are furloughed more than 4-5 months with no indication of recall, the Railroad Retirement Board will counsel them to make efforts to obtain full-time work as “proof of availability” (one of the criteria for unemployment benefits). Depending on other information provided in their applications, RRB may provide more specific instructions to employees on a case-by-case basis.
Special Extended Unemployment Benefits for Certain Railroad Employees
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (known as “the stimulus package”), was enacted by Congress and signed into law Feb. 17, 2009. This Act provides up to 13 weeks of special extended unemployment benefits for certain railroad employees who exhaust their rights to the RUI benefits normally provided.
Railroad employees who previously were not eligible for extended unemployment benefits because they did not have 10 years of railroad service (120 cumulative service months) may be eligible for up to 65 days within an extended period, consisting of seven consecutive 2-week registration periods.
Railroad employees who previously were eligible for extended unemployment benefits to up 65 days may now be eligible for extended benefits of up to 130 days within an extended period, consisting of 13 consecutive 2-week registration periods.
The RRB will mail notices to eligible employees who previously exhausted their rights to normal or extended unemployment benefits. The notice will provide information about their extended unemployment benefit period beginning and ending dates. The RRB also will mail claim forms for days in the extended period. If you do not receive a notice and you believe you are eligible for these added benefits, contact your local RRB office toll-free at 1-877-772-5772 or visit the Web site at www.rrb.gov.
In addition, employees covered under UP’s Auxiliary Work & Training Status (AWTS) agreement, may be entitled to receive unemployment benefits on their remaining available days each month.