Unemployed Rail Workers to Get Benefits

Unemployed railroad workers will have access to unemployment and sickness benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic the Association of American Railroad announced.

AAR said that relief was included in the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act approved last week.

Railroad workers do not receive unemployment benefits through state-administered programs, but through the Railroad Retirement Board’s Railroad Unemployment Insurance Program.

The CARES law waives the seven-day waiting period for filing a sickness or unemployment claim with the RRB and provides $50 million to cover the costs of providing these additional benefits.

It also increases unemployment benefits through an additional $1,200 biweekly benefit, provides $425 million to cover the costs of providing these additional benefits through July 31, and allows RRB to access about $130 million of remaining American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to provide extended benefits through Dec. 3.

The law also appropriated $5 million to RRB for additional administrative costs.

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