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I was approved for disability on the first try.

Posts: 553
Joined: Oct 2018

I cannot find the old thread, but I was approved for disability.  My old profile was deleted in the recent website crash, and I cannot figure out how to load a new one.  I have UPSC/clear cell, initially staged as Ia, but I also had isolated tumor cells in one of the two sentinel nodes that they sampled, and was restaged as IIIc1 because of the cells in the lymph node, in order to qualify me for Herceptin.  I had to stop working because of the very high risk of exposure to infectious disease in my line of work, which made it impossible to work during chemo.  I don't think that the cancer alone would have been enough to qualify, but I was advised to also seek benefits because of anxiety related to the cancer (which I am sure ALL of us can relate to), and I suspect that was what did it, since social security asked me to meet with a psychologist.   Honestly, the biggest benefit is going to be access to Medicare two years from now, assuming this is still relevant.  With the uncertainty of the affordable care act I have no faith that I will have any access to health insurance in two years.  In addition, the only insurance that I DO have access to, through the ACA, does not cover a consult at either of the two nearest major cancer centers, since they are in neighboring states, not my state.  Not to mention that between the premium and the deductible with the ACA, I pay close to $20,000/year for me alone for access to healthcare (and of course, we then pay for the rest of the family, too).  It's nice to know that there will be an end to that, one way or another.  With Medicare, I can go anywhere, so assuming I have a nice long remission, if I do have a recurrence after two years, or want to have my surveillance after that be at a major center, I'll be able to.

If I am NED after treatment is done (I was able to browbeat my oncologist into a CT of chest, abdomen, and pelvis after treatment is all over, "Just this once, and then no more!"), I can decide then whether I want to try going back to work some.  From what I understand, I can work a little and not lose benefits, and for three years, a little more, and not have to reapply if I cannot continue to work.

BluebirdOne's picture
Posts: 395
Joined: Jul 2018

This must be such a relief to you. I am on Medicare for my entire treatment and I have paid less than $50.00, but I have the standard treatment for initial care, surgery, chemo, radiation, follow ups. NED so far; if I recur it might be a different story. Medicare has covered everything and I was able to go to Mayo Rochester for my treatments, which is definitely out of state for me. 





Posts: 1119
Joined: Jun 2016

Wish I could get it, too, because we're paying out of pocket for insurance since my husband retired. He'll be on Medicare in a couple of months, so that will cut the insurance bill in half, but I have three more years to go on his retiree's plan. At least that rate is not as outrageous as what you are paying for your ACA plan, but it's bad enough. I can't apply for disablity because I wasn't employed when I was diagnosed. 

DM_K's picture
Posts: 51
Joined: Mar 2018

I just saw your post and from my understanding employment at time of diagnosis isn't a criteria to receive SSDI.  I know someone personally who was not employed at the time of diagnosis and they got it.  As far as I know the criteria is having worked 5 years in the last 15 years.  I had a law office help me with the filing and paperwork.  Although they get 25% of back pay up to 6,000 I think it's worth it to not have to deal with the hassle and they know exactly what SSDI needs as far as documentation from your doctor.  I would get a consult with a law office to see if you qualify.

CheeseQueen57's picture
Posts: 936
Joined: Feb 2016

I was surprised when I got disability within a month of applying. I’m 3c, Grade 3. I figured they thought I was going to die. I’ve been on 2 years and got Medicare this past September. My disability was approved for 5 years which puts me at 64. If I’m still alive, hopefully it will be extended cause we have to cobble together insurance. We too paid over $20,000 for a plan in the ACA one year, the year I was diagnosed. The private insurance situation is very scary. 

derMaus's picture
Posts: 561
Joined: Nov 2016

I was also quickly approved, also Stage3C Grade III, and had a second primary cancer. But I was only approved for two years; wonder why? I have insurance through my retirement plan so the Medicare part isn't urgent for me, mercifully. Wondorous are the ways of the bureaucracy! I'm just glad for anything I get and I hope to live a LONG time to use up all that I've paid in through the years. Not much of a goal, but at least a goal  ;)

Lulu7582's picture
Posts: 112
Joined: Jun 2018

Yay! Glad you were approved for disability benefits. Yes I too applied in Jan 2019 and within 2 weeks was approved but I have to wait 5 months before I get my first payment. I was on the payroll at work until Dec 14 2018 even though I wasn't working and took all my sick and vacation time. But it's all good. Right now my husband is continuing to work for health insurance because I am 60, but once I qualify for Medicare due to the disability in 2 years and 3 months (hoping I too will last that long!!) he will retire. xo

Posts: 553
Joined: Oct 2018

Finally got the paperwork from SSDI.  They approved it (I already knew they had), and said that they would revisit my eligibility in 5-7 years.  I've heard about people getting it, with a notice that they would be reviewed in as little as 2 years.  I guess they're less optimistic about my odds than I am.

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