Disability?

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Phil M

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For those on disability. How did you aproach your company? I don't want my coworkers to know whats going on. Its hard enough keeping my emotions together for my loved ones. I would just want to leave, and not hear all the I'm sorry stuff. That will be hard to avoid unless I don't give them notice, and I do want to give notice.
 

JohnMc

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Phil

I am not on disability, but I understand what you are saying. I told my bosses about 5 months ago that it looked like I had ALS (this was before the official DX) and I resolved that I wouldn't tell anyone else unless they asked. So far, nobody has asked except for one person.

But my speech is getting so bad that it is clear that I will need to tell more people. And it looks like I will need to be looking at disability soon, because I can barely type, and I don't expect that I will be up for driving 50 miles a day before long.

Anyway, I hope it works out for us both.

John
 

brooksea

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Phil,

I'll give you a short synopsis of what my husband went through. He was in sales and served the company well, being in the presidents club for many years and was contemplating moving to the new branch as manager.

Saying the good-byes might be the least of your worries. Most people will be too hard pressed to express their "sorries," but they may throw a "retirement" party for you or give you some sort of "award." You can handle it! It (ALS) will be the elephant in the room. Maybe your boss will privately express how sorry he/she is about your situation and they will say "If there is anything I can do for you, please let me know." Remember that promise and keep them to their word.

We went through H E double L trying to get the HR department to actually file for the disability after my husband retired. We're talking MONTHS without income except for tapping into retirement money! Then they filed and the salary was all screwed up! I hope your HR people are local, as you could use face to face pressure to make things happen. Just stay on top of all the paperwork and keep in touch, that is if you can get them to answer the phone or voice mails!

You don't need crap like that to happen to you while you are trying to wrap your brain around this diagnosed.

About the "If there is anything I can do for you..." Yes there was something my husband's company could do for us! They are a moving company and stepped up to the plate and brought down an adjustable bed and Jazzy, all the way from New Jersey (co. headquarters)! Can't say that they made up for the pain we went through trying to get disability, but it was much appreciated.

And by the way - where did we get the bed and chair from? From another member of THIS forum! Beebe's daughter so graciously donated these items and I will be forever grateful to her!

Good luck my friend! I wish you the best!
 

4rhl1981

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http://www.alsa.org/policy/ssa.cfm here some information from ALS Association.
I believe if you are DX with ALS you can get benefits from SSA right away under PRESUMPTIVE DISABILITY OR BLINDNESS PAYMENTS.
 

georgia

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Remember that benefits are only if you have paid in and have enough credits in the last 10 yrs. If you continue working you may not be counted disabled till you QUIT then ck is not till the 6th month don't push how close till you can't. A lot can happen in those 6 months.

Check out the SSA site.

If you are working and your earnings average more than a certain amount each month, we generally will not consider you disabled. The amount changes each year. For the current figure, see the annual Update (Publication No. 05-10003).

If your application is approved, your first Social Security disability benefits will be paid for the sixth full month after the date your disability began.

Here is an example: If the state agency decides your disability began on January 15, your first disability benefit will be paid for the month of July. Social Security benefits are paid in the month following the month for which they are due, so you will receive your July benefit in August.
 

brooksea

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My post above was regarding disability through the employer. Hopefully you do have it.
 

tmasters

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Employer sponsored disability

CJ -

Do you know what the criteria is for an employer's disability coverage. I've searched the forum and I see lots of information on SSDI but not for an employer's disabililty insurance.

My employer's disability will pay 70-80% of my salary, which is about 4x what SSDI would pay. But I just work on the computer, so am I legally disabled only when I can't push a mouse around anymore or type with one finger?

I'm not ready to retire, but with economy the way it is, if they start laying people off, I'm outta there before I lose that 70% !

-Tom
 

brooksea

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Tom,

You have ALS! Believe me, that qualifies you for disability through your employer AND Social Security! Your Neuro just needs to write THE letter explaining that you have ALS...progressively neurodegenerative disease...blah, blah, blah...

You will need to apply for SSD when you get the letter fro your doc saying you can no longer work, as per the above diagnosed.

The same rules apply for private disability as for SSD. You will have to disclose to your private disability company what you are receiving from SSD and they will deduct that from the amount they pay you. (Sucks) My husband receives 60% of his salary - period. This is combined SSD and private disability insurance. You can't receive any more than this amount. It is a percentage thing apparently meant to keep dead beats from taking advantage of the system. Isn't that lovely?

Yes, get going on the filing of disability. My husband and I are thinking we are going to be better off than a lot of people we know.

Being on disability makes you really live within your means.
 

brooksea

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Tom,

I wanted to add that the letter from your Neuro needs to state that you can no longer work in any capacity whatsoever.

With ALS, anything can happen from one day to the next. You need to be able to spend your time focusing on keeping as healthy as possible and not stressing about a job or whether you'll have it! Stress speeds up the process of the disease.

You also want to be able to spend time with family and friends while you are able.
 

tmasters

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CJ,

Thanks! I even met with my HR people and couldn't get an answer to that one. They probably don't want me to know.

I do have ALS and it was confirmed the the ALS Clinics at UCLA and UCI. But I'm still pretty functional; I can walk about a mile and have very little trouble so far with my hands. I get what you're saying about the stress and I pretty much don't let things bother me anymore. I also believe that work is good for the soul, though I suppose there are other things I could do that would be useful. Al is retired, but he works real hard here and we are all so grateful.

So you put me at ease, even if I don't act on it yet. My worry has been that I get laid off before I would qualify for disability but apparently that's not possible. If I just keep my eyes open here at work I think I can apply before it would happen.

-Tom (husband of CALS ;) )
 

brendapals

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Wow, I am certainly getting an education on disability!

I checked online for the status of my application, still wasn't there. So I called the 800# and waited about 18 minutes for a "real" person.

After giving her all of my info, yes, with my very slurred speech, she looked it all up and came back and told me that disability was denied. She said the system didn't show that I had been formally notified, so she is going to have a letter generated.

When I asked her about ALS and disability, she told me people with ALS automatically qualify for Medicare, but social security is completely different! whatever...

I just hope I get the denial letter before I meet with my lawyer next week.

And yes, although working might add more stress, it certainly benefits me and the people I work with. Something about useful adult conversation.
talk more later,
brenda
 

brooksea

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If you enjoy working with the people around you then go for it by all means!

My husband continued to work for 6 months after diagnosed, but it became impossible for him to use the tools he needed to do his job and people had difficulty understanding him. Of course he wishes he could still work. He is a natural born salesman.

I just want to caution others that you should really plan ahead for receiving long term disability through your employer. My husband and the GM had it all planned out with HR for him to start receiving LTD as soon as he "retired" from the company. Due to the ineptness of the HR department and the total lack of compassion, we were left out in the cold with no income. We had filed the paperwork with HR 3 months ahead of retirement date and they never sent the info to the insurance company, even after hounding them constantly. We even consulted a lawyer and were advised that it would do us no good to sue, as the judge would just give them a slap on the wrist and then his disability benefits would begin anyway. We finally had to get the social worker at the ALS Clinic involved. She kicked some butt at my husband's company. She got in touch with the insurance company and they were very willing to get things done, but just needed the paperwork. That's all!

Just keep things on your radar screen and if you have a gut feeling things aren't right, stay on top of it.

Brenda-

Did you tell her about the TERI for ALS? Even the SS site on the internet tells you to let the representative know if you have a TERI (terminal illness), in order to speed up the process! My husband was approved for SS and Medicare withing 30 days of filling out the paperwork. His SS disability started 6 months from his last date of employment and the Medicare started 5 months from that date.

How can you be approved for Medicare, but not SS Disability? You get the Medicare BECAUSE of the DISABILITY!

Have you contacted your congressman? That may be an easier and quicker route than a lawyer.
 

brendapals

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jimercat,
You are such a dear!
Yes, I told the lady yesterday about "TERI" and she acted like she knew nothing about anything. However, when I talked later yesterday with the ALS patient advocate, she told me she would be happy to call the National ALS office and let them explain it to the folks at SS.
I pretty much took the "bobble head" stance-even though she couldn't see me-I just shook my head, and said "ok, send me the denial in writing".
It will all work out, I'm sure,
thanks so much for your support,
talk soon
brenda
 

ilgal

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Just want to say that all employer disability policies are not the same, so be sure to check out the provisions of yours before you do anything. My group LTD disability through work is with Assurant and it has a provision that in addition to being able to perform the job duties, a person must 1) have a terminal diagnosis with a life expectancy of 12 mo. or less or 2) be hospitalized for 72 hrs. I was diagnosed Jul 07 and worked until Nov 08 when my doctor would say 12-mo or less to live.
 

ptich

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ilgal, I am very sorry for your diagnosed and prognosis.

It was my understanding that ALS diagnosed automatically means dosability / social security. Why did you have to wait for your work LTD insurance to kick in ?
 
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