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Railroaders may be eligible for pandemic unemployment benefits


Railroaders may be eligible for benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) that was established under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, according to the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) and the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB).

The U.S. Department of Labor has advised the RRB's general counsel that PUA provisions do not prohibit railroaders from being eligible for benefits if they are not eligible for Railroad Unemployment Insurance Benefits, according to a message from John Bragg, the RRB's labor member, which was shared by the BLET.

"Similarly, the RRB's general counsel has found that there is nothing in the RUIA that prohibits railroaders from receiving PUA benefits if they are not receiving RUIA benefits," Bragg wrote.

Bragg noted that the RRB's general counsel sought guidance after receiving many railroaders' questions about benefits under the CARES Act.

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