Powers and duties
The Board shall have and exercise all the duties and powers necessary to administer this subchapter. The Board shall take such steps as may be necessary to enforce such subchapter and make awards and certify payments. Decisions by the Board upon issues of law and fact relating to annuities or death benefits shall not be subject to review by any other administrative or accounting officer, agent, or employee of the United States.
In the case of—
an individual who will have completed ten years of service (or five or more years of service, all of which accrues after December 31, 1995) creditable under this subchapter,
the wife or divorced wife or husband of such an individual,
any survivor of such an individual if such survivor is entitled, or could upon application become entitled, to an annuity under section 231a of this title
any other person entitled to benefits under title II of the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. 401
et seq.] on the basis of the wages and self-employment income of such an individual (except a survivor of such an individual where such individual did not have a current connection with the railroad industry at the time of his death);
the Board shall provide for the payment on behalf of the Managing Trustee of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund and the Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund of monthly benefits payable under title II of the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. 401
et seq.] which are certified by the Secretary to it for payment under the provisions of title II of the Social Security Act.
If the Board finds that an applicant is entitled to an annuity or death benefit under the provisions of this subchapter then the Board shall make an award fixing the amount of the annuity or benefit, as the case may be, and shall certify the payment thereof as hereinafter provided; otherwise the application shall be denied. For purposes of this section, the Board shall have and exercise such of the powers, duties and remedies provided in subsections (a), (b), (d), and (n) of section 12 of the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act [45 U.S.C. 362
] as are not inconsistent with the express provisions of this subchapter. The Board is authorized to delegate to any member, officer, or employee of the Board any of the powers conferred upon the Board by this subchapter, excluding only the power to prescribe rules and regulations, including the power to make decisions on applications for annuities or other benefits: Provided, however
, That any person aggrieved by a decision on his application for an annuity or other benefit shall have the right to appeal to the Board. Notice of a decision of the Board, or of an employee thereof, shall be communicated to the applicant in writing within thirty days after such decision shall have been made.
The Secretary of the Treasury shall serve as the disbursing agent for benefits payable under this subchapter, under such rules and regulations as the Secretary may in the Secretary’s discretion prescribe.
The Board shall from time to time certify—
to the Secretary of the Treasury the amounts required to be transferred from the Social Security Equivalent Benefit Account and the Dual Benefits Payments Account to the disbursing agent to make payments of benefits and the Secretary of the Treasury shall transfer those amounts;
to the Board of Trustees of the National Railroad Retirement Investment Trust the amounts required to be transferred from the National Railroad Retirement Investment Trust to the disbursing agent to make payments of benefits and the Board of Trustees shall transfer those amounts; and
to the disbursing agent the name and address of each individual entitled to receive a payment, the amount of such payment, and the time at which the payment should be made.
The Board shall establish and promulgate rules and regulations to provide for the adjustment of all controversial matters arising in the administration of this subchapter. All rules, regulations, or decisions of the Board shall require the approval of at least two members, and they shall be entered upon the records of the Board, which shall be a public record.
The Board shall gather, keep, compile, and publish in convenient form such records and data as may be necessary to assure proper administration of this subchapter, including subdivision (2) of this subsection. The Board shall have power to require all employers and employees and any officer, board, commission, or other agency of the United States to furnish such information and records as shall be necessary for the administration of this subchapter, including subdivision (2) of this subsection. The several district courts of the United States shall have jurisdiction upon suit by the Board to compel obedience to any order of the Board issued pursuant to this section. The orders, writs, and processes of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in such suits may run and be served anywhere in the United States. Witnesses summoned before the Board shall be paid the same fees and mileage that are paid witnesses in the district courts of the United States. The Board shall make an annual report to the President of the United States to be submitted to Congress.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall furnish the Board certified reports of wages, self-employment income, and periods of service and of other records in his possession, or which he may secure, pertinent to the administration of this subchapter, the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act [45 U.S.C. 351
the Milwaukee Railroad Restructuring Act [45 U.S.C. 901
et seq.], and the Rock Island Railroad Transition and Employee Assistance Act [45 U.S.C. 1001
et seq.].. The Board shall furnish the Secretary of Health and Human Services certified reports of records of compensation and periods of service reported to it pursuant to section 231h of this title
, of determinations under section 231a of this title
, and of other records in its possession, or which it may secure, pertinent to subsection (c) of this section or to the administration of the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. 301
et seq.] as affected by section 231q of this title
. Such certified reports shall be conclusive in adjudication as to the matters covered therein: Provided, however
, That if the Board or the Secretary of Health and Human Services receives evidence inconsistent with a certified report and the application involved is still in course of adjudication or otherwise open for such evidence such recertification of such report shall be made as, in the judgment of the Board or the Secretary of Health and Human Services, whichever made the original certification, the evidence warrants. Such recertification and any subsequent recertification shall be treated in the same manner and be subject to the same conditions as an original certification.
Any department or agency of the United States maintaining records of military service, at the request of the Board, shall certify to the Board, with respect to any individual, the number of months of military service which such department or agency finds the individual to have had during any period or periods with respect to which the Board’s request is made, the date and manner of entry into such military service, and the conditions under which such service was continued. Any department or agency of the United States which is authorized to make awards of pensions, disability compensation, or any other gratuitous benefits or allowances payable, on the periodic basis or otherwise, under any other Act of Congress on the basis of military service, at the request of the Board, shall certify to the Board, with respect to any individual, the calendar months for all or part of which any such pension, compensation, benefit, or allowance is payable to, or with respect to, the individual, the amounts of any such pension, compensation, benefit, or allowance, and the military service on which such pension, compensation, benefit, or allowance is based. Any certification made pursuant to the provisions of this subdivision shall be conclusive on the Board: Provided, however, That if evidence inconsistent with any such certification is submitted, and the claim is in the course of adjudication or is otherwise open for such evidence, the Board shall refer such evidence to the department or agency which made the original certification and such department or agency shall make such recertification as in its judgment the evidence warrants. Such recertification, and any subsequent recertification, shall be conclusive, made in the same manner, and subject to the same conditions as an original certification.
The Board shall maintain such offices, provide such equipment, furnishings, supplies, services, and facilities, and employ such individuals and provide for their compensation and expenses as may be necessary for the proper discharge of its functions. All positions to which such individuals are appointed, except one administrative assistant to each member of the Board, shall be in and under the competitive civil service and shall not be removed or excepted therefrom. In the employment of such individuals under the civil service laws and rules the Board shall give preference over all others to individuals who have had experience in railroad service, if, in the judgment of the Board, they possess the qualifications necessary for the proper discharge of the duties of the positions to which they are to be appointed. For purposes of its administration of this subchapter or the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act [45 U.S.C. 351
et seq.], or both, the Board may place, without regard to the numerical limitations contained in section 5108(c)(9)
See References in Text note below.
of title 5, four positions in grade GS–16 of the General Schedule established by that Act, four positions in grade GS–17 of such schedule, and one position in grade GS–18 of such schedule.
[Aug. 29, 1935, ch. 812, § 7], as restated [June 24, 1937, ch. 382], pt. I, [50 Stat. 307], as restated [Pub. L. 93–445, title I, § 101], Oct. 16, 1974, [88 Stat. 1338]; amended [Pub. L. 96–88, title V, § 509(b)], Oct. 17, 1979, [93 Stat. 695]; [Pub. L. 96–101, § 10(h)], Nov. 4, 1979, [93 Stat. 742]; [Pub. L. 96–254, title I, § 106(f)], May 30, 1980, [94 Stat. 402], as amended [Pub. L. 96–448, title VII, § 701(b)(1)], Oct. 14, 1980, [94 Stat. 1960]; [Pub. L. 96–265, title I, § 103(a)(4)], June 9, 1980, [94 Stat. 444]; [Pub. L. 96–499, title IX, § 930(r)], Dec. 5, 1980, [94 Stat. 2633]; [Pub. L. 97–35, title XI, § 1122], Aug. 13, 1981, [95 Stat. 638]; [Pub. L. 97–248, title I, § 122(a)(2)], Sept. 3, 1982, [96 Stat. 356]; [Pub. L. 98–76, title III, § 301(a)], title IV, § 416, Aug. 12, 1983, [97 Stat. 430], 436; [Pub. L. 98–369, div. B, title III, § 2349(b)(2)], July 18, 1984, [98 Stat. 1097]; [Pub. L. 105–33, title IV, § 4002(f)(1)], Aug. 5, 1997, [111 Stat. 329]; [Pub. L. 107–90, title I], §§ 103(i)(2), 104(a)(2)(B), 106(a), 107(e), (f), Dec. 21, 2001, [115 Stat. 882], 887, 889; [Pub. L. 108–173, title I, § 101(e)(1)], Dec. 8, 2003, [117 Stat. 2150]; [Pub. L. 109–305, § 2], Oct. 6, 2006, [120 Stat. 1719].)