Help with Disability please! UPDATED

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prayingof3
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2017 12:22 pm

Help with Disability please! UPDATED

Postby prayingof3 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:19 pm

Hello, everyone! We made a decision along with my dh's doctors last week that he will not be returning to work right now. There are many things that led to this decision and I am worried and have questions. My dh has only had one round of FOLFOX, but it kicked his butt to be honest. It took him a solid week to even begin to feel somewhat normal and he is still very very tired. Also, he is looking at hopefully a liver resection in a few months and then more chemo. And because he was restaged to stage 4, we applied for disability with Social Security. He has paid into this all his life and as far as I can tell he will be eligible. Do any of you have any experience with Social Security with a stage 4 diagnosis? From what I have read it seems pretty straight forward, but there has to be a catch somewhere. Right now he is getting paid from his short/long term disability company that he bought through his work, but they require you to apply for social security when it goes to long term and it will in two weeks. I'm just so overwhelmed, as he is the sole bread winner and it isn't really an option for me to go to work due to my own health issues and of course taking care of him and our family. My main concerns are of course the social security getting approved and in place quickly and also what we will do for insurance once his leave runs out at his job next year around March. Any and all advice would be great! Thanks!
Last edited by prayingof3 on Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Caregiver to husband age 49-stage IV
09/17: Colonoscopy and mass found at rectal sigmoid junction partial obstruction
10/17: Laparoscopic LAR surgery
10/17: Pathologic staging from surgery pT4a N1c with 4 tumor deposits, perineural invasion present,14/14 lymph nodes negative, clear margins, moderately-differentiated
11/17: PET scan performed-lesions found in liver and lungs
11/17: Met confirmed to liver
11/17: Restaged to stage IV
11/17: Started FOLFOX-Avastin
12/17: Confirmed KRAS G12V

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O Stoma Mia
Posts: 1450
Joined: Sat Jun 22, 2013 6:29 am

Re: Help with Disability please!

Postby O Stoma Mia » Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:24 pm

prayingof3 wrote:...Any and all advice would be great! Thanks!

I do not have any experience with SSDI, but you might be able to find some information by exploring some of the disability websites:
https://www.disability-benefits-help.org/blog/long-term-disability-benefits-and-social-security-disability
Last edited by O Stoma Mia on Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

aja1121
Posts: 212
Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2014 5:12 pm

Re: Help with Disability please!

Postby aja1121 » Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:18 am

My husband also applied for SSDI when his cancer was deemed inoperable/stage IV. I believe they fast-track the approval process for stage IV, and the people I spoke to at the social security office were very sympathetic and helpful. However, SSDI begins paying 6 months after the established date of disability; for my husband, that was February 2016, which means he did not receive his first payment from SSDI until September 2016 (for the month of August). Hopefully your husband's long-term disability through work will cover that gap.
DH dx Stage 3B rectal ca 5/23/14 (age 41)
6/14 chemorad | 10/14 LAR, all nodes clean
12/14-04/15 FOLFOX x 10
05/15 VATS/lung met, 06/15 ileo reversal
09/15 local recurrence, 10/15 colostomy
11/15 FOLFIRI x 4, major growth, 02/16 tumor debulked
11/16 Xeloda/Avastin until progression 08/17
09/17 start NCT02024607 (BBI608 + FOLFIRI arm) until progression 02/18
03/26/18 start NCT02817633 (anti-PD-1 + anti-TIM-3) until progression 06/19/18
06/19/18 start NCT03175224 (c-Met inhibitor)

zephyr
Posts: 123
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2016 7:31 am

Re: Help with Disability please!

Postby zephyr » Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:13 am

I'm Stage 3 upgraded to Stage 4, and I've been through the process. I was approved on the first round but I had a really terrific disability attorney who guided me and held my hand. One of my doctors advised me to use an attorney because he had seen several patients run into problems and be denied when they tried to do it themselves. My attorney is in Texas but I'm not in Texas and it wasn't a problem. He came into my life through a family connection and I consider myself to be very, very lucky. I love it when I get a chance to sing his praises, and I really can't say enough good things about him. You might check out some of the general SSDI info in the blog on the firm website and even give him a call for a quick free consult. His name is Greg Reed and here's the link:

https://www.brrlaw.com/attorney-greg-reed/
Jun-2016 CRC Surgery
Jul-2016 Stage 4, inoperable lung mets
Aug-2016-May-2018 Folfox, 5FU & Avastin, 5FU, Folfiri & Cyramza; beg in Oct-2017, receiving Vitamin C & Quercetin by IV every week
Jun-2018 Taking a chemo break; preparing for surgery
Oct-18 Recovering from YAG laser surgeries (Germany) on R and L lungs, 11 mets removed

James65
Posts: 377
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2008 9:41 am
Location: Exeter, NH
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Re: Help with Disability please!

Postby James65 » Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:47 pm

For my first treatment--for the primary rectal cancer--I had private disability insurance. They made me apply for SSDI when it transitioned to long-term disability, which is normal and as expected SSDI turned me down because I had private disability insurance. Your private insurer will then continue with their coverage for him.

In a later treatment, I didn't have a private disability insurer and had to go with SSDI, which was easy. As long as he is below the income requirements and obviously disabled he shouldn't have a problem if he doesn't have private insurance. I also found the people at SS easy to deal with and helpful. They also will continue benefits for I believe 9 months after treatment and his income goes above their income limits (about $1,100 per month). So his treatment can end and he goes back to work, but his payments will continue to be sure he is okay rather than immediately cutoff.

The big, massive caveat is that Republicans are indicating they want to make cuts and changes to SSDI (as well as Medicare and Medicaid) so how that shakes out is anybody's guess.
Diagnosed with stage III rectal tumor (though probably late stage II) January 2006.
Chemo/Radiation
Full APR Surgery
Folfox Chemo
So far NED.
Oops. Liver tumor diagnosed 10/13 after elevated CEA. Liver resection for 5cm tumor 12/6/13. So far so good.
Oops again, one tumor in each lung diagnosed 8/8/16. One too small to deal with and the other resected in late September. Wait and watch for now.

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mypinkheaven
Posts: 455
Joined: Fri May 20, 2016 4:29 pm
Facebook Username: Sally Cunningham
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Re: Help with Disability please!

Postby mypinkheaven » Sun Dec 10, 2017 1:24 pm

If you are also low income, you can apply for Medicaid. Medicaid will cover the 20% of medical bills that Medicare doesn't cover. Also look up "Medicare Extra Help" for help paying for prescriptions.
MSS, KRAS Wild NRAS Mutated
9/2012 CRC IIB Lft Colectomy 0 lymph nodes 0 Chemo
10/2013 CT clear
11/15 CEA 2.7 to 4.6
11/15 Spread to uterus. Hysterectomy
2/16 Pelvic radiation 25, brachytherapy 3
4/16 - 6/16 Xeloda
6/16 CT Several lung nodules 5 mm
8/16 CT Nodules still present. Most stable. Some growth
11/16 Transfer to UCSD Moores
12/16 Folfox + Avastin failed
2/17 Folfiri + Erbitux
8/17 5FU+Erbitux No 5FU bolus
7/18 Spread to vagina
6/18 Folfiri + Avastin + Trametinib
6/18 CEA dropping

Lee
Posts: 5681
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2006 4:09 pm

Re: Help with Disability please!

Postby Lee » Sun Dec 10, 2017 2:40 pm

zephyr wrote: . . . I was approved on the first round but I had a really terrific disability attorney who guided me and held my hand. One of my doctors advised me to use an attorney because he had seen several patients run into problems and be denied when they tried to do it themselves. . .

https://www.brrlaw.com/attorney-greg-reed/


Some people with a stage IV can be fast track approved the first time. I've also heard of many people on this board who were turned down the first time (with a stage IV diagnosed). Sometimes there were approved on the 2nd round. From what I've learned here, get an attorney to help you from the get go.

good luck,

Lee
rectal cancer - April 2004
46 yrs old at diagnoses
stage III C - 6/13 lymph positive
radiation - 6 weeks
surgery - August 2004/hernia repair 2014
permanent colostomy
chemo - FOLFOX
NED - 10 years and counting!

prayingof3
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2017 12:22 pm

Re: Help with Disability please!

Postby prayingof3 » Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:43 am

Thanks for all the great replies so far! Gosh, I never even thought about getting an attorney for this. With my limited knowledge I thought my dh would be approved via the compassionate allowance. He did talk to someone in person at the local Social Security office, after applying online, when he dropped off copies of the medical records that we have (scans, pathology reports, visit summaries, etc.). And the guy there gave him his contact persons info and told him the decision would be fast but it could be months to get a check. My dh also received the activities form in the mail and we have to send that in within 10 days. I told my dh he needs to get that done tomorrow. Some of those questions are weird though.
Caregiver to husband age 49-stage IV
09/17: Colonoscopy and mass found at rectal sigmoid junction partial obstruction
10/17: Laparoscopic LAR surgery
10/17: Pathologic staging from surgery pT4a N1c with 4 tumor deposits, perineural invasion present,14/14 lymph nodes negative, clear margins, moderately-differentiated
11/17: PET scan performed-lesions found in liver and lungs
11/17: Met confirmed to liver
11/17: Restaged to stage IV
11/17: Started FOLFOX-Avastin
12/17: Confirmed KRAS G12V

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Shana
Posts: 401
Joined: Sun Jul 30, 2017 9:45 pm
Location: Sonoma, CA

Re: Help with Disability please!

Postby Shana » Tue Dec 19, 2017 1:38 am

prayingof3 wrote:Thanks for all the great replies so far! Gosh, I never even thought about getting an attorney for this. With my limited knowledge I thought my dh would be approved via the compassionate allowance. He did talk to someone in person at the local Social Security office, after applying online, when he dropped off copies of the medical records that we have (scans, pathology reports, visit summaries, etc.). And the guy there gave him his contact persons info and told him the decision would be fast but it could be months to get a check. My dh also received the activities form in the mail and we have to send that in within 10 days. I told my dh he needs to get that done tomorrow. Some of those questions are weird though.


I was diagnosed in Dec 2016, thought I could work while on chemo but it wasn't possible so I signed up for California State Disability insurance which kicked in 8 days after my last day of working mid January 2017. CASDI covers me for a year so that expires mid January 2018. I made an appointment with SSDI and applied in person and was approved in less than a month. They told me that I was eligible for payments after 5 months post diagnosis. I received a lump sum check directly deposited dating back to June 2017 in early December, quite surprised at how fast that all happened. They did prorate the amount due to my receiving CASDI but once the state disability runs out then I will receive my full SSDI. It ended up very easy for me by applying in person and just answering their questions. I brought along all my identification and all of the doctor information for them to request medical records etc.

Good luck, I hope your process of application is as smooth as mine has been.
DX - 12/16
MSS - KRAS wild
Well-differentiated adenocarcinoma at splenic flexure
Stage IV CC with liver mets
5FU - Failed twice - 1/17 and 3/17
Irinotecan + Cetuximab: 8/17
Irinotecan and Erbitux ran it's course. CEA rising
Primary tumor invaded tail of pancreas and spleen. Liver mets major concern
Y-90 radioembolization on 9/17/18, liver enzyymes have dropped. 10 Radiation treatments to primary tumor completed too. CT scan Nov to assess overall situation...

prayingof3
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2017 12:22 pm

Re: Help with Disability please!

Postby prayingof3 » Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:27 pm

Hello everyone! I just wanted to update in case it could help others! My dh was approved for ssdi and long term disability with his company. His long term will be offset when he starts to receive his ssdi. This took less than 30 days to be approved with no attorney. I didn't think it would've been this simple, but it was. His doctors did fully support this too, as he is not doing very well. The chemo side effects have been extremely difficult and he still has a very long road ahead! Anyways, thanks to all of you as always for the support and I hope this helps someone else!
Caregiver to husband age 49-stage IV
09/17: Colonoscopy and mass found at rectal sigmoid junction partial obstruction
10/17: Laparoscopic LAR surgery
10/17: Pathologic staging from surgery pT4a N1c with 4 tumor deposits, perineural invasion present,14/14 lymph nodes negative, clear margins, moderately-differentiated
11/17: PET scan performed-lesions found in liver and lungs
11/17: Met confirmed to liver
11/17: Restaged to stage IV
11/17: Started FOLFOX-Avastin
12/17: Confirmed KRAS G12V

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mypinkheaven
Posts: 455
Joined: Fri May 20, 2016 4:29 pm
Facebook Username: Sally Cunningham
Contact:

Re: Help with Disability please! UPDATED

Postby mypinkheaven » Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:07 pm

I'm so glad the SSDI went through quickly. Best wishes!
MSS, KRAS Wild NRAS Mutated
9/2012 CRC IIB Lft Colectomy 0 lymph nodes 0 Chemo
10/2013 CT clear
11/15 CEA 2.7 to 4.6
11/15 Spread to uterus. Hysterectomy
2/16 Pelvic radiation 25, brachytherapy 3
4/16 - 6/16 Xeloda
6/16 CT Several lung nodules 5 mm
8/16 CT Nodules still present. Most stable. Some growth
11/16 Transfer to UCSD Moores
12/16 Folfox + Avastin failed
2/17 Folfiri + Erbitux
8/17 5FU+Erbitux No 5FU bolus
7/18 Spread to vagina
6/18 Folfiri + Avastin + Trametinib
6/18 CEA dropping


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