Member & Family Services

Have a Financial Road Map 
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Create A Basic Personal Financial Organizer Form

A Place to Keep Passwords and Financial Links Will Help You and Your Family Stay Organized.  A Must for Survivors and Caregivers 

YOUR RIGHTS UNDER THE FEDERAL EMPLOYERS LIABILITY ACT 
 
What Do I Do If I Am Injured?
  1. Get immediate medical attention. Report your injury to the railroad and contact your union representative. Visit your own doctor as soon as you are able. Tell your medical provider the unsafe conditions that caused your injury.  Ask your doctor not to discuss your condition with any RR representative-without your consent.  
    • Carefully complete-a personal injury report. Make clear the unsafe conditions or defective equipment on the report. Keep a copy.
    • Keep copies of all medical reports and bills.  Make a list of all witnesses.
    • Be careful what you say in your accident report.  Check carrier operating rules and working agreements about giving statements to claim agents-written or verbal.  Again, make sure you have union representation and legal advice. 
      • Do not allow the Carrier official in the examination room. You may say to the doctor that you do not want anyone else present and the doctor must comply. Inform the medical providers that you are not under state workers comp.
        • Do not sign off a claim nor let a family member sign off without first talking to your local chairman or designated legal counsel.
        • Make sure your spouse or family members know what to do, so you can get proper medical care without added stress and worry.  Please check the family services tab of this site-line up all additional insurances and apply for RR sickness benefits if time is lost.    

What should I do if confronted by a Carrier official?

  1. Remember that this event could lead to charges against you or a crew member and go slow and think about what your saying just as if your already in that hearing room.
    • Answer yes or no as much as possible.
      • Always ask for a witness to be present.
        • Note any and all persons within earshot at the time.
          • Call your local chairman and tell him about the incident the same day if at all possible.
            • Write down all you can remember about the incident as soon as you can, detailing-who-what-when-where.
            • Keep all necessary documents-train orders-brake slips-train work order-tonnage graph.

 

Railroad Injury Resource Guide
Federal Employers Liability Act Law Firms
 
Contact: Will Moody, http://www.moodyrrlaw.com/
 

Contact: Ben Saunders, https://www.davissaunders.com/

 

Contact: Bob Marcus, http://www.kujawskimarcus.com/

 
Contact: James Farina, http://www.hoeyfarina.com/dont-get-railroaded
Excellent Educational Video   

Contact: John Steel, 866-551-7480
 

 

Your Rights in the Emergency Room

 
When a railroader is injured at work, he is frequently brought to the emergency room or a nearby clinic for treatment. Once at the emergency room, the injured railroader should have the fundamental right to be left alone to discuss his symptoms with his treating doctor and discuss any other medical conditions he may have which are relevant. This is important because not only does the injured railroader have to discuss his symptoms and prior medical history with the treating medical personnel, but also has to make decisions with respect to any current treatment options being offered at the hospital or clinic. Unfortunately, there are times when railroad supervisors may not respect its employee's right to be left alone at this critical time. Supervisors have been known to position themselves in the hospital room during the examination and even go so far as to discuss medical treatment with the doctor outside of the presence of the railroader. They have even been known to suggest that non-prescription medication be given out.

Why does the railroad do this and why do healthcare providers let them get away with it?

First, the supervisors want to determine the extent of the railroader's injury and often try to continue talking to the railroader about the facts of his accident. When a person is in a great amount of pain, he is not usually concerned with what he is saying and does not want to explain how the accident occurred. There have been actual cases where railroad officials have asked the employee to sign the accident report while in the hospital awaiting treatment and the employee, having related a minimal amount of information on an accident report, or even having the accident report filled out by his supervisor, has indicated merely "hurt turning handbrake" or "fell off rung on car." Later, the railroad profits by this brevity by cross-examining the injured railroader and saying "Your accident report doesn't mention that the handbrake was defective and caught," or "You didn't mention in your report that the rung was bent." The railroad then follows up by asking the injured railroader, "When did you make this up?" Obviously, the emergency room is a good time to "manipulate" an employee's story to the railroad's advantage.

Second, the supervisors like to be present during an examination so they can talk to the physician and request that non-prescription pain medication be given. When medicine is prescribed, the accident must be reported to the FRA, and railroads want to avoid FRA reportability.

Why do the healthcare providers allow this to happen?

The answer is simple. The individuals from the railroad inform the healthcare provider that this is an on-the-job injury and that the railroad will be covering the medical bills. The doctors then view the matter as a worker's compensation case where the employer or insurer typically is able to get more involved.

What can be done about this?

Recently, the FRA has begun putting its foot down with respect to supervisory personnel invading the examination room. The FRA has found gross non-compliance in several cases of the CFR 49 under Section 225.33, the anti-harassment provision of the FRA reporting rules.
FRA Regional Office 3  1800-724-5993
 
If you have been injured and harassed as a result
 
Contact your BLE&T Division Local Chairman, Florida State Legislative Chairman, General Chairman, and we will see to it that you are given all the rights that you are entitled.  BLE&T FSLBC David Lavery, P.O. Box 10873, Tampa, FL 33679, 813-215-5330, dlavery@tampabay.rr.com
 
Provide the following:
 
Date: 
Name:
occupation:
Phone:
Email:
Address:
Job number:
Additional crew members:
Occupation:
Phone:
Mile post location:
Time of occurrence:
Provide a copy of ticket or any additional documentation:
train destination:
subdivision:
Other witnesses notified or present and contact information:
 
Explanation: (provide as many details as possible).
Attach any further supporting documents:
 
Family Guide in Time of Crisis
 
Railroad Retirement Board
1877-772-5772
Check pay stubs for payroll deductions 
There may be additional ones not listed here.
CSX benefits Counselor
Life Insurance/Stock- Employee Stock Ownership Program or other
904-359-2345
CSX Field Administration-904-279-6166
United health care-800-842-5252 Aetna-800-842-4044
BLE&T 401 K   Merrill Lynch
Michael Lopian-800-845-3894
Paul Nowakowski-800-753-1541
800-229-9040
(social security number and account number needed)
UTU 401K Savings Plan-Empower Financial
Insurance
Railroad Life Insurance under the National Carriers Plan
Met Life-800-310-7770
Note: The Met life insurance contract is a $20,000 benefit for eligible employees and $2,000 for retired employees.
BLE&T Met Life for short term disability (CSX) Plan
(policy may have included a death benefit)
1. Contact Local Union -Secretary Treasurer 
Colonial Life Insurance (sick and accident)
800-325-4368
Cornerstone Benefits Management-847-387-3555 
Job insurance Companies with possible death benefits
LE&CMPA Locomotive Engineers & Conductors Mutual protective Association 800-514-0010
BRCF Brotherhood Relief and Compensation Fund 800-233-7080
Contact Labor Organizations
(Some organizations sold life insurance policies to their members).
Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen National Office
216-241-2630 National S&T
United Transportation Union National Office
216-228-9400
Military Veteran Benefits
Often handled by the funeral director, $300 burial allowance,$300 plot allowance outside of the National Cemetery System and provision of headstone for veteran with desired information on it both inside and outside of the National Cemetery System. Copy of military discharge form DD-214 needed.  For information: (800-697-6947) or visit http://www.cem.va.gov/
Tax Exemptions
County tax exemptions besides the homeowners exemption in Florida. There is a Widow/Widower exemption which will help the surviving spouse. There are several other exemptions that may apply. If your spouse had a veteran disability. Contact the county taxing authority.
Sufficient death certificate copies are needed to handle business with Insurance companies, bank changes and other matters. The Funeral director normally handles acquiring copies.
Additional Resources
What to do when a loved one dies

Consumer Reports magazine: October 2012

Our advice can keep a sad event from becoming even more painful

When Jeanne Kiefer's mother died at 93 under hospice care, the nurse knew whom to call and what to do, so the death and its immediate aftermath were, in Kiefer's words, "peaceful" and "seamless." She and her sister had discussed end-of-life arrangements-the hospice nurse and counselor "bring it up and encourage you to kind of deal with it," said Kiefer, a research consultant in Cave Creek, Ariz.-and could focus on being with their mother.

Compare that with the experience of Kiefer's relative, whose 97-year-old mother died at home attended by a nurse's aide and children who hadn't discussed end-of-life plans. The aide couldn't legally declare the mother's death, so the family called 911. The police came, began CPR, and investigated the scene as a potential crime, questioning the family to rule out elder abuse. Only when paramedics arrived could the body be removed and resuscitation attempts stopped.

File this checklist to use when needed to keep a sad event from becoming even more painful. Responsibility for the various actions can be divided among family members and close friends of the deceased.

Immediately

1. Get a legal pronouncement of death. If no doctor is present, you'll need to contact someone to do this:

If the person dies at home under hospice care, call the hospice nurse, who can declare the death and help facilitate the transport of the body.

If the person dies at home without hospice care, call 911, and have in hand a do-not-resuscitate document if it exists. Without one, paramedics will generally start emergency procedures and, except where permitted to pronounce death, take the person to an emergency room for a doctor to make the declaration.

2. Arrange for transportation of the body. If no autopsy is needed, the body can be picked up by a mortuary (by law, a mortuary must provide price info over the phone) or crematorium.

3. Notify the person's doctor or the county coroner.

4. Notify close family and friends. (Ask some to contact others.)

5. Handle care of dependents and pets.

6. Call the person's employer, if he or she was working. Request info about benefits and any pay due. Ask whether there was a life-insurance policy through the company.

Within a few days after death

7. Arrange for funeral and burial or cremation. Search the person's documents to find out whether there was a prepaid burial plan. Ask a friend or family member to go with you to the mortuary. Prepare an obituary.

8. If the person was in the military or belonged to a fraternal or religious group, contact that organization. It may have burial benefits or conduct funeral services.

9. Ask a friend or relative to keep an eye on the person's home, answer the phone, collect mail, throw food out, and water plants.

Up to 10 days after death

10. Obtain death certificates (usually from the funeral home). Get multiple copies; you'll need them for financial institutions, government agencies, and insurers.

11. Take the will to the appropriate county or city office to have it accepted for probate.

12. If necessary, the estate's executor should open a bank account for the deceased estate.

13. Contact:

A trust and estates attorney, to learn how to transfer assets and assist with probate issues.

Police, to have them periodically check the deceased house if vacant.

Accountant or tax preparer, to find out whether an estate-tax return or final income-tax return should be filed.

The person's investment adviser, for information on holdings.

Bank, to find accounts and safe deposit box.

Life insurance agent, to get claim forms.

Social Security (800-772-1213FREE 800-772-1213 socialsecurity.gov) and other agencies from which the deceased received benefits, such as Veterans Affairs (800-827-1000FREE 800-827-1000 ; va.gov), to stop payments and ask about applicable survivor benefits.

Agency providing pension services, to stop monthly check and get claim forms.

Utility companies, to change or stop service, and postal service, to stop or forward mail.

Know the person's wishes

For an elderly friend or relative:

Know the location of the will, birth certificate, marriage and divorce certificates, Social Security information, life-insurance policies, financial documents, and keys to safe deposit box or home safe.

Ask the person's wishes about funeral arrangements, organ donation, and burial or cremation.

Have the personcomplete an advance directive, including a living will, which specifies wanted and unwanted procedures. The person should also appoint a health-care proxy to make medical decisions if he or she becomes incapacitated.

Have a do-not-resuscitate order drawn up if the person desires. That tells health-care professionals not to perform CPR if the person's heart or breathing stops and restarting would not result in a meaningful life.

Make sure the person gives copies of the documents to his or her doctor and a few family members or friends. Take the documents to the hospital if the person is admitted.

Free advice

You'll find state-specific advance directives at caringinfo.org, a website of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.