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The maze of disability insurance, Social Security and other insurance, can anyone shed some light?

Tarynmorgan
Posts: 1
Joined: May 2014

I was diagnoised with NSCLC in January and stopped working the day before my left lung was removed (March 31'st).  I am fortunate in that my employer has very good short and long term disability insurance, and thus far I have only lost a small portion of my income.

I run out of short term disability on July 1st but will not be done with chemo for a few months after that.  My insurance company sent a letter telling that long term disability takes awhile to approve, etc......  and is based on being totally unable to ever do my job again (seems a bit much, what if I get better?).

The letter encouraged me to apply for Social Security Disability, however I was told that I can't apply for SSD while I am employed.  So now, I am totally confused.

Has anyone out there been through this?  Can you shed some light on this tunnel so I can make sure it isn't a train coming at me?

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 6643
Joined: Apr 2009

I am like you; so far I have been able to work even during my treatment and after. I am now set up to work from home when needed so I have not gotten to that point just yet. If you can ask your company about working from home if possible.

Wishing you the best

Hondo

Butterfli7's picture
Butterfli7
Posts: 10
Joined: Jul 2015

I am in NC.  Disability here is all about patience.  To apply to have to contact Disability and  fill out an application to apply for disability.  It can take months to be approved. If denied you have to appeal which could still take months.  You like me and many others don't have the time money wise to wait for this process but the time frame is out of our hands.  If you decide to do it put your patience cap on and hang on for the ride.  Good luck.  I had Hodgkins in 1987 and have many health issues after being a long term survivor.  Don't get me wrong, I am glad to be alive but once you have any cancer it is a life time process of survival.  Sorry I was told by disability people that you had to be out of work for 6 months before you can apply for disability, that is in North Carolina.

 

Jan11
Posts: 18
Joined: May 2015

Social Security disability is when you can''t peform ANY JOB. Your  long term policy read it again, it sounds like it is the same, get a copy of long term policy as their may time limitations in it.

 IF they read the same apply for both.  Get a letter from your doctor that states that you will be unemployed for at at least a year and most likely uemployable for longer than a year.  Unable to perform your job duties in the doctors opinion, can be do to the medical treatment or side effects, the statement from Doctor "can't perform job duties and then you tell him why and have him docoument this in your medical record, sometimes the facility will have social workers help with the forms.   Provide the letter to Insuraance Company and provide copy to social security. 

It can take about 3 years to get the benefits from both entities. Get a letter from Insurance Company as TO WHY THEY THINK YOU CAN WORK.  Request expert opinions from your insurance company, THREE OPINIONS FROM BOARD CERTIFIED OCOLOGIST EXLAINING THERE OPINION AS TO WHY THEY THINK YOU CAN WORK AND SPECIFICALLY HOW YOU ARE TO MANAGE YOUR SYMPMPTOMS  AND HAVE YOUR DOCTOR AND EMPLOYER REFUTE THEIR OPINION, EMPLOYER WRITES LETTER THAT YOU CAN'T BE ACCOMODATED.,

IF YOU NEED THE $,  HIRE ATTORNY ON CONTINGENCE FEE BASES, SOMETIMES IT JUST TAKES TO LONG FOR INDIVIDUALS TO DO THIS BUT I BELIEVE IT IS REALLY NOT THAT DIFFICULT AND YOU COULD ALSO ASK FOR A CASE MANAGER TO VISIT YOU IN YOUR HOME AND MAKE SURE YOUR EMPLOYER IS ON THE SAME PAGE.   "YOU CAN'T BE ACCOMODATED. "

GOOD LUCK

LI_Duck
Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2016

Re. Advice above is excellent.

You will want to keep a notebook of every doctor you visit with date and telephone number, address, reason for visit, outcome. You may need this information as backup, and the SS office will want to know. If memory serves me, they send you an extensive, repetitive questionnaire, asking if you can walk and chew gum. If you can't think well enough to answer properly say that the chemo has affected your thinking. Write down the gibberish that your brain is producing. Tell them you cannot climb stairs, that you cannot make change, that your depth perception is off, whatever is happening. One difficulty I encountered was, the doctors declined to answer the mail sent to them by the SS office. They are required to give information, but don't get to it. I also ran into doctors deciding on their own I was not disabled enough to be eligible. In my case the multiple diagnoses and outcomes swayed the SS decision. The SS office was very displeased with the doctors who declined to read and return their mail, and even more displeased with the doctor who decided I was not eligible. In the end the SS office sent me to their own doctors. I was approved in under three months. I live in New York.

vrsecond
Posts: 9
Joined: Jun 2019

My FMLA ran out July 2018, went to short term disabilty ran out of that 4/23/2019, filed for long term disability. Now the long term disability's third party ppl  ALLSUP say I MUST apply for SSDI..........very confusing-I THINK AN ATTORNEY is the BEST idea. 

 

MySoCalledLife
Posts: 3
Joined: Feb 2018

I just went through this. Long-term should approve while you’re in the short-term stage. You’ll be an easy case since you’re going through treatments still. 

I used a lawyer to help. It sucks to pay it, but when you weigh it to the delays in getting money or being declined, it becomes a no brainer. I also found my rep for my long term policies to be really helpful. 

For social security, most long term insurance companies require you apply because if you’re approved it lowers what they have to pay. That said, if you aren’t approved then your long-term insurance company pays what they normally would. 

It’s a painful, intense process. And even once you’re approved they want check ups every 3 months. My conditions are permanent so it’s annoying to keep saying the same thing.

Also, you might look up some sore of free hotline for guidance on the process. Not free legal advice per se, but more to help you understand the process better. Most of the info I’ve seen is provided by a law firm who ultimately wants your business. This group seems to provide a lot of free info (just know they will collect your info and contact you about representing you...no idea if they are reputable): http://www.disabilitydenials.com/free-resources/guide-to-disability-claims/

If you decide to get legal advice, go to Avvo.com and you can find a lawyer in your area that specializes in this and see their ratings. 

Good luck!

Steelkiwi686's picture
Steelkiwi686
Posts: 64
Joined: May 2019

In my case LTD kicked in immediately after STD ended. My employer had a service that contacted me and explained about also applying for SSDI at that time. I was taken aback but went ahead with it figuring if I don’t get it it doesn’t matter because I had the LTD. This service facilitated the entire application process making sure all documents and records were sent by doctors etc. I had forms to complete but they were basically the same as I had completed for short term and long term coverage. The service (ALLSUP) did it’s job and the drs offices did theirs and I was quickly approved. SSDI kicks in 6 mos after date of disability. All it means on a practical level is that now I receive two checks that total the same as my LTD benefit did by itself.  Now almost half comes from SSDI and the rest comes from my insurance plan.

The advantage to applying for SSDI as I understand it is that it stops the clock on pay weeks used to calculate social security. Having weeks with no payroll income can lower the average that is used to calculate social security. If one is able to go back to work it can be put on hold but the claim can be reopened if work becomes too much.  

Applying for this does not mean one expects to never be able to work again so don’t be discouraged over it. 

SK

vrsecond
Posts: 9
Joined: Jun 2019

so you say Allsup is helpful? I'm just at the beginning of their intake forms for LTD and SSDI with this company. looking for others who have had a good experience......otherwise Ill be looking for an atty. thank you

Steelkiwi686's picture
Steelkiwi686
Posts: 64
Joined: May 2019

Allsup did a great job for me. They were very caring and helpful and took care of a ton of red tape when I was definitely not interested in taking it on myself. I was approved very quickly compared to many many others but again it kicks in 6 mos after disability.

if by any chance it is denied Allsup uses their own attorneys to fight it and appeal as much as needed with no charge to you. They are experts at getting this done and as long as the health issues are confirmed and all the backups from doctors is supplied with them indicating that your hub is unable to work at this time they will get it done somehow.it is in their best interest to get ssdi approved so I found they work very hard to get my approval quickly

Wishing the best for you and your husband. 

 

vrsecond
Posts: 9
Joined: Jun 2019

Sorry I am so late in saying thank you.  Allsup did a great job I was approved for SSDI i just went thru chemo radiation lots of late side effects.  I apologize for notresponding sooner I was focused on treatment so sorry. I hope you are well

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