B filed for social security benefits in July 1960. B had been employed by the X Railroad for the year 1959, and his earnings from the X Railroad were as follows: January -- $500; February -- $400; March -- $400; April -- $300; May -- $300; June -- $400; July -- $400; August -- $500; September -- $400; October -- $300; November -- $400; December -- $500 -- for a total of $4,800.
Under section 209(a) of the Social Security Act, the first $4,800 of wages paid in any calendar year after 1958 may be counted for social security purposes. The Railroad Retirement Act, however, has no maximum yearly amount of railroad earnings which is creditable for railroad retirement purposes. Instead sections 3(c) and 5(1)(9) of that Act provide a maximum monthly amount which may be used in determining benefits payable under that Act: $400 for months after May 1959; $350 for months after June 1954 and before June 1959.
The question is whether only those amounts up to the monthly maximums provided in the Railroad Retirement Act may be credited as wages for social security purposes, or whether all railroad earnings up to the $4,800 yearly maximum provided in the Social Security Act may be so used.
Section 5(k) of the Railroad Retirement Act provides, in pertinent part, that section 210(a)(9) of the Social Security Act shall not operate to exclude railroad service from social security coverage where a worker has less than 10 years of railroad service. Paragraph (3) of section 5(k) further provides that in such cases, the Railroad Retirement Board shall supply to the Social Security Administration certified reports of records of compensation and periods of service and that such certified reports shall be conclusive in adjudication as to matters covered therein.
The purpose in enacting section 5(k) of the Railroad Retirement Act was to carry over to the social security system in appropriate cases the compensation which was creditable to the individual's account under the railroad retirement system. Therefore, only compensation which is creditable under the Railroad Retirement Act and which is certified to the Social Security Administration by the Railroad Retirement Board may be credited as wages for social security purposes.
Accordingly, it is held that only those amounts of B's railroad earnings which are not in excess of the monthly maximums provided by the Railroad Retirement Act, namely, up to $350 for months through May 1959 and up to $400 for months thereafter, may be credited as wages for social security purposes. Therefore, only $4,350 of the $4,800 which B earned for his services for the X Railroad in 1959 is creditable for social security purposes.
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