U.S. Railroad Retirement Board Agrees To Disability Reforms

The U.S. Railroad Retirement Board, which has come under intense scrutiny for their possible role in helping former LIRR employees collect fraudulent disability benefits, has agreed to disability reforms proposed by federal lawmakers. Alfonso A. Castillo has more in this report for Newsday:

The U.S. Railroad Retirement Board has “unanimously agreed” to adopt a number of reforms proposed by federal lawmakers aimed at curbing possible abuses of federal disability benefits by Long Island Rail Road retirees, said a memo obtained by Newsday yesterday.

The memo, sent to members of New York’s congressional delegation yesterday, outlines five reforms the retirement board has agreed to implement relating “solely to the Long Island Rail Road and its employees,” including measures that could potentially cut off some LIRR retirees currently receiving disability benefits.

While saying the changes will be “beneficial” to the system, LIRR president Helena Williams said yesterday that they “appear to unfairly single out LIRR retirees and do not go far enough to address what is a nationwide issue.”

The retirement board has come under fire following reports that it approves, nationally, 98 percent of railroad disability claims. An unusually high number of claims come from LIRR retirees, board members have said. More than 90 percent of LIRR retirees, it was reported last month, have received disability benefits.

Click here for the complete report.

Seriously did the board really think they could do anything but publicly agree to these reforms? The real test is to see if they get implemented & seriously enforced to prevent possible fraud in the future. So the jury will be out on this issue for quite awhile.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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