It's been awhile since I have posted on this site and I'm wondering if any of you can help me. In March 2013, I went on short-term disability for my CIDP and other related health issues. The short-term disability went into Long-term disability from my employer through "The Hartford Insurance" company. I receive 60% of my previous salary which is not much since I worked as a Social Worker. With that small monthly check, I have to pay for Cobra Health Insurance which eats up a huge portion of my monthly allotment. A few weeks ago, I received a letter from the Hartford Insurance Company telling me I needed to apply for SSD. I don't want to apply for SSD, I want to go back to work, but have not had any openings to apply for over the past several months. I am depleting what little 401K monies I have left to pay my monthly expenses. I have no family to lean on or ask for financial assistance. I am completely alone in Michigan and am now becoming severely depressed due to my financial, job, and emotional stresses.
I don't know what to do. Please, somebody, I need help. I don't have a spouse to depend on for insurance and as we all know, the IVig is VERY costly and I receive it every 2 weeks.
I am looking forward to some helpful responses.
Lisa Hilton, Ann Arbor Michigan area
This may not help you but I was a kitchen designer for a big box company and when I got sick I went through my disabilities from work and also had cobra. I was in the same boat you are in and ended up having to apply for Medicaid after insurance ran out and then applied for SSDI since I had no income coming in. I’m only in my 40’s I don’t get Medicare but in a way that’s good for me since it pays for the infusion and meds and doctors. SSDI may be what your only option is, but your doctor needs to deem you disabled before you can apply. Usually you have to be deemed disabled for 5 months in the eyes of SS before they approve you. What I mean is this, I applied in March because my neuro deemed me disabled in October the prior year, the amount you receive is what you have had paid into taxes.
I hope this helps, good luck.
Unfortunately, SSDI may be exactly what you need. The added stress of wondering where the next monies are coming from and how you're going to make it will not help your health!
I would also consider looking at a SSDI attorney. They have ways of "expediting" SSDI applications.
Good luck to you!
You should apply for SS disability ASAP, as your current insurance has a policy that states you need to do this. I would not even get an attorney to help you with the SS application, because you already recieve disability payments through a private company and they will back you up against any negative decision SS may take. You do have a waiting period before SS pays benefits and you also are not eligble for medicare, unless you have been getting disability payments for 24 months, have ALS or on dialysis. SS does have a back to work program, so getting SS now doesn't mean you will never work again. Perhaps with the new Obamacare laws you will be able to find an affordable insurance company when your cobra runs out and don't forget you should be able to get assistance from the government to make premiums payments when you do find new insurance.
Some infusion places will not take the new insurances backed by Obomacare due to the fact that they will not pay them(infusion places) what they need. I ran out of cobra and immediately applied fore Medicaid(I paid years into this system I should be able to use it) and am not eligible for Medicare which is kind of expensive due to the copay. You’re eligible for social security disability as long as when you apply the dr notates that you’re disabled in their notes.
I applied online and was approved in two months, you will not get back pay from them because like I said you’d have to be disabled for 5 mnths when you applied.
I have been on short term disability for almost a year and have applied for SSDI and am currently waiting. My doctor has been referring me to multiple des to help find the correct diagnosis . I got the diagnosis 3 weeks ago. I want to return to work. My attorney says I can have it set as side latter if I heal up and SSDI rules I think allow me to make 15 k and then after that for every 2 I make the reduce assistance by 1. Allot of reading. And I waited on filing until I had a firm diagnosis and my doctor said if I didn’t sustain any more damage it would take four years for the myeline to repair it self.
I urge you to apply for SSDI. Wanting to work is not the same as being able to work. If/when your condition improves and opportunities come along, you can transition to work under the SSDI “ticket to work” rules which help people return to work without losing SSDI and needing to reapply if their condition worsens. The key to eligibility for CIDP patients isn’t the diagnosis, it’s a doctor’s certification of the things the patient can’t do because of the disabling condition (for example, stand for 5 minutes; walk more than a block; work for several hours without lying down to rest). Also, send copies of ALL your medical records when you apply, including records of diagnosis and treatment for other conditions that may contribute to your inability to work. For example, when I applied, my cardiologist wrote a letter with documentation showing that the frequent IVIg infusions and high doses of prednisone gave me dangerously high blood pressure, despite four Rx daily, so working would increase my risk of stroke.
The monthly SSDI benefit is calculated based on your previous earnings, not how much SSA tax you paid in. You can probably find health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act with its subsidies that would be cheaper than your COBRA benefit. After two years on SSDI, you will be eligible for Medicare which pays for my IVIg every two weeks with a modest copayment. I found that the security of SSDI and Medicare benefits helped me immeasurably: my BP came under control, and I have the time for regular PT which keeps me mobile. Good luck!