Clarification on Disability

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mariposa13

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Joined
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PALS
Diagnosis
03/2017
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US
State
TN
City
Nashville
Hi all,

I'm hoping someone can point me in the right direction here. I turned in my resignation at work, however, they know my situation and have put me on FMLA/short term disability instead. It will last for 12 weeks and allows me to still receive some income and also keep my current insurance.

I know I need to apply for SSDI and make do with the 5 month waiting period. It won't be easy. However, I wanted to ask if I should apply now, while on medical leave, or wait until my medical leave is up? I'm wondering if I'd be denied by applying now, while I'm technically employed even though I'm not actively working.

I'm not planning to return to work unless there's some miracle that causes me to get better. I'd really appreciate some advice, I don't want to risk being denied and having to appeal... My goal is to reduce stress, not create more!

TIA for your wisdom!
 

Nikki J

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Mar 22, 2012
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8,130
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PALS
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04/2014
Country
US
State
MA
City
Boston
You are not working, can't work and don't expect to be able to work. Being on STD does not disqualify you from applying for ssdi I am sure.

You have paperwork supporting your ALS dx I expect?

Does your fmla paperwork say anything about you being expected to return to work? If it doesn't ( and it should not) then I think you should be ok

I am not an expert but pretty sure this is true. Make sure that your application is flagged as a TERI illness
 

lgelb

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From what I know, I'd agree with Nikki, but I'd cue in your employer and ask that they be prepared to verify your status on both sides of the leave. There may be a standard form they can populate in advance.
 

swalker

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DX MND
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I can't answer your question.

I decided that the rules were complex enough and the outcome important enough that it would be prudent for me to use a lawyer.

A friend from church, who is a lawyer with experience in the disability realm, offered to help me and he is who I used. The process was painless and I received approval for disability is less than 3 weeks. I did not start receiving SSDI payments for another 5 months (roughly).

Note that I was on short term disability and then long term disability from work-sponsored plans.

Steve
 

GregK

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Joined
Jan 29, 2013
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2,775
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Colorado Springs
My SS I has been active throughout both my STD (no jokes here!) and my current LTD.
 

Tlo57

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Joined
Sep 16, 2017
Messages
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Loved one DX
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09/2017
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Winter haven
My partner is a disability attorney in Fl. He said apply now if you haven't already done so. You're receiving unearned income and unable to work. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.

I did the 4 year appeal thing all the way to Federal court for a different disability than yours. It was a biatch, but retro.

Btw, because he & I live together he had another attorney represent me in court for obvious ethical reasons. He did all of the leg work, however, she didn't do her homework so it was a big fat stresssful denial. He appeared as a witness in the Federal hearing where I was finally approved.

On a positive note, when it goes to the Federal level, the attorneys fee is 25%. I got to keep most of it, less their expenses lol.
 

KimT

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I can answer your questions because that is what I did. I had six months' sick leave accumulated. I was diagnosed on August 26, 2015 and actually started teaching but, after two weeks in, I went out on FML. After about a week, I knew I would not return and I immediately applied for SSDI. I got a letter from my neuro with my diagnosis and applied. It took me about a month to get everything ready. I was approved 2 weeks after I submitted it to Social Security. The approval "wait time" was retroactive to the first day I stopped working.

After my FML ran out, I still had three months' short term leave left. The college kept me on the books so I would have insurance up until Medicare took over. With ALS, you get Medicare at the same time you get SSDI (instead of waiting two years like other disabilities.)

If you are not returning to work, get your doctor to write the letter and apply now.

Here is the letter my doctor wrote that I included in my SSDI application.

RE: diagnosis of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (335.20; ICD-10-CM G12.21)
Patient Social Security Number: XXXXXX

There is no one test or procedure to establish the diagnosis of ALS. This diagnosis was based on patient history, neurological findings consistent with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and electrophysiological and neuroimaging testing (including the attached MRIs and bloodwork) to rule out other impairments that may cause similar signs and symptoms.

Clinical findings included both upper and lower motor neuron signs and measured progression.

Upper motor neuron findings:
1. Hyperreflexia (exaggerated tendon reflexes) in the presence of muscle atrophy and weakness progressing to all four limbs
2. Spasticity in both legs
Lower motor neuron findings:
1. Muscle atrophy in all four limbs
2. Subjective progressive loss of strength in all four limbs
3. Visible fasciculations beginning in left foot and progressing to entire body within a period of 12 months.

IMPORTANT: On top of your SSDI forms put a blank piece of paper and in BIG RED LETTERS indicate that your situation is a TERI case. Cases with an indication of a terminal illness (TERI) must be handled in an expeditious manner because of their sensitivity.
 

TomSanti

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Sep 8, 2017
Messages
61
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
07/2011
Country
US
State
California
City
Mariposa
I can only share with you my experience here in the People's Republic of Kalifornia. I stopped working at the end of October, filed for both state disability and SSDI simultaneously. State disability here is good for one year, they have what is called a "fast-track program for disabilities that end in death" I got my first check within about six weeks. SSDI took about six or seven months I don't remember. So, in closing I would agree with previous posters that you have to make sure that these entities completely understand what ALS has in store for you.

Good luck and God bless,

Tom

PS I'm very curious about your nick as has I in fact live in Mariposa
 
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