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Social Security Disability and Health Insurance Questions

Forums General Melanoma Community Social Security Disability and Health Insurance Questions

  • Post
    Erinmay22
    Participant

      Since being diagnosed with Stage 4 I’ve continued to work full time (only taking time off for surgery).  Recently my work stress has been increasing (meaning long hours at work, major projects, travel, etc).  While my health anxiety seems to be ok right now, my work anxiety is higher than ever!  I worry that this could have a negative effect on my health (currently in clinical trial). 

      I am going to reach out to my medical team to get their advice (the nurse and counselor) about how folks handle it but wanted to hear folks thoughts on the process.

      Since being diagnosed with Stage 4 I’ve continued to work full time (only taking time off for surgery).  Recently my work stress has been increasing (meaning long hours at work, major projects, travel, etc).  While my health anxiety seems to be ok right now, my work anxiety is higher than ever!  I worry that this could have a negative effect on my health (currently in clinical trial). 

      I am going to reach out to my medical team to get their advice (the nurse and counselor) about how folks handle it but wanted to hear folks thoughts on the process.

      1.       I may see about reduced hours or work from home ½ time?

      2.       I have short term disability I could see about taking (if my doctor is in agreement)

      3.       OR look at applying for social security disability.  But that leaves me with LOTS more questions:

      a.       What steps need to be done to apply for this? 

      b.      How long does it take before it would start?

      c.       What about insurance?  I worry about this since I have a good job/benefits which is why I put up with the work stress… but it’s just getting to be too much!  Would I be better off with a no-stress job? 

      Any thoughts/guidance folks have would be appreciated! 

    Viewing 20 reply threads
    • Replies
        Cindy VT
        Participant

          First I can't believe you are working full time at Stage IV. 

          For Social Security Diability you need to do this:

          1)  Get and advocate, be it lawyer, or whatever.  Someone who knows how the system works.

          2)  Do everything they say. 

          You will be turned down as soon as you apply on the first time around.  That is a given.

          I didn't have a lawyer or advocate:  The second time around I saw one of their doctors, again I was turned down.

          If you are working they figure you are able to work so you don't need it, but you do, that is what you need the advocate or lawyer for.  They take a fee for their service, you don't have to pay up front.  But if you are truly stage IV, I think you need to get on it tomorrow, you have a long road ahead of you.

          They spend more time and paper making sure you don't get it.  I went 3 times.  My brother who is a lawyer told me to get an advocate or a lawyer.  I worked for 16 hours a week when I got sick at a cancer research center, after working full time since I was 15, and they told me because I was working 16 hours a week, I'd have to wait 2 years.  This is the problem getting someone who will give you an honest answer.  A good Social Security Lawyer or Advocate knows what to do. 

          Do you have a short term  or long term disability policy at work?  You might want to go through that. 

          I'm so sorry to hear you are Stage IV and I truly wish you the best of luck. 

           

          Cindy VT

          Cindy VT
          Participant

            First I can't believe you are working full time at Stage IV. 

            For Social Security Diability you need to do this:

            1)  Get and advocate, be it lawyer, or whatever.  Someone who knows how the system works.

            2)  Do everything they say. 

            You will be turned down as soon as you apply on the first time around.  That is a given.

            I didn't have a lawyer or advocate:  The second time around I saw one of their doctors, again I was turned down.

            If you are working they figure you are able to work so you don't need it, but you do, that is what you need the advocate or lawyer for.  They take a fee for their service, you don't have to pay up front.  But if you are truly stage IV, I think you need to get on it tomorrow, you have a long road ahead of you.

            They spend more time and paper making sure you don't get it.  I went 3 times.  My brother who is a lawyer told me to get an advocate or a lawyer.  I worked for 16 hours a week when I got sick at a cancer research center, after working full time since I was 15, and they told me because I was working 16 hours a week, I'd have to wait 2 years.  This is the problem getting someone who will give you an honest answer.  A good Social Security Lawyer or Advocate knows what to do. 

            Do you have a short term  or long term disability policy at work?  You might want to go through that. 

            I'm so sorry to hear you are Stage IV and I truly wish you the best of luck. 

             

            Cindy VT

            Cindy VT
            Participant

              First I can't believe you are working full time at Stage IV. 

              For Social Security Diability you need to do this:

              1)  Get and advocate, be it lawyer, or whatever.  Someone who knows how the system works.

              2)  Do everything they say. 

              You will be turned down as soon as you apply on the first time around.  That is a given.

              I didn't have a lawyer or advocate:  The second time around I saw one of their doctors, again I was turned down.

              If you are working they figure you are able to work so you don't need it, but you do, that is what you need the advocate or lawyer for.  They take a fee for their service, you don't have to pay up front.  But if you are truly stage IV, I think you need to get on it tomorrow, you have a long road ahead of you.

              They spend more time and paper making sure you don't get it.  I went 3 times.  My brother who is a lawyer told me to get an advocate or a lawyer.  I worked for 16 hours a week when I got sick at a cancer research center, after working full time since I was 15, and they told me because I was working 16 hours a week, I'd have to wait 2 years.  This is the problem getting someone who will give you an honest answer.  A good Social Security Lawyer or Advocate knows what to do. 

              Do you have a short term  or long term disability policy at work?  You might want to go through that. 

              I'm so sorry to hear you are Stage IV and I truly wish you the best of luck. 

               

              Cindy VT

              Cindy VT
              Participant

                I do not have it, and what I have is private.  But people I know who have gotten it say it takes 6 months to a year to get it and they all told me they had lawyers. 

                Maybe you can get the short or long term disability while to file for Social Security so you don't have a loss of income. 

                 

                Cindy VT

                Cindy VT
                Participant

                  I do not have it, and what I have is private.  But people I know who have gotten it say it takes 6 months to a year to get it and they all told me they had lawyers. 

                  Maybe you can get the short or long term disability while to file for Social Security so you don't have a loss of income. 

                   

                  Cindy VT

                  Cindy VT
                  Participant

                    I do not have it, and what I have is private.  But people I know who have gotten it say it takes 6 months to a year to get it and they all told me they had lawyers. 

                    Maybe you can get the short or long term disability while to file for Social Security so you don't have a loss of income. 

                     

                    Cindy VT

                    Cindy VT
                    Participant

                      Hi,  Its me again.  I'm sorry about my grammar and typing.  I had a stroke so the brain to the fingers don't work so well.

                      I'm not a total loss. 

                      Best wishes

                       

                      Cindy VT

                      Cindy VT
                      Participant

                        Hi,  Its me again.  I'm sorry about my grammar and typing.  I had a stroke so the brain to the fingers don't work so well.

                        I'm not a total loss. 

                        Best wishes

                         

                        Cindy VT

                        Cindy VT
                        Participant

                          Hi,  Its me again.  I'm sorry about my grammar and typing.  I had a stroke so the brain to the fingers don't work so well.

                          I'm not a total loss. 

                          Best wishes

                           

                          Cindy VT

                          lou2
                          Participant

                            I don't really know anything about this, but have heard that some illnesses get fast tracked in the SS disability process.

                            Maybe have a look at this?

                            https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms.nsf/lnx/0411005601

                            lou2
                            Participant

                              I don't really know anything about this, but have heard that some illnesses get fast tracked in the SS disability process.

                              Maybe have a look at this?

                              https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms.nsf/lnx/0411005601

                              lou2
                              Participant

                                I don't really know anything about this, but have heard that some illnesses get fast tracked in the SS disability process.

                                Maybe have a look at this?

                                https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms.nsf/lnx/0411005601

                                aldakota22
                                Participant

                                  From what i understand with SS ,that even if your case is compassionately fast tracked and you are approved on day  1 you still have to wait 5 months before you get your first disability check.Your first 5 months is on you. But stage IV is just about a slam dunk for the benefit.Go to your SS office with all your medical records & history.Have someone help with the application as there are a ton of questions.remember if you collect disabilty you can not work. Take care of your health above all . Beat the Beast.     Al

                                  aldakota22
                                  Participant

                                    From what i understand with SS ,that even if your case is compassionately fast tracked and you are approved on day  1 you still have to wait 5 months before you get your first disability check.Your first 5 months is on you. But stage IV is just about a slam dunk for the benefit.Go to your SS office with all your medical records & history.Have someone help with the application as there are a ton of questions.remember if you collect disabilty you can not work. Take care of your health above all . Beat the Beast.     Al

                                    aldakota22
                                    Participant

                                      From what i understand with SS ,that even if your case is compassionately fast tracked and you are approved on day  1 you still have to wait 5 months before you get your first disability check.Your first 5 months is on you. But stage IV is just about a slam dunk for the benefit.Go to your SS office with all your medical records & history.Have someone help with the application as there are a ton of questions.remember if you collect disabilty you can not work. Take care of your health above all . Beat the Beast.     Al

                                      POW
                                      Participant

                                        Denise_K and Gene_S have both written about how they got SS Disability. Search for their names and the word "disabilitly" and you will find some helpful information. 

                                        POW
                                        Participant

                                          Denise_K and Gene_S have both written about how they got SS Disability. Search for their names and the word "disabilitly" and you will find some helpful information. 

                                          POW
                                          Participant

                                            Denise_K and Gene_S have both written about how they got SS Disability. Search for their names and the word "disabilitly" and you will find some helpful information. 

                                            LuckyMan51
                                            Participant

                                              The Social Security Administration has Metasticized Melanoma/Stage IV on its list of Compassionate Allowances so you will get fast tracked and should get an answer in about two weeks from completed application. I filed immediatly from my date of declared disability so I did not ask nor receive back monies. Although the Soc Sec process is pretty straightforward I paid a SS Disability attorney 1,000 fee to complete the form and collect diagnosis documents from the necessary doctors.

                                              The LTD insurers are less eager to approve your claim unless your illness dosent allow you to do your job successfully (and your attorney can present that case effectively). I would urge you to retain am experienced LTD attorney who focuses on insurance companies vs social security. I found lots of SS disab attorneys of varying degrees of professionalism but it took a whole to find the correct and competent attorney to handle my insurance co claims. It's critical that you understand just what kind of LTD coverage you have. Privately owned policies are usually much better than group policies as they are often occupationally specific (your current job) vs group which is of your own occupation for just two years then it becomes "any occupation".  This is a critical definition as it means having LTD coverage to 65 years old vs two years then having to fight the indurance company after two years when they attemp to have you take any job to get off the hook of paying you. The insurance companies will be trying to figure out ways not to pay you so you really need an attorney to stand in the middle and mediate while giving you guidance. My policies had a 180 day effective period and started paying in he seventh month. They don't tell you if your claim was awarded until a couple of weeks before the first checks are cut. Thankfully my attorney protected me and coordinated everything and didn't let me get put in a position of saying the wrong thing and giving the insurer any ammunition to delay or deny my valid claim. In business we often went to work sick or tired to keep the pace up. Given the high mortality rate of this disease and the difficult treatments and procedures we need to go through to stay alive there is no dishonor in filing for benefits that you bought for to use situations just like this. You paid for them and you caught a bad break with a Melanoma diagnosis and if the disease or the treatments impact your ability to work like you did prior to diagnosis you should absolutely file for the benefits. After seven months my savings are tattered and I am so thankful I planned ahead for a worst case scenario. Good luck in your battle against Melanoma and hoping your work decisions go smoothly. 

                                               

                                              LuckyMan51
                                              Participant

                                                The Social Security Administration has Metasticized Melanoma/Stage IV on its list of Compassionate Allowances so you will get fast tracked and should get an answer in about two weeks from completed application. I filed immediatly from my date of declared disability so I did not ask nor receive back monies. Although the Soc Sec process is pretty straightforward I paid a SS Disability attorney 1,000 fee to complete the form and collect diagnosis documents from the necessary doctors.

                                                The LTD insurers are less eager to approve your claim unless your illness dosent allow you to do your job successfully (and your attorney can present that case effectively). I would urge you to retain am experienced LTD attorney who focuses on insurance companies vs social security. I found lots of SS disab attorneys of varying degrees of professionalism but it took a whole to find the correct and competent attorney to handle my insurance co claims. It's critical that you understand just what kind of LTD coverage you have. Privately owned policies are usually much better than group policies as they are often occupationally specific (your current job) vs group which is of your own occupation for just two years then it becomes "any occupation".  This is a critical definition as it means having LTD coverage to 65 years old vs two years then having to fight the indurance company after two years when they attemp to have you take any job to get off the hook of paying you. The insurance companies will be trying to figure out ways not to pay you so you really need an attorney to stand in the middle and mediate while giving you guidance. My policies had a 180 day effective period and started paying in he seventh month. They don't tell you if your claim was awarded until a couple of weeks before the first checks are cut. Thankfully my attorney protected me and coordinated everything and didn't let me get put in a position of saying the wrong thing and giving the insurer any ammunition to delay or deny my valid claim. In business we often went to work sick or tired to keep the pace up. Given the high mortality rate of this disease and the difficult treatments and procedures we need to go through to stay alive there is no dishonor in filing for benefits that you bought for to use situations just like this. You paid for them and you caught a bad break with a Melanoma diagnosis and if the disease or the treatments impact your ability to work like you did prior to diagnosis you should absolutely file for the benefits. After seven months my savings are tattered and I am so thankful I planned ahead for a worst case scenario. Good luck in your battle against Melanoma and hoping your work decisions go smoothly. 

                                                 

                                                LuckyMan51
                                                Participant

                                                  The Social Security Administration has Metasticized Melanoma/Stage IV on its list of Compassionate Allowances so you will get fast tracked and should get an answer in about two weeks from completed application. I filed immediatly from my date of declared disability so I did not ask nor receive back monies. Although the Soc Sec process is pretty straightforward I paid a SS Disability attorney 1,000 fee to complete the form and collect diagnosis documents from the necessary doctors.

                                                  The LTD insurers are less eager to approve your claim unless your illness dosent allow you to do your job successfully (and your attorney can present that case effectively). I would urge you to retain am experienced LTD attorney who focuses on insurance companies vs social security. I found lots of SS disab attorneys of varying degrees of professionalism but it took a whole to find the correct and competent attorney to handle my insurance co claims. It's critical that you understand just what kind of LTD coverage you have. Privately owned policies are usually much better than group policies as they are often occupationally specific (your current job) vs group which is of your own occupation for just two years then it becomes "any occupation".  This is a critical definition as it means having LTD coverage to 65 years old vs two years then having to fight the indurance company after two years when they attemp to have you take any job to get off the hook of paying you. The insurance companies will be trying to figure out ways not to pay you so you really need an attorney to stand in the middle and mediate while giving you guidance. My policies had a 180 day effective period and started paying in he seventh month. They don't tell you if your claim was awarded until a couple of weeks before the first checks are cut. Thankfully my attorney protected me and coordinated everything and didn't let me get put in a position of saying the wrong thing and giving the insurer any ammunition to delay or deny my valid claim. In business we often went to work sick or tired to keep the pace up. Given the high mortality rate of this disease and the difficult treatments and procedures we need to go through to stay alive there is no dishonor in filing for benefits that you bought for to use situations just like this. You paid for them and you caught a bad break with a Melanoma diagnosis and if the disease or the treatments impact your ability to work like you did prior to diagnosis you should absolutely file for the benefits. After seven months my savings are tattered and I am so thankful I planned ahead for a worst case scenario. Good luck in your battle against Melanoma and hoping your work decisions go smoothly. 

                                                   

                                                  G-Samsa
                                                  Participant
                                                    After discovering I had Stage iV melanoma, I immediately made use of the short-term disability at work– it kicked in after a preliminary 2-week period where I had to use accrued vacation time. I was able to transition without any difficulty to the long term disability policy I have through the company I work for. The company insurer took care of the Social Security Disability application without cost to me ( I believe it is in their best interest, since it offsets their payout). Stage IV melanoma is on the list of compassionate diseases — there was very little push back to my application… Took only a month or so to get it.
                                                    G-Samsa
                                                    Participant
                                                      After discovering I had Stage iV melanoma, I immediately made use of the short-term disability at work– it kicked in after a preliminary 2-week period where I had to use accrued vacation time. I was able to transition without any difficulty to the long term disability policy I have through the company I work for. The company insurer took care of the Social Security Disability application without cost to me ( I believe it is in their best interest, since it offsets their payout). Stage IV melanoma is on the list of compassionate diseases — there was very little push back to my application… Took only a month or so to get it.
                                                      G-Samsa
                                                      Participant
                                                        After discovering I had Stage iV melanoma, I immediately made use of the short-term disability at work– it kicked in after a preliminary 2-week period where I had to use accrued vacation time. I was able to transition without any difficulty to the long term disability policy I have through the company I work for. The company insurer took care of the Social Security Disability application without cost to me ( I believe it is in their best interest, since it offsets their payout). Stage IV melanoma is on the list of compassionate diseases — there was very little push back to my application… Took only a month or so to get it.
                                                        Erinmay22
                                                        Participant

                                                          Thanks for the info.  I am first going to explore utilizing short term leave at work.  I used it some during surgery in the past.  I guess the reason I've continued to work full time is that it's a great distraction.   But some days are more exhausting than others.  

                                                          Guess I have kept working because it makes me feel normal!  but the fatigue from treatments is starting to set in some and my workload/stress has greatly increased in the last month or so.  That worries me and makes me realize I need to put myself first!  So that's why I'm starting to look at options.  

                                                          I am talking with the counselor/patient advocate to get their thoughts and next steps.  Tried talking with the nurse some but she wasn't helpful at all.  

                                                          Thanks!

                                                          Erinmay22
                                                          Participant

                                                            Thanks for the info.  I am first going to explore utilizing short term leave at work.  I used it some during surgery in the past.  I guess the reason I've continued to work full time is that it's a great distraction.   But some days are more exhausting than others.  

                                                            Guess I have kept working because it makes me feel normal!  but the fatigue from treatments is starting to set in some and my workload/stress has greatly increased in the last month or so.  That worries me and makes me realize I need to put myself first!  So that's why I'm starting to look at options.  

                                                            I am talking with the counselor/patient advocate to get their thoughts and next steps.  Tried talking with the nurse some but she wasn't helpful at all.  

                                                            Thanks!

                                                            Erinmay22
                                                            Participant

                                                              Thanks for the info.  I am first going to explore utilizing short term leave at work.  I used it some during surgery in the past.  I guess the reason I've continued to work full time is that it's a great distraction.   But some days are more exhausting than others.  

                                                              Guess I have kept working because it makes me feel normal!  but the fatigue from treatments is starting to set in some and my workload/stress has greatly increased in the last month or so.  That worries me and makes me realize I need to put myself first!  So that's why I'm starting to look at options.  

                                                              I am talking with the counselor/patient advocate to get their thoughts and next steps.  Tried talking with the nurse some but she wasn't helpful at all.  

                                                              Thanks!

                                                              mbaelaporte
                                                              Participant

                                                                To whom it may concern

                                                                I went into my local SS office looking to talk about collecting SS as I was turning 62 yrs olde

                                                                they told me to call "this" number and make an appt;  ..in the short interview he asked why I wasn't working anymore and I told him of my stage IV melanoma –  he said I should be filing for SSdisability & I said fine

                                                                took in all proper paperwork and was fortunate to have a very proactive interviewer – I would say within two weeks I had a check for 12 months of disability payments ( had not worked for that time & that is as far as they can go back )  and one deposited within a week later for the current month

                                                                all seemless & effortless, amen

                                                                mbaelaporte
                                                                Participant

                                                                  To whom it may concern

                                                                  I went into my local SS office looking to talk about collecting SS as I was turning 62 yrs olde

                                                                  they told me to call "this" number and make an appt;  ..in the short interview he asked why I wasn't working anymore and I told him of my stage IV melanoma –  he said I should be filing for SSdisability & I said fine

                                                                  took in all proper paperwork and was fortunate to have a very proactive interviewer – I would say within two weeks I had a check for 12 months of disability payments ( had not worked for that time & that is as far as they can go back )  and one deposited within a week later for the current month

                                                                  all seemless & effortless, amen

                                                                  mbaelaporte
                                                                  Participant

                                                                    To whom it may concern

                                                                    I went into my local SS office looking to talk about collecting SS as I was turning 62 yrs olde

                                                                    they told me to call "this" number and make an appt;  ..in the short interview he asked why I wasn't working anymore and I told him of my stage IV melanoma –  he said I should be filing for SSdisability & I said fine

                                                                    took in all proper paperwork and was fortunate to have a very proactive interviewer – I would say within two weeks I had a check for 12 months of disability payments ( had not worked for that time & that is as far as they can go back )  and one deposited within a week later for the current month

                                                                    all seemless & effortless, amen

                                                                    MoCedar
                                                                    Participant

                                                                      Thank goodness that our experience was similar to yours. Met Life was the short and long term disability carrier and our Met Life patient advocate contacted SSD 2 months before the long term benefits were due to run out  and arranged a conference call interview. All medical records were transferred and we were approved in 2 weeks. The health insurance can be a bit trickier depending on where you live. I was never a fan of Met Life but they stepped up to the plate on this transaction. I hope your experience is as smooth as ours. The last thing you need now is bureaucratic induced stress. Best thoughts coming your way.

                                                                      MoCedar
                                                                      Participant

                                                                        Thank goodness that our experience was similar to yours. Met Life was the short and long term disability carrier and our Met Life patient advocate contacted SSD 2 months before the long term benefits were due to run out  and arranged a conference call interview. All medical records were transferred and we were approved in 2 weeks. The health insurance can be a bit trickier depending on where you live. I was never a fan of Met Life but they stepped up to the plate on this transaction. I hope your experience is as smooth as ours. The last thing you need now is bureaucratic induced stress. Best thoughts coming your way.

                                                                        MoCedar
                                                                        Participant

                                                                          Thank goodness that our experience was similar to yours. Met Life was the short and long term disability carrier and our Met Life patient advocate contacted SSD 2 months before the long term benefits were due to run out  and arranged a conference call interview. All medical records were transferred and we were approved in 2 weeks. The health insurance can be a bit trickier depending on where you live. I was never a fan of Met Life but they stepped up to the plate on this transaction. I hope your experience is as smooth as ours. The last thing you need now is bureaucratic induced stress. Best thoughts coming your way.

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