Mrs. A, a Connecticut resident, contacted the New England Pension Assistance Project (NEPAP) for help with her survivor benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board. Mrs. A’s late husband was a long-time employee of the railroad. Mrs. A and her husband lived apart for the last decade of their marriage, but never got divorced.

Before finding NEPAP, Mrs. A tried to apply for survivor benefits on her own, but the Railroad Retirement Board denied her application. They told Mrs. A that her late husband had allegedly gotten remarried and that his second wife was entitled to survivor benefits. Mrs. A was confused because she and her husband had never been legally divorced! If anyone was entitled to survivor benefits from the railroad, Mrs. A knew she should be receiving them.

NEPAP filed a claim for benefits on Mrs. A’s behalf and after six months of waiting, the Railroad Retirement Board approved our claim. Mrs. A received a one-time retroactive lump-sum payment of $29,263.20 and subsequently began to receive a monthly survivor benefit of $1,259, to be paid for the rest of her life. The overall lifetime value of Mrs. A’s benefits is $249,253.19! Mrs. A wrote at the conclusion of her case, “I was very fortunate to have been assisted by the New England Pension Assistance Project.”