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Disability

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Disability

Postby John603 » Thu Jun 03, 2010 7:52 am

I'm hoping that someone can help answer my questions regarding disability insurance. I have been diagnosed with several recurrences over the last couple of years and starting in March I went on short-term disability. I am about 45 days through the 90 day coverage. Once STD ends, I will be put on long-term disability which is through my employer. I did this in 2007, but I knew I would be returning to work back then. This time I am pretty sure that I will never be able to return to work (unless I get a miracle). What happens if I outlive the 365 day LTD coverage that I have? Do I apply for social security disability now or do I wait for the LTD to run out?
John

Dx Stage IIIC (14 of 36 LNs +) Jan 07, age 42
Colectomy Jan 07
Folfox + Erb'x Mar 07
Recurrence in Lymph Nodes Feb 08
Folfiri + Avastin Apr 08
NED Dec 08
Recurrence in lungs & pelvic LNs May 09
Folfiri/Avastin May 09 - Nov 09
Erb'x/Irino Dec 09
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Re: Disability

Postby Guest T » Thu Jun 03, 2010 7:59 am

John,

SSI takes along time to come though. Go ahead and apply now. The LTD company will make you anyway.Remember the LTD has to be paid back most people think that it's free money. When you get SSI you will get a big check retroactive that will have to be paid for whatever amount the LTD Co paid you. Go ahead and get an attorney and apply there is no reason to go for LTD if you know you will eventually get SSI.
Husband Rectal stage 3C 4-06
LAR 4-06
6 weeks Rad & Xeloda
Chemo Folfox 6 mos.
Hernia repair 10-07
NED Until 2-09
folfox/avastin June -09 - Dec-09
Surgery 2-19-2010
perforation another surgery 3-17-2010
Path report shows cancer still active
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Re: Disability

Postby Surroundedbylove » Thu Jun 03, 2010 8:37 am

Yes, you apply for Social Security disability and in fact, usually the long-term disability policy carrier through your group long term disability plan will actually help you with the application. You shouldn't have to hire an attorney since they will help you. If it is the same carrier for both your employer's short term policy and your employer's long term policy, you should be able to talk to that person now. They have an interest in getting you approved for the Social Security disability because most long term disability plans have a provision that the amount you receive from social security disability will then be deducted from the amount that you receive from the long term disability carrier.

I'm curious - it is unusual to have a cap at 365 days for LTD benefits under a group plan. Often there is a an "own occupation" disability period and then beyond that to retirement age there is an "any occupation" period (meaning that you are disabled not just from your own occupation but from any occupation) - I'm quite surprised that a group LTD plan would have a 365 day cap. Be sure to get a copy of the entire LTD policy and read it carefully (I'm sure you've already done that but thought I'd mention it again).
Surroundedbylove

Rectal Cancer @ 43, '08
Clinical: T3,N2a,MX (IIIB)
6 wks XELOX & radiation
LAR, colonic j-pouch, & temp ileo '09
Surgical: ypT3,ypN0,ypMX (0 of 20 nodes)
FOLFOX; XELOX
Ileo Takedown '09
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Re: Disability

Postby tytiff » Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:56 am

John, with Tyler's new diagnosis, we are looking at this too. The company advised us to file for SSI now because they have an 6 month no pay policy which we have to cover ourselves. Fortunately, when Tyler was first diagnosed, his company people and friends, donated tons of hours because he was looking at long term treatment without pay. He has stockpiled over 600 hours and people are waiting to give him more after he uses what he has now, because most of them are losing the time anyway and want it to go to a good cause. They know we have 3 kids in house and want to help. So we should be covered for that period. Despite the fact of the disease, we have it good. Weird to say that out loud because of course it doesn't seem like it at times, such as yesterday, but it is true. I have to fill out the SSI app online so the interviewer can have the info on Friday. I have taken the rest of the week off 1) because I don't think I can sit at my desk at work and compose myself and 2) my goal is for Tyler not to have to return to work and this is how I will accomplish that.

Good luck to you John on your paperwork :). And I will try to keep you apprised of how our efforts are going with this.
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St IV
Dx 08/09 Age 41
15/15 rnds cmplt 5FU/Oxi/Avas
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3 New tmrs after chemo brk
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NED 8/10
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Clean scan 3/11
NED 6/12 no trtmt 15 mos!
NED 2/14
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Re: Disability

Postby dianne052506 » Thu Jun 03, 2010 11:05 am

Applying for Social Security Disability was shockingly easy. It was a matter of weeks (I think less than 5) from the time I started the on-line application until I got the call that they were depositing a check in my bank. The staff at the Social Security office were wonderful. I wouldn't even consider a lawyer unless I had been turned down by SS.
I was only working part-time at the time of diagnosis, so I wasn't part of any benefit plan with STD and LTD, and it's been years since I was in management dealing with those issues, so I don't have any answers there except to say again that the SS staff were extremely knowledgeable, and your company's HR people should also be able to help. Everyone will understand that you must do what is in your best financial interest.

I would not delay in starting the SS process, though. You will get back benefits, but up to a year, and that doesn't include the 5-month waiting period (not for the actual check, but for the counting of when the disability began). Between what I would have gotten for me, and the Social Security Student Benefit for my daughter, I lost more than $40K because I didn't know I could file for disability. The SS staff told me that a Stage IV dx puts you at the top of the stack. John, even though your original dx was Stage IIIC, I would think that recurrence would also move you to the top of the paperwork pile.
I don't know how much help I can be, but ask away if you have questions.
Dianne
May 06 Stage IV CC: liver,ovarian mets
Oct 07 inoperable lung mets
Feb 08 - Apr'12 chemo
allergic to oxaliplatin, irinotecan
Aug '12-Feb'14 Genentech PD-L1/Avastin trial
Mar '14 -radiation to largest lung nodule
still recovering; looking at trials again
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Re: Disability

Postby guestagain » Thu Jun 03, 2010 11:55 am

Just a few additions. SSI and SSDI are two different programs and require two different applications. The standard of medical disability is basically the same but one is a welfare or needs based program and the other is an insurance program. If you don't have enough credits in the system to be insured, you can apply for SSI. To get SSI, you have to be medically eligible, and then you also have to be financially eligible (asset limits, transfer of asset rules, etc.). If you're found disabled before your date last insured for SSDI, you're eligible for the SSDI. SSI benefits can only go back to the date of application (payment starts the month after the month you applied). SSDI benefits can go back 17 months but there is a 5 month waiting period so practically speaking, it's only 12 months. Some people can get money from both programs but that's only if your SSDI amount is below the current SSI monthly payment.
If you're doing an application, if you put down that you have colon cancer that has metastasized, I don't think you'll have any problem being medically approved and I don't think you need a lawyer to do that. Allege an onset date back to when you first stopped working full-time or when you weren't able to maintain a 5 day a week work week. Medicare doesn't kick in until 24 months after you're found disabled so the earlier that is, the sooner you'll get it.
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Re: Disability

Postby Suze » Thu Jun 03, 2010 1:10 pm

I applied and got SSDI. Once they found out I was stage IV they "fast tracked" my application, and it is fast. They were very helpful with filling out forms, and making sure I got them all the info they needed. Even returned my phone calls, and called to let me know when the first check would be deposited in my account! Susan
Dx 5/07 Stage IV 59 y/o
6 mos Folfox, Avas., erb.
Surg. for colon, liver mets 1/08
Folfox & Avas. 2/08-8/08
Liver met 10/09, Iri 11/09 - 7/10
SBRT 4/10, 12/10
30-40 lung mets 4/11
Irin./erbitux 5/11-8/11
xeloda/avastin 8/11-2/12
xeloda/erb 2/12/-4/12
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Re: Disability

Postby momof271 » Thu Jun 03, 2010 2:19 pm

We just filed for my mom to get disability. She had accumulated 13 weeks of vacation and sick days and a friend had given her two weeks of her vacation time so mom will be getting a check from work for awhile. I called Social Security and asked if we needed to wait until her pay ended and they said no. They explained to us she was disabled as soon as she got the stage 4 diagnosis but we were told it could take up to 90 days even with a stage 4 diagnosis. They told us we needed to get all of the application done as soon as possible. So we completed the application online, they did a phone interview a day later and signed a medical release at the local office so they could get any medical records they need as her treatment goes. They did tell mom she wouldnt get a check for the time she is still recieveing pay from work and medicaire wouldnt start until 2 years from her application. So when her pay ends we will have to take out Cobra which she can get for 18 months. It should run out when her medicaire starts. They do look at assets but your home you live in and one auto was not counted, thats what they told us.
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Re: Disability

Postby KarenP » Thu Jun 03, 2010 5:32 pm

Stage IIIb Colon Cancer; Stage IB Kidney Cancer
dx July 2007
Finished treatments May 2008
Looking forward to someday feeling my hands and feet again!
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Re: Disability

Postby Candyys03 » Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:47 am

John,
As stated above SSI is state disability you get it first when your pay (holiday,sick,regular,leave of absence)from your employer stops.I think mine lasted 4-6 months.Your employer should be able to help you.
SSD is the social security disability I applied for next and I qualified for right away and they back pay you to when the SSI stopped.
Medicare is a 2 year wait but you can get cobra through your work though it is a little expensive as you pay for your part and the companies part for the insurance.I paid more each month for my HMO but I had lower co payments.Now I pay less each month but higher/more co payments.Sometimes cobra insurance can be extended.
You can also look into other insurances,gap insurance(helps to pay things your insurance does not cover) and medi-cal if needed.
Most insurances that offer insurance for people with pre-existing health conditions are for people over 65 and not us.
Patient advocate foundation-1-800-532-5274
I have some phone numbers for lawyers too if you need them but if you have social worker at your hospital they should have them too.

Good luck,
Candy :D
DX8/0642yrIVCCmtsliver
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Re: Disability

Postby Kathleen808 » Fri Jun 04, 2010 11:49 pm

I was just filling out the SSD today. Is it true that all employee program LTD are reduced with SSD? I was hoping we would get both.

aloha,
Kathleen
Kathleen
DH 1/09 3c 51yr cln rsct
Folfx 3/09
1 l node 9/09 Flfri Avstn
surgery 5 nodes +
PET clear 6/10
Folfri Avstn 7/10
NED 10/10
1/11 lng mets Flfri Avastn
NED 2/12
9/12 cont Flfri Avastn
10/12 grwth lng mets Erbtx Avstn Irintcn
1/13 stabl
9/13 grwth
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Re: Disability

Postby karin » Sat Jun 05, 2010 12:37 am

john,
I took Bobbie to the SSI office in January and she got her 1st disability check in March....we spent maybe 2 hours in the office, the staff was helpful, compassionate and knowledgeable........I would start applying right now!!

Luv and hugs,
Karin
Karin
BFF dx'd June09 w CRC & peritoneal mucinous carcinomatosis @ age 40
She beat cancer for 20 months!
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Re: Disability

Postby Ashlee H. » Sat Jun 05, 2010 12:43 am

I found out today my work covers LTD for a max of 5 years, but it is at 66 2/3% of your salary, which is better than nothing. I'm still trying to understand all this SSI, SSDI, etc. stuff. So confusing. Although I'm Stage IV, I'm not even a year into this yet, so still trying to work when I can and hoping for the best. But, must admit, after discussions today, I find I really must try to live on a lot less. Part of me wants to say the heck with it and spend whatever I want, but then there is the sensible side that says I might beat this...or might live longer than anyone thinks...and will need the money. For me the financial part of this disease has been the worse part. Now...if I could just predict some winning lottery numbers.....
Stage IV w/liver met dx 7-1-09
KRAS Mutant
Member of the HIPECKERS (2011) and OLYMPHIANS (2012)
2/14 - standard chemo has stopped working
3/14 - Stivarga
LIVE LIFE!
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Re: Disability

Postby John603 » Sat Jun 05, 2010 6:43 am

Hi everyone,

Thanks for the responses. I am on part-time STD, part-time working right now, so I'm going to talk to HR and find out how that works for LTD. I feel like I'm in the same boat as Ashlee. What if I outlive my expected diagnosis? What if my employer replaces me while I'm on LTD and then I get to a point where I am capable of working again? I know it probably isn't likely, but if I had gone out on disability in 2007, my finances today would be a mess.

Ashlee, I get 66 and 2/3% on LTD as well, but it is completely tax free because my company has the employees "pay" for the LTD policy. On our paystubs there is an "earnings" line and a deduction for LTD. So the reduced amount may not be as bad as you think. Although in 2007 I had to pay for health insurance which was painful, but very necessary.
John

Dx Stage IIIC (14 of 36 LNs +) Jan 07, age 42
Colectomy Jan 07
Folfox + Erb'x Mar 07
Recurrence in Lymph Nodes Feb 08
Folfiri + Avastin Apr 08
NED Dec 08
Recurrence in lungs & pelvic LNs May 09
Folfiri/Avastin May 09 - Nov 09
Erb'x/Irino Dec 09
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Re: Disability

Postby Surroundedbylove » Sat Jun 05, 2010 9:08 am

Ashlee H. wrote: but it is at 66 2/3% of your salary, which is better than nothing.


Be sure to check the taxation - sometimes the 66 2/3% is not subject to tax so it is close to your take home. I think that the rule is related to who pays the premium and/or who pays the tax on the premium. So, if the company set up the plan where the employee pays the premium (check pay stubs?) then the benefits are supposed to be free from income tax. I think it also works where the company pays the premium but then the employee pays tax on the premium (as if the premium were wages but you just haven't received cash) - then the tax is already paid so the benefits are tax free.

Check all of this out - it really can make a difference.
Surroundedbylove

Rectal Cancer @ 43, '08
Clinical: T3,N2a,MX (IIIB)
6 wks XELOX & radiation
LAR, colonic j-pouch, & temp ileo '09
Surgical: ypT3,ypN0,ypMX (0 of 20 nodes)
FOLFOX; XELOX
Ileo Takedown '09
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