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Anyone know anything about going on government disability?

mary colleen

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We have somewhat of a dilemma at our house right now.

My husband has been through chest and brain surgery in the last year, as well as chemo and (most recently) whole brain radiation. Though we don't so much think of this much, he is considered to have Stage 4 LC now.

His radiation ended 6/22, and he is just recently beginning to be more active again. He was off work from late April (at the time of his brain surgery) until now.

His workplace is beginning to want him to come back to work soon, but he cannot do the job he did before. It required driving most of the day, and he has lost a portion of his vision due to the tumor. The most recent word from the neurologist is that his vision loss is permanent. My husband's employer would be unable to insure him for driving company vehicles.

They then proposed putting him in an office job that would require a great deal of computer time. My husband feels this is probably not something he could do successfully - partly due to the vision issues, partly because he has experienced difficulty learning thinking, and writing since the brain tumor and WBR.

I don't know if this is permanent. I think it will take months to know that.

He's at a loss and so am I regarding what to do. I am trying to help him to consider all options and possibilities. One thing I threw onto the table was the possibility that he apply for government disability based on his situation, and he is willing to think about it.

I don't know anything about this however. I though maybe someone here may know the answers to my questions:

Is disablity difficult to get under these conditions?

If one is on government disability, how do you get health insurance? (He is currently covered by his employer's insurance.)

If on disability, can you still work some limited number of hours without endangering it? If he is feeling well, I could foresee him wanting to work a little bit just to help fill his time.

If anyone has any info on any of this, I'd appreciate the help.


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mary colleen,

Check out this website http://www.ssa.gov/ and look at how to apply for social security disability as well as social security supplement income. I was able to do most of the online and by phone. The biggest deal is to have all of his medical records to be able to send to them to determine if he is eligible. I found my husband to be eligible by just looking at the list of diagnosis they have listed. There will be a waiting period, but the sooner you start, the better. We also have insurance and Social Security Disability income has nothing to do with that. Good luck.

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I just received my first disability check and I'll tell you what I know. I signed up online for it and needed some extra forms filled out that they sent to my home. I did it myself and thought it was pretty easy. You have to be disabled for 5 full months before a payment comes, so my diagnosis was in 10/06, my first check was for April-June and arrived in July. I then got another check early August and it should continue monthly. The pamphlet they gave me says I'll be eligible for Medicare 24 months after I've been on disability, so that's not great news for you. I'm covered on my husband's insurance. The whole process took a while though. I think I first signed up online in December and then there was some mail correspondence after that. I think that's about all I know. Hope it helps somewhat.


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I agree. He is currently on short term disability that he has paid for as part of his benefits package, and he still has long term disability that he has not begun to use (his short term runs out in about a month.) I assume he would be eligible to continue his insurance through "Cobra", or that I could switch him and my daughter to my employers insurance by electing "family" coverage during out "open enrollment" period in November. I'm not sure on either of those, and it's of course one of the biggest worries. Thanks for the tip. This is confusing. We have always both worked hard and steadily - this is not something we have ever had to think about. On the other hand, I just cannot see him going back to work full time at anything demanding. Between the vision loss, the fatigue, and the fact that he becomes easily overwhelmed and confused since the WBR, his options right now are limited.

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You probably don't have to wait until open enrollment to switch to family coverage. I think that your husband's disabled status will qualify as a life event change similar to if he had lost his job. Check with your HR but I'm pretty sure about that. I'm sure COBRA will be hugely expensive, so it might be a better way to go to just switch to yours ASAP.

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My husband went on his employer's long term disability insurance and also applied for SSD. If your daughter is under 18 you will get SSD benefits for her also as a minor. Raney is correct, you can put your family on your coverage at work due to his loss of insurance (this is what I did). Your husband should be automatically approved as long as your doctor fills out the paperwork that he is unable to return to work. Good luck.

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Mary my Wife's Doctor Got her's rushed so instead of the 12-18 month's it would normally take she was recieving check's in just 2 or 3 of month's.Also if you are recieving any form of Disability Check's from his Job he will be able to continue recieving those as long as he is no longer able or is working...

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Harry was diagnosed with SC in January. He applied for Disability in February. (He got so sick from the chemo that he couldn't work).

He was approved the same month he applied, because SCLC ,(and I believe NSCLC), are on the "A" List of diseases for SS Disability. (Usually instant approval).

He was aproved for SSI, and got that check fairly quickly. (It was for a very small amount though-not nearly enough to "live on").

After you are approved for regular disability, you have to wait 5 months to get a check for one month's pay. (There are no "back" checks in large amounts, unless you have to struggle to get approved and have to wait a long time to get an answer on your eligibility).)

Harry's company is still paying for our health insurance, thank goodness, but if they stop, we were told he would be eligible for Medicaid, then Medicare after 2 years.

You are allowed to work some after the first year of receiving disability.

Sorry you're having to go thru these types of worries. :cry: We did too..... I haven't worked in years, so Harry's was the only income we had, and we still have a 14 year old son at home.... it's worrisome.

Take Care,


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