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Can I apply for Social Security Disability while I am still getting sick leave or long term disability from my employer?

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Learn about the timing and benefits of filing a Social Security claim while still receiving sick pay or long-term disability from your employer’s plans.

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Watch the Video: "Can I apply for Social Security Disability while I am still getting sick leave or long term disability from my employer?"

Apply Early For Social Security Disability

You can apply for Social Security disability while you are receiving sick pay, short term disability benefits from your employer and while you are using vacation pay or annual leave to cover sick days. You can also apply if you are receiving or expect to receive long-term disability from your employer’s plan. If you think that your disability will last longer than twelve months or that it is expected to result in your death, you should apply for Social Security Disability as soon as possible without waiting for your other benefits to expire.

File as soon as you think you qualify for Social Security Disability, regardless of other benefits you receive. By applying for disability early, it will be easier for you to remember details of when you were first injured or became ill, as well as all the doctors you have seen, and other important information needed for your Social Security claim.

Don’t Get Caught without Income or Lose Back Pay

If you wait to apply for Social Security Disability until your annual leave, sick leave, or short-or long-term disability benefits end, you may be left without income while your Social Security claim is being processed. Additionally, there is a limit on the number of months of Social Security Disability back pay you can receive. For more information about back pay, see our article “If I Am Approved, How Much Social Security Disability Back Pay Will I Get?”

Report Other Benefits to Social Security

When you file your claim, be sure to tell Social Security that you are receiving, or have received, benefits from your employer to cover your time off. That way, Social Security will know that you were not working during periods when you received salary continuation or taxable short term or long term disability benefits.

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295 Comments

  1. robert cunningham says:

    Can I recieve social security while I;m recieving short term disability because of my eye sight. I am 62

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Robert,

      You may be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD) while receiving short-term disability if your eyesight deficits are severe enough to be disabling according to Social Security laws and if the condition is going to last longer than a year. Your short-term disability will not affect Social Security eligibility or payment amount. The fact that you are an older worker makes it somewhat easier to qualify for SSD, assuming that your application is well prepared. I suggest calling Disability Advisor at 1-888-393-1010 to obtain assistance with your Social Security Disability claim. (Including the right information on your original application can avoid denials and appeals.)

      Good luck!

      The Disability Advisor

  2. derek gouyet says:

    I have been off work since January,due to surgy following a infection.
    I have a temp stova bag and don’t see the consultant until june this year,
    So I won’t be returning to work until the new year. I am on stat sick pay am I initilled to disability benefits

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Dereck,

      You may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits if have to stay off work for at least twelve months. For example, if you ceased work due to your medical condition on January 10, 2013 and your doctors are anticipating that you will be off work until at least January 11, 2014, you would be eligible for benefits. This does not mean that you have to wait until 2014 to apply. You can apply as soon as you know it is likely you will be off work twelve months. It takes a few months for the Social Security Administration to process your claim, so getting started earlier rather than later is a good idea. (Benefits would start with the sixth full calendar month you were off work–July 2013, payable in August.)

      It sounds as if you have experienced complications so it could be very helpful to your claim to have an attorney who is experienced in Social Security Disability law help you cover all the bases when you file your original claim. To talk with a Social Security attorney and get a free consultation, just call Disability Advisor at 1-888-393-1010. If you decide to hire a lawyer to help you, you will only pay a fee if you are awarded benefits and the fee would be withheld from your first Social Security check. All very convenient.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  3. Karen says:

    I was just approved for social security disability. I will receive a 6 month retroactive check from social security as well as monthly benefits. Since I have been getting half pay (through my employer) will I have to pay anything back to social security since the payments overlap each other

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Hello,

      You do not say what type of payments you are getting–annua, sick, or vacation pay from an employer or payments from an employer-sponsored insurance program. Either way you will probably not have to pay anything back to Social Security, but to be safe contact the Social Security Administration and tell them about the payments.

      If you are receiving disability insurance benefits through your employer, you may have to repay some money to the insurance company. Again, to be safe, contact your employer to be sure there is nothing you have to repay them or the insurance company.

      Best regards,

      Kay

    • emonty says:

      I am presently on CA. state disability this August will be a year.I was approved for SSD in march will I receive any back pay or will ESS just kick in

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Emonty,

        If you were approved for Social Security Disability (SSD) and not Supplemental Security Income (SSI), then monies will not be withheld from your back pay. You will be responsible for repaying the state disability payments yourself. If you have been approved for SSI, the amount you owe will be withheld from your back pay. Whether or not there is money left over after the repayment will depend on whether your SSD and/or SSI exceeds the amount you owe.

        Sincerely,

        Kay

  4. If i am collecting short term disability through my employer and administered by an insurance company (CIGNA), and social security approves me for disability due to being off work for at least a year and probably the rest of my life, do I have to repay the short term disability that I received? I have been off work for one year and short term disability is only available to me for one year. After the one year term, the insurance company will shift me to long term disability. They have informed me that I would have to repay the long term disability if social security approves me for disability, but nothing was said about short term disability repayment. It would do me no good to be approved by social security if I have to send all the social security disability back pay to my insurance company. That would make me basically have no income for that year’s timeframe.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jerry,

      Most long term disability and some short term disability insurance policies integrate benefits with Social Security benefits. This means that the short term or long term benefit is reduced by the amount of the Social Security or a part of it. The intent of these policy provisions is that you not receive double disability income for the same period.

      To know whether you must repay part or all of the short term disability you received, you will need to contact CIGNA. It may be helpful to keep in mind that–although it can be “painful” to let go of some of your back pay from Social Security–you have already received and used your short term disability benefits. Even if you have to repay some of it, you had income from your insurance company when you needed it for living expenses over the past year.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  5. Debbie says:

    I have a lower lumbar fracture and a bulding disk due to an auto accident . I am on short term, possible going into long term disability with my job. I also am the main bread winner for my household. Can I apply for some kind of benefits?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Debbie,

      I am sorry to hear about your accident.

      It would be appropriate to apply for Social Security Disability benefits if your physician expects you to be off work for at least twelve months or if he or she doesn’t know when you will be able to work. Back injury claims can be tricky, so it would be to your benefit to talk with an attorney at Disability Advisor. (Just call 1-888-393-1010.) You will receive a free consultation; and, if you choose to have one of their attorneys represent you in your claim, you will pay NOTHING unless you win Social Security benefits. Then an amount regulated by Social Security will be withheld from your back benefits to pay the attorney’s fee. Easy and risk-free.

      Good luck with your claim and I hope your condition continues to get progressively better.

      Kay

  6. Mee Mee says:

    Hi,
    I am currently receiving FLMA & STD with employer benefit. May have to apply for LTD with employer…with CIGNA… on or about June 18th, 2013. Do I wait to apply for SSD with employer? Or do I not bother with SSD!!!! I don’t want to double dip!!!

    I have been diagnosed with carpal tunnel in both hands back in June 2012 through a pain management doctor. I have been out away from my job due to surgery in March 2013, on one hand to relieve a lot of pain, numbness of fingers….still having issues with healing…doctor (surgeon) believes I may have NERVE ISSUES that may have started back in June 2012.

    My job is to work on a computer full time…key information from forms, CS and Chat. I’m unable to type fast on a computer. If I return to work…I’m afraid that the company may fire me because I can’t put out the expected work load. Would my condition be a long term condition lasting more than 12 months?

    How far back do they go to look for pre-existing conditions? I did have a spinal fusion replacement of C5/C6 disc removed in 2011. Would this be considered pre-existing condition?

    I’m 54 years old, worked for this company for 18 years. I’m very confused as to how the system works. So please help me with these questions above. I would really appreciate it.

    Thanks much!!!!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Carol,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      I cannot tell whether you will be disabled for 12 months. A chat with your doctor might give you an idea, but to a degree it may be a situation of only “time will tell.” If you can’t do your job (see discussion below) after about six months or your doctor says you will not be able to do it for more than twelve months, then do apply.

      At age 54, if you have been in a job that requires a lot of typing for 18 years and cannot do the job because of your medical condition, you have a reasonable chance of being approved for Social Security Disability (SSD), but only if–and here’s the caveat–only if you will be disabled for longer than 12 months. That said, Social Security considers unsuccessful work attempts when they count up the twelve months. This means that if your physician releases you to return to work and you are unable to keep up with your workload to a degree that your employer finds your performance unsatisfactory and you stop work in less than three months (SSA sometimes even considers less than six months an unsuccessful attempt), SSA will count your time off before your return to work and after you have to stop to determine the twelve months. If you have an unsuccessful work attempt, be sure to get a statement from your supervisor regarding the problems in performance you had upon returning.

      With regards to double dipping, you probably don’t need to worry about it. First of all, SSD isn’t paid for the first full five calendar months of disability, so you may not even have an overlap with your SSD. Secondly, almost all LTD and some STD insurance policies integrate SSD with their insurance. This means that they reduce your STD or LTD by the amount of the SSD and you get the same amount of money that you would have gotten from LTD (sometimes more), but from two sources. Just be sure to immediately report any Social Security you receive to Cigna so you minimize the possibility of an overpayment.

      There are other benefits to applying for SSD: Medicare after 24 months of benefits and protection for your Social Security Retirement(SSR) amount. The latter means that if you are disabled and not working, and don’t get on SSD, your SSR will be lower at retirement age than if you have been receiving disability benefits in the years up to retirement. Additionally, SSD might continue longer than LTD.

      Lastly, SSD law doesn’t include the concept of preexisting conditions as exclusion to benefits. It does take into consideration all your medical limitations in determining disability, so be sure to tell them of all limiting medical conditions, not matter how old.

      If you wish assistance in navigating the Social Security application process, Disability Advisor’s attorneys can help assure that all the facts about your condition and work history are presented clearly on your initial application. For assistance, just call (888) 393-1010. Consultation is free and if you choose to have one of their attorneys represent you, you pay for services only if you win benefits. (The amount you pay is set by Social Security law.) All very risk free.

      Best regards,
      Kay

  7. Maryanne Peluso says:

    Hi, Thank You so much for taking the time to look at my questions. I feel so intimidated by this whole process and I can’t seem to get any Lawyers or people who know about Social Security to answer some basic questions – until I stumbled onto this site. If you could address some of my concerns – I would truly be most grateful. I’ll try to share about my disability as briefly as possible.

    I have Peripheral Neuropathy. I’ve had it since 1998. There is a nerve in the pelvic floor called the Pudendal Nerve and this nerve is entrapped in my pelvic area – thus resulting in the Neuropathy. I experience back pain but my biggest complaint is an awful burning sensation in my abdomen and back. However, I also experience severe pain in my left leg and foot along with a lot of weakness and loss of strength in that leg and the foot often goes numb. I am beginning to experience a lot of problems controlling my bladder and bowel most recently. As I said I’ve had this condition for about 15 years. One day – it just “showed” up. It went misdiagnosed and undiagnosed for many years which is very common with Pudendal Neuropathy – since it is a very rare condition and not a lot of doctors out there know anything about it. During this time, I was working full-time as a Graphic Artist, however, I am a practicing Catholic and during this time I felt “called” by God to enter Religious Life – to become a Religious Sister (a Nun). And so I left my career as a Graphic Artist and entered the Convent in 1999. But my condition worsened over the years – and it continued to be misdiagnosed. I went through numerous doctors and much medication; I’ve had various kinds of testing and even had back surgery – all to no avail. The pain continued. Then in 2006 I was properly diagnosed by a Physical Therapist. This led to more doctors and more tests and then it was confirmed that I had Pudendal Neuropathy. I wasn’t able to stay in the Convent, however, because my health and my constant, intractable, debilitating pain just became too much. I left the Sisters in 2007. I received my Masters Degree in Theology shortly afterwards and then I went to work full-time at a Parish directing their Religious Education Program. I stayed there for 5 years as my health worsened.

    During the course of this employment, I finally found a Pain Management Doctor to help alleviate some of the pain since there is no cure. He’s been treating me for a few years now. I take Lyrica 2x a day for the pain and receive injections a couple of times a year. I now work at a church much closer to my home in South Central New Jersey also as the Director of the Religious Education Program. I just completed my first School Year at this new Parish. However, I turned 46 in March and I am finding that I just can no longer continue working full-time – especially doing a job such as a Directorship – that requires many crazy hours; has a lot of physical components; and a WHOLE LOT of stress. I spend many hours sitting at the computer which is very uncomfortable – sitting down is the WORSE position for Pudendal Neuropathy and standing for long periods or walking long distances is difficult too because of the pain and weakness in my left leg. Since starting my new job last July my health has VERY noticeably changed and not at all for the better. I have MUCH more pain now than before and in different areas of my leg and my bladder and bowel are getting worse. I feel that physically and mentally and emotionally – the stress is “killing” me and I can’t return in Sept. to begin another School Year. I honestly believe in my heart that I can no longer “keep up” with any type of employment at this point.

    Family and Friends have all advised me to try to collect Soc. Sec. Disability. I understand that Neuropathy (along with Chronic Pain and Depression/Mood Disorder – which I also have) is considered a Disability by S.S. standards. It’s just that I can’t continue working at my job full-time and file a Soc. Sec. claim because I make a lot more than the $1,040.00 a month – which Soc. Sec. would consider SGA. So I am sure to be denied based on this alone. If I just quit my job in order to become eligible – then I have no way to live and I won’t have my medical coverage anymore and I need to continue getting my Lyrica for my pain. A few people have suggested that I go out on Temporary Disability – not through the Diocese I work for – because they are a Non-Profit and don’t offer Temp. Disability – I think I can collect Temp. Disability through the State of New Jersey and I think my health coverage with the Diocese and the Parish would continue.

    Sorry for my “long windedness” – but I wanted you to understand my “case” before attempting to answer my questions: 1) Does it appear – just based on the little bit that I shared – that I have a “good” claim? that it would be worth it to try to file for Soc. Sec. Disability Benefits? 2) If I were to go out on New Jersey Temporary Disability – would I still be able to apply for Social Security Disability through the Federal Government? Or do I have to wait until my Temporary Disability “runs” out after 26 weeks before I could even file a Soc. Sec. case with the Government?

    Thank you for your time and attention. Any help or advice you could give me – would be much appreciated. This is all new to me and I am very scared and nervous to even be considering doing something like this. I am 46 and have been working since I was 17. So this is all new to me and I feel so confused that I just don’t know where to turn or what to do. I greatly appreciate your time and attention.
    God Bless, Maryanne P.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Maryanne,

      You can apply for Social Security Disability (SSD) simultaneously with applying for New Jersey Temporary Disability. In fact, New Jersey may require you to apply. The information you gave about your medical problems (progressively worse, established physical cause of pain, other progressive neurological symptoms, and that you have problems sitting, standing, and walking due to pain)seems to indicate that you could indeed qualify for SSD benefits.

      However, because your condition is not extremely common and because one of the primary symptoms is pain, it could be advisable to have an attorney help you with your initial application. If you decide to apply on your own and are denied,definitely get legal representation for the appeal. (Be sure to tell you attorney all about your history in the same detail or more as you have told us. I also suggest that you read the Application section of our website to help you gather what you will need to give your attorney and Social Security.) Disability Advisor can put you in touch with an attorney who is well-versed in Social Security law. You pay nothing until you are approved for benefits, and then the Social Security Administration will pay your attorney from your back benefits at a rate Social Security sets. No financial risk!

      With regard to financial help while waiting for Social Security, there may be no overlap in benefits with the NJ benefit. (SSD is not paid the first five calendar months of disability and benefits are paid in the month after the month the benefit is for.) If there is one month’s overlap, New Jersey may expect you to repay them what they paid you for that month, which you can do with your overlapping Social Security benefits.

      With regard to health insurance, many states offer Medicaid to individuals who receive state temporary disability and who do not have health insurance. You might check with NJ about this safety net in the event that your insurance does not continue through your employer.

      Best wishes as you move forward.

      Kay
      Disability Advisor Moderator

      • Maryanne Peluso says:

        Thank You SO much Kay – I greatly appreciate your help and the time that you took to read my Post and then to comment. Your information has greatly helped me and I am most grateful.

        Peace and God Bless, Maryanne Peluso

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Maryanne, you are most welcome.

          I realize that I forgot to give you Disability Advisor’s toll-free phone number. It is 1-800-393-1010.

          Best,

          Kay

          • Cindy says:

            I hope this is the right place to ask questions: I have just left work on disability a week ago. According to my doctors, I will never be able to do my work again. I have RA in my hands, feet and neck, along with cervical disc and nerve problems in my neck. I used a computer all day.
            I will get 6 mths wage continuation, then a capped limit, both through my employers insurance. Once (hopefully) I am approved for SSDI, My employers insurance will cover the difference between SSDI and my capped limit until I’m 65. (I am 57). My questions are: When should I apply for SSDI? Will SSDI benefits be decreased since I am collection from a private insurer? Should I hire an attorney right from the start? I have trouble doing many small things as one wrist is basically fused, tying shoes, buttons, holding things without dropping..ect. I live alone, so things get very frustrating. I’m very nervous and scared. I have a mortgage, among everything else.

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Cindy,

            I am sorry that your health has required you to stop work.

            It is fortunate that you have salary continuation and disability insurance through your employer to tide you over till you get Social Security Disability (SSD) and to supplement your SSD when you are approved.

            You should apply for SSD now. The sooner you get all the benefits for which you are eligible, the sooner you can relax. Your Social Security will not be reduced by your private insurance. Just the opposite is true–the private insurance will be reduced by your Social Security. This is good, because depending on your total income, none or only part of the Social Security will be taxable.

            I would say that you do not need an attorney now. I suggest applying on your own, using the application information on the Disability Advisor website as a guide on how to apply and on what you need to include in your application. Just click on “Apply SSD” and read the articles. Then, if you are denied, immediately get an attorney to help with the reconsideration. If you are denied, you can find a good attorney who is very knowledgeable in Social Security Disability law by calling the Disability Advisor at 1-888-772-1010. You pay the attorney only if your claim is approved, at which time the fee is set by Social Security law and is paid from your back Social Security benefits.

            Sincerely,

            Kay

  8. Maryanne Peluso says:

    Hi,

    I’m not sure what happened. But I posted a question a couple of hours ago and it showed up above with a Status saying it was awaiting “moderation” and then I closed down the Site so that I could go to bad and then just out of curiosity I opened the Site again and my post was gone – what happened? It was kind of a long Post – so I hope that it is not totally gone. Can you please help me? Thank you!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Maryanne,

      “Moderate” means I have to read your post and reply, which I am in the process doing. Check again in twenty-four hours and I will provide a substantive reply.

      Thanks,

      Kay
      Disability Advisor Moderator

  9. Christine Ramirez says:

    My physician advised me to apply for short-term disability via a private policy I’ve carried with me for years. I’m in pretty bad shape, have tried all kinds of therapy and treatments, medications, etc. The policy will pay for 24 months. At the end of this period she informed me I could then apply for SSD or SSI (not sure of difference at this point), but what I understanding in reading comments above is that I should apply for SSD as soon as possible if I know there isn’t an end to my medical condition (psoriatic arthritis). Ill receive more $ on short-term for 24 months than SSD if approved after 5, 12, 18, or 24 months. Why would I do that? Is is because if I wait until the very end and then apply it may take a very long time to receive it and I’ll be receiving nil until approved….so the sooner the better? I’m sure ill lose my medical coverage. If receiving SSD or SSI I will receive Medicare after a two year period correct? Thanks for help.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Christine,

      You have hit most of the major points on why to apply for Social Security Disability as soon as you stop work. One proviso–check your short-term disability (STD) policy to be sure that the STD benefits will be reduced by the Social Security you get, not terminated. If benefits from STD continue at a reduced rate, then by all means apply for SSD so that all your months of disability count toward the 24-month waiting period for Medicare. The second major reason for applying now is that your medical situation (testing, doctor’s opinion, etc.) and vocational information (your and employer’s observations of problems on the job, etc.) will be fresh in everyone’s mind and not 24-months old. Everything being equal it will be easier to gather documentation to support your claim. And, yes, if you are initially denied and have to appeal to the hearing level, it could take a long time to get a decision. If you are denied, I recommend that you contact DisabilityAdvisor at 888-393-1010 to get help from one of their attorneys who is highly experienced in Social Security Disability.

      If your STD policy does not allow you to receive both STD and SSD (which is usually not the case), then you will have to weigh the pros and cons of applying for Social Security and make a decision.

      As an aside, Social Security Disability (SSD) Benefits are paid to people who have worked enough in jobs covered by Social Security taxes (FICA payroll taxes or self-employment tax for the self-employed). The amount you receive depends on your work earnings. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a disability payment program administered by the Social Security Administration that is paid to individuals whose income and assets fall below a certain limit. For information about SSI’s income and asset limits, just click on “SSI” on the top navigation bar on DisabilityAdvisor.com.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  10. jenny says:

    I was awarded SSDI from 1995-2001 for severe osteosrthritis in more than one msjorcweight bearing joint and chronic pain. Thirty othopeadic surgeries later I returned to work because I had worked so hard for my degree and I wanted to be a productive member of society. SSDI never found me in a review able to work but I decided to return and completed the TWP. Since 1/2013 I have struggled daily to work with the pain and have deteriorated and exhausted FMLA. I applied for SSDI again in March after stopping wotk on the 16 th. On may 6 I attempted to return to work or I was going to lose my insurance and I wanted to try one more time. I was awarded SSDI on may 27 and could no longer work as of June 7 .2013. My local SS office States that this one month period cannot be considered as a Unsuccessful Work Attempt due to the fact I made above SGA guidelines that one month I have clear documentation from my employer that I required moderate assistance to work that month and my productivity was greatly reduced so I could complete a shift. I had more then a 30 day break before returning to work (march 16-may 6) and I worked less than three months during the waiting period ( only one month) but because I.made more than $1040 during that one month they claim I don’t meet the criteria. I believe I meet the criteria for UWA …..your thoughts? I will appeal and reapply but do you have any other suggestions?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jenny,

      Based on the information that you provided, it would seem your brief return to work would be an unsuccessful work attempt. I am glad you are appealing. I do suggest that you have an attorney present your case at the first level of appeal so that hopefully the denial will be overturned in the first appeal. Otherwise, if you have to go to a second appeal (a hearing), you could wait a year or more for the hearing. Disability Advisor at 1-888-393-1010 can put you in touch with an attorney who is experienced in Social Security Disability law.

      Good luck!

      Kay

  11. Linda says:

    I was wondering I been off since march 24th had a scope on my knee, I was on short term disability then for 5and 1/2 mths.after that I lost my job and all my benefits after being at my job for 24 yrs.. in the mean time I went on Long term disability the 1st of April, in dec I ended up in the hospital for 2 weeks with masses of blood clots on my lungs, then after that I had to go to a nursing home..now I have had home health care for 5mths, im on oxygen 24 hrs a day and have to use a walker because my Doctors said I can never have a nother surgery,so my long term called me and send me the papers to sign for SSD they are going to do everything,Will it still take 5 mths or longer to get money from SS, and will I have to pay it all back to Long term?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Linda,

      I am sorry to hear about your difficult medical problems.

      It can take from one month to six months to have an initial claim processed. After that, benefits will start immediately (assuming your are approved) and will pay you back to the sixth calendar month after you became disabled. You said that your long term disability insurance company is going to “do everything.” I urge you to clarify what “everything” means and whether they have specialists within the company to handle the application for you, help you answer questions, and make a good presentation of your situation since you first left work. If they are just going to mail the papers in for you, then it could be better to have an attorney such as one at Disability Advisor prepare the application and represent you. (If the insurance company is going to provide presentation for you, you will have to sign a Social Security form authorizing them to do so.)

      With regard to repayment is likely that you will have to repay some of your long-term disability and possibly short-term disability for months that they overlap with Social Security Disability. Your insurance company can tell you about any repayment provisions in your policy. If you don’t have a copy of your policy, they should be able to send you one.

      Regards,

      Kay
      DisabilityAdvisor

  12. Susan says:

    Howdy,
    I receive Social Security Disability Benefits.
    I just received a check from my employer for vacation pay (5 weeks pay-they pay out vacation once per year in a single payment) as I am still on medical leave. I will be resigning as a result of my disability (Stage IV breast Cancer) in one month.
    Will the vacation pay affect my SSDI Benefit amount?
    Do I have to report it to SSDI?
    Thank you in advance.
    Smiles!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Susan,

      If you are receiving Social Security Disability and not Supplemental Security Income (SSI) then your vacation pay will not affect your Social Security benefits; however, keep proof that the payment was vacation pay and not compensation for work you performed because Social Security may inquire about it when the taxes withheld from the payment go through the IRS system. If you are receiving SSI, you must report the vacation pay to the Social Security Administration immediately.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  13. jeff says:

    I got fired from my job on May 14th this year do to job performance. I have held this job for 8 yrs. I have had 2 Tia’s in 2 yrs along with high blood pressure, Cholesterol I have anxiety, panic disorder along with OCD. Possible Copd and now my left quad tendon rupture that I operated on back in 2004 is acting up bad. I am 54 yrs old and Truck driver that is all I have ever done since I was 18. I applied on june 19th last month for SSDI.The lady told me that I would not qualify for SSI Due to my overall lifetime income. I just wanted see what my chances would be of getting it sometime.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jeff,

      Your combination of medical problems, together with being over age 50, may result in your meeting the Social Security Administration’s disability requirements, and it sounds as if you have the necessary work credits for SSDI.

      Regarding Supplemental Security Income (SSI), it is possible that the woman at Social Security was saying that your Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefit is too high for you to receive both it and SSI for the same months. However, if your income and assets are below the SSI limits in months before SSDI would start, you might qualify for SSI temporarily. I suggest that you read the SSI articles on DisabilityAdvisor.com. Just click on SSI in the navigation bar at the top. If you believe your income and asset are below the limits listed in the articles or you are not sure, then I recommend recontacting the Social Security Administration to be sure that they took an SSI application at the same time as you applied for Social Security Disability so you get a formal determination on the SSI.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  14. Laurie Taylor says:

    Hello, I have a concern with my husband’s health. He will be 58 in August….1 1/2 years ago he had a quadruple bypass after doctors suspect possible clogged arteries following a physical. He recovered well and but tires easily. He went back to work as a truck driver 3 months after the surgery and hasn’t missed a sick day since. My concern and his as well is he works 12 hours or more and drives at night, 3rd shift 5 days a week (he is home daily, not OTR truck driver)… He has tried to move within his company to 1st shift but they say they have to find a replacement for his job first….the problem is no one stays with it and quits. Therefore he is back on 3rd shift again. He has tried looking for other work but hasn’t had any luck… most companies want OTR drivers and he just wants 40 hrs …His drs told him at the time of his surgery that they would help him get disability… but he didn’t want it. My concern is he has no time to do the cardio exercises his drs have stressed he needs… and the proper rest… I want him to file but he don’t think he would get it…. Do you think he would be a candidate for disability??

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Laurie,

      I think it would be best for your husband to discuss the situation with a Social Security attorney. (He can reach one by calling Disability Adivsor at 888-393-1010.) On the face of the information you shared, it would seem that your husband would not be considered disabled because he is able to drive truck (perform his occupation). That said, sometimes there are other factors at work that are not apparent in a short paragraph of information. For that reason, discussing his situation with a good Social Security attorney would be valuable.

      Kay

  15. Anita says:

    I have had a disability since 2002, but was able to work from home. My employer merged his business with another company and after 16 months of working for them they fired me, without cause but saying they did not want a disabled person working from home, working for them. That was November 1st 2012. I have since applied for social Security disability and am waiting to hear, have an appointment with their doctor this coming Monday. Since I have an attorney and the EEOC looking into the matter, the company has offered to hire me back as of November 1 2012 on paper only and put me on Long term disability. Can I do that and receive SSD? Or will the LTD stop once I receive the SSD? I am thinking this is not a good deal but have been 8 months now with no money coming in and have been unable to find a job working at home. Can you advise? Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Anita,

      It sounds as if accepting the long term disability (LTD) benefits would be to your advantage (assuming you meet the LTD plan’s disability provisions).

      Social Security does not pay the first five months of disability. Your Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, if you are approved, would begin May 2013. Also, most LTD policies do not stop LTD benefits when SSD begins. Rather they reduce the LTD and you receive both, resulting in the same or sometimes slightly more income–just paid by two sources. You would have to use some of your retroactive Social Security benefits to repay part (rarely all) of the LTD you received for months beginning May 2013.

      I suggest that you ask for a copy of the LTD policy if you don’t have one and have your attorney look it over, so you will understand the specific provisions of the LTD plan that relate to Social Security before you make a decision.

      Best regards,

      Kay

      One last thought: sometimes people qualify for LTD, but do not qualify for Social Security, so the LTD could be a safety net.

  16. Ed jackson says:

    At 61, I was diagnosed with lung cancer and I was given an estimate of 1 to 4 years survival. I applied for regular Social Security payments at 62 and continued to work. During periods of chemo, I received short term disability pay from my company’s insurance plan. Do the short term employer disability payments count toward the earnings limit (around $14,000) set by SSA before I must pay back some Socuial Security I received? SSA says yes. Also, would I be better off on Socail Security Disability?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Ed,

      I am not sure that you are receiving correct information about short-term disability (STD) benefits counting toward the earnings limit for retirement benefits. (The first six months of STD benefits is often subject to Social Security taxes, which makes it appear to Social Security that you are working when you are not.) If you were not working during periods for which you received STD, then the STD income is not earned income and logically would not count. I suggest that you you talk with a claims representative in a local office, not a service representative who may not be as knowledgeable. If the representative continues to say that STD counts toward the earnings limit, ask for a copy of the POMS regulations that says it is.

      Social Security Disability benefits are higher than reduced retirement benefits. That said, there are many factors to consider in determining whether you would be better off on Social Security Disability: First, are your symptoms such that if you stopped work you would be disabled as defined by Social Security law? How much are you making working? How much work are you missing? How hard is it for you to continue working? Does your company also have long-term disability (LTD) benefits. If so, stopping work and getting Social Security supplemented by partial LTD could be the way to go. I suggest that you talk with a Social Security attorney to help you decide. You can reach a well-qualified attorney easily and at no cost by calling Disability Advisor at 888-393-1010.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  17. Tressa says:

    Hi, I recently applied for STD for my illness (ulcerative colitis). In the mean time I applied for social security benefits. I have a phone interview 7/11/13. My question is: do I have a good chance to be approved? My condition has me bent over with abdominal pain, bleeding from my rectum, tiredness, aches in my legs, headaches, severe diarrhea, anemic. I have to be by a bathroom at all times. When I was working I had to run to the bathroom and I would get talked to from employer for using the bathroom too much. When going to somewhere I have to make sure there is a bathroom there and we park close, because I can walk that far. If I do it triggers my stomach hurting and me going to the bathroom bleeding.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Tressa,

      With the type of illness that you have, it is sometimes hard to prove you are disabled even if you are. I suggest that you obtain an attorney for your claim to help you underscore the aspects of your medical situation and problems at work that will be important to your claim. You can reach a good Social Security lawyer by calling Disability Advisor at 1-888-393-1010. You pay for services only if you are awarded benefits. In the meantime, you can keep your July 11 appointment and tell the Social Security Administration the same information (in more detail) that you have shared in your message. You might also read the articles in the “Apply for SSD” section on the Disability Advisor website to help you prepare for the interview with Social Security. It could also be helpful to talk to your physician to see if he or she supports a disability claim.

      Best regards,
      Kay

  18. Lisa says:

    I have been out of work since December 2012. They thought it was a severe sprain in my ankle (which I started seeing an orthopedic for in November 2012). I kept getting worse and still wasn’t able to go back to work (had xrays, cortisone shots and an MRI) so they referred me to an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in foot and ankle. After the new doctor looked at my MRI and took more xrays he concluded that my plantar fascia had erupted. Was in a cast for 7+ weeks, then an air boot and now a special diabetic shoe and still not getting better. Been taking Lyrica since February 2013 and have been to 2 neurologists as well. I did receive STD and that ceased. I have been approved for LTD but with no pay. Am I a able to apply for SSID? According to my LTD they will hold a spot for me. The doctor is trying to get approval for a second MRI as we speak to take another look and see why its not better and if surgery may be an option. I’m still not able to drive, hard to walk and can’t stand for an long period of time or sit long very long unless my leg is propped up. I work in retail so my job requires all the above. Thank you and I look forward to hearing back from you

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Lisa,

      A big factor in whether you will be eligible for SSDI is whether you will be off work for at least twelve months. I suggest that you wait for the second MRI (assuming it is approved) and then, if appears you may be off work for at least twelve months, apply for SSDI. You do not have to wait twelve months to apply. If you are approved, you will be paid retroactively to June 2013.

      Regards,
      Kay

  19. Wilbert A. Bass Jr. says:

    hello my name is Wilbert Bass Jr. And i now have a clostomy bag from a severe infecrion that i got at a local hospital they misdiagnoised me i iended up have a rectal abcess that eat through my retal wall and through my bladder and when they finally found it i was 2 days away from being dead. well needless to say i went to another hospital that saved my life and then i went through 30 surgerys in the next 24 months now i have chronic pain all the time in my rectum area to the point that the dr. Has me on 300 mcg of fentyal every three days and three percocet a day for break though pain which isnt working anymore so next month hes going up to 400 mcg of fentyal every three days what im getting to is that its about:-)time for my three year review what are the chances that they will drop me from ssdi medicare

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Wilbert,

      Of course there are no guarantees; but, with all the problems you are experiencing and lack of pain control, I don’t think that you have to worry much about being terminated. (Also, don’t be surprised if the continuing disability review does not occur on time. Often, there is a backlog of reviews.)

      Best regards,

      Kay

  20. Linda M says:

    Dear Kay,
    I have been disabled for 9 years and have been receiving SSDI and LTD benefits through my former employer. At age 62 (in less than 6 months) the LTD benefits will unfortunately stop. Will my SSDI amount increase when the LTD benefits stop? How soon should I notify SSDI to let them know the LTD benefits will cease? When the LTD benefits stop, it will be a big financial hit. Currently my out-of-pocket medication and medical expenses run approximately 1200/per month. Two of my doctors do not take Medicare so I have that is a $300 expense for each visit by itself.

    Any clarification you can provide me will be greatly appreciated. I live in Texas and have been diagnosed/being treated for Late Lyme disease with lesions on the brain, Babesia (Malaria like parasitic disease), HHV6, Lymphadenopathy and Adrenal Insufficiency.

    Thank you so very much for your assistance.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Linda,

      Your Social Security Disability benefit will not increase when your LTD stops. Your LTD has likely been reduced because you are getting Social Security, but your Social Security was not reduced because of your LTD. Your SSDI benefit will remain the same throughout your lifetime. You will receive disability benefits until you turn full retirement age and then your benefits will become Social Security Retirement benefits in the same amount as your disability benefits. The only increases you can expect are annual cost-of-living adjustments in years that the cost of living increases. I wish I had better news for you!

      Kay

      • Linda M says:

        Kay,
        I appreciate your clarification and now understand what to expect. I too wish you had better news. Thank you very much for your help.

        Best,
        Linda M

  21. mark says:

    I currently returned to work 13 months after lumbar spinal fusion surgery and double cubital tunnel elbow surgery, and my employer says I am considered a new hire and lost my 4 weeks of vacation after 16 years with my company. They say I have to work for one year until Im eligiable for 1 week. I attended 3 school certiifacation courses which I was required by my company while I was on Disability, and performed lifting (35lbs), bending, twisting basically everything i would have to do at work but was not allowed to return to work until my surgeon released me from all restrictions. Is this allowed to happen and do I have rights……………..

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Mark,

      Your questions are outside the scope of Social Security Disability benefits so I am unable to be of help regarding your rights. You might check with the federal Dept. of Labor, your state’s labor department, or an attorney who specializes in labor law.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  22. diane says:

    I have been employed with my company for 24 years. I had surgery in 2009 and went out on short term disability and FMLA. I was out about 11 weeks. I was cleared to go back to work. In 2011 I was unloading our truck and pickup up a tote and hurt my back again. The company sent me to the urgent care and I was out another few weeks under Workers Comp. After another MRI that showed another herniated disc, the urgent care sent me to see the workers comp surgeon who said that I didn’t need surgery. I didn’t want to stay out of work so I went back when the pain was tolerable. Now as of May 2013 I have another herniated disc. I will be having surgery on Oct. 3rd and will be out under FMLA. Three days ago our CEO had a conference call with all the managers and told us that he had sold all our stores to another retailer. My question is if the doctor tells me I cannot go back to work then will my long term disability kick in after the short term if the company has finalized the sale and I am no longer their employee but anothers. Or should I look into SSD

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Diane,

      I can provide some general information about short term (STD) and long term disability (LTD) but to know for sure what your situation is, you need to talk with the benefits department of your company or to the insurance companies directly.

      That said, here’s the general information I can offer. Usually long term and short term disability benefits are paid under the policy that is in effect on the date that you become disabled. Your posting does not make it clear whether you left work in May 2013, but if you did, then policies that govern your STD and LTD coverage will be those in effect when you became disabled in May. That would mean that if you continued to be disabled after the waiting period for long term disability, which is usually similar to the maximum benefit period for short term disability, you should be covered. If you kept working and will not go off work until October 3, then whether you received STD or LTD will depend on whether your new employer has STD and LTD policies and whether you qualify under those plans. But once again, I encourage you to get specific information about your policies to learn about your coverage.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • diane says:

        I didn’ t go out then in May, I started back going to the doctor, got a steroid injection which did not work so he said that I needed surgery again on this disk. So now that I have had the surgery, I don’t know if I will be able to go back before the new company takes over. I am out on 13 weeks paid FMLA Disability will the my first company. Since they close mid week in November, should my long term still be in effect since I went out on leave before they closed?

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Diane,

          You should be covered under the policy that was in force when you ceased work due to disability. However, to be sure that you get correct information, I suggest that you contact your long-term disability insurance carrier to find out the policy’s specific terms with regard to when eligibility (insured status) ends.

          Best regards,

          Kay

        • diane says:

          I have been on std for five months on 4-2-14. I have received form to fill out for long term. It consists of a disability questionnaire. I was out on std for back surgery on L1-2. Since the surgery the pain never eased up. I have had two MRI’s and a Cat scan showing Stenosis and osteoarthritis and also another herniated disc on the L5.I have already had two surgeries for herniated disc and it seems that the more surgeries that I have the more chance I have on another one herniating. Also I on Jan 19, 2014 I another surgery, a scope on my right knee and I have moderate osteoarthritis in my knee. I have a bone spur in my left shoulder joint and bursitis in both shoulders and both hips. I have had injections in the spine, shoulders and hips. I have had therapy for my back without any relief, and now I will be going for therapy for my knee, shoulder and hip next week. My back doctor told me that I should retire so my question do you think these issues are enough to qualify me for disability because I cannot walk hardly any length of time and cannot sit for more than a few minutes without having to get up and start the whole cycle again. I can’t sleep at night due to the pain and my medication makes me loopy. Also when filing for SSD would I have to file with just one of these and if yes which would you suggest. I know that I need to go ahead and file even though hopefully long term wont deny me. I would appreciate your feed back. Also this long term questionnaire ask a lot of crazy questions. Also do you think I should get a long term attorney?

          • diane says:

            I forgot to tell you that I am 59.

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Diane,

            Based on the information you are providing, I suggest that you file both the long-term disability (LTD) and Social Security Disability (SSD) claims. The definition of disability may be different for each. With regard to the “crazy questions,” answer all questions thoroughly. If you are having trouble understanding the questions, then getting help from an attorney or someone else would be a good idea. However, if you understand the questions, then you may not need an attorney to file the initial claims. Should you be denied, then getting legal representation will be important for your appeal.

            Sincerely,

            Kay

  23. Daniel says:

    Hello, I live in California and have been receiving state disability for 9 months now due to stress/mental issues. My doctor has written me of for more the. Twelve months but I can only receive state disability benefits for 12 months. Would I be eligible for social security disability?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Daniel,

      You may be eligible for Social Security Disability. I suggest that you file an application as soon as it is convenient so that you have a possibility of getting a decision before your state disability runs out. That said, I would consult with a Social Security attorney first to get help with how to present your case. Disability claims based on mental illness can be tricky so it is often best to have a legal help. I suggest that you call Disability Advisor at 1-888-393-1010 to connect with an attorney who is very knowledgeable in Social Security Disability law.You will pay attorney fees only when you have been awarded benefits and then in an amount set by Social Security law. Social Security will pay the attorney directly from your retroactive award before sending the balance to you. All very easy and no risk.

      Just a note: A portion of your retroactive Social Security award will also be used to repay the state of California for the state disability you have been receiving.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  24. Barb says:

    I am 57 I have been at my job for 30 years now
    My job has me doing a lot of lifting standing pus hinging and pulling
    I have a hiatal hernia and had surgery once in 2000 and again in 2006
    Because my stomach goes inside my chest which cause shortness if breath, sick feeling most if the day
    Did another test and shows stomach back into my chest 60%
    This alone makes my job hard to do
    Also have
    Tear in rotor cuff
    High blood pressure
    Thyroid
    Barrett
    Would I be able to get disabitly

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Barb,

      Given your age and work history and your medical condition as you describe it, you may be disabled as defined by Social Security; however, the only way to know for sure is to apply. But, if you have not already stopped work, you will need to do so or cut down so that you are earning under $1040 gross (before taxes) monthly. If you are still working and earning $1040 or more when you apply, your claim will be denied.

      When you apply, be sure to list all your illnesses and conditions, the problems they cause you and how effective any treatment you get is for controlling the symptoms. Also, talk with a physician who knows about and treats all your conditions explaining the problems your are having and describing all the physical requirements of your work so the doctor will know that you are applying. If you are denied, do seek legal help right away. You can reach a good Social Security attorney by calling Disability Advisor at 1-888-393-1010. You will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits and then in an amount is set by Social Security law. The Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your retroactive award before sending the balance to you. It’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  25. Barb says:

    I am 57 f I have been working for over 30 years at my job. I have bad back pain. That hurts when I stand when walking. When sitting and laying
    I also have a hiatal hernia, I had surgery twice for it, but it did not take. With this my stomach is 60% up into my chest, which causes
    Shortness of breath fullness feeling when I eat or drink. I get sick at least a few times everyday. Just a sick feel most of the time I also have a tear in my rotor cuff with my arms hurts all the time. My job has me doing a lot of , lifting , pulling ,pushing ect. I gets shots ever 4 months for the pain, but they don’t work afraid of surgery
    Along with
    Barrett’s , high blood pressure, thyroid stomach problem do to the hernia
    Would I be able to get disabitly .

  26. linda says:

    I have rheumatiod arthritis in all my joints and osteoarthritis in my lower back ive been on sick pay from work since may 2013 after a shoulder op iam a florist so have been struggling to work for a long time my illness is getting worse so ive been advidesed to stay on sick who will pay my sick pay once i finish work and how much do you get help iam very worried and confussed as ive always worked

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Linda,

      If your physician has recommended that you remain off work and you do not think you can perform any kind of work on a day-in, day-out basis, then it is time to apply for Social Security Disability. Apply now so that perhaps your claim can be processed before your sick pay runs out.

      Since you are feeling confused and overwhelmed with the insurance side of your situation, I suggest that you hire a Social Security attorney to help you with your claim. Disability Advisor, who sponsors this question-and-answer forum, can put you in touch with an attorney who is very experienced in Social Security Disability law. Just call 1-888-393=1010. You do not have to pay anything up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your retroactive award when they send you your back pay. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  27. Jim says:

    Hi Kay, I was unable to work after 5/31/2012 and I didn’t apply for SSDI until August of this year 2013 because I was told unless I was in a wheel chair or worse I would not be able to get it! I worked for one company for 17 years and then my latest job from 2003 to 5/31/2012. I have been a hard labor my whole life, I can’t spell or read or write very good and cannot do math either, my wife is writing this for me now. I had to quit work because of the severe pain in my hips. The doctor said I have arthritis in my hips. I cannot get a job anywhere because they all want to give me a test and I cannot pass one I have failed ones in the past, and even if I could past a test the pain in my hips is so bad I can’t sit or walk or stand for very long at all without pain. What do you think my chances of getting my SSDI? I also heard that I could get back pay I know about the 5 month waiting period for the back pay, do you know when my back pay will start? Will it start 5 months after my quit time of 5/31/13 or 5 months after the date that I applied? Also I went to a doctor the SS office sent me to a couple of weeks ago and he was very rude and acted like I should be out working.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jim,

      If your claim is approved and it is determined that you were disabled when you ceased work, your benefits will November 2012.

      You might call the examiner at the Disability Determining Services (DDS) who asked you to attend the examination to find out whether they have your x-rays and to ask whether they have in file that you have deficits in reading, writing, and math. Also be sure that they have a full description of the type of work that you have done in the past so they know all the physical demands of the job. If you did not describe these well when you applied they may not understand the heaviness of the work you have done. This is important because if you are over age 50, if you cannot do work you have done in the past you would be approved.

      If you are denied, be sure to get legal representation and appeal the denial. You can reach a good Social Security lawyer by calling Disability Advisor at 1-888-393-1010. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your retroactive award at the same time as they send you your back pay. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Jim says:

        Thanks Kay ! He called and left his Disability Reviewer a message about his x-rays. no call back not sure if she is working with the government shutdown. Jim is 48

        Thank you for all your help !!! :)

      • Jim says:

        Hello Kay, after your response my husband called his SS rep and left a message asking if they had received his x-rays or if he needed to get a copy sent to them form his doctor’s office, he never receive an answer back so we figured they were shut down with the other Government offices. But then on Saturday he received a letter saying that they were sending him to get x-rays next week, to us this is good news because it will show on the x-rays about the arthritis in his hips. What do you think this could mean??

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Jim,

          It is good news that they are still investigating your husband’s claim, especially responding to information that you recently proved in the form of your inquiry. If you think there any medical records other than x-rays that the DDS does not have, I suggest that you get copies of them and submit them to DDS so they are received by the time the x-rays are done.

          Best regards,

          Kay

  28. Jim says:

    Sorry ! I meant my quit time was 5/31/2012…not 2013…sorry! I had x-rays that determined that I had arthritis in my hips and the x-rays also showed that my spine has slipped.

  29. Jennifer says:

    I won my short term disability case, but now it has been transferred to a long term disability specialist. How long can this take?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jennifer,

      It sounds as if you are referring to private disability insurance from a policies that either you or your employer purchased. If so, I can’t be of help. Perhaps the benefit examiner for the insurance company can give you an estimate.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  30. BJ says:

    Dear Advisor,

    I am a 54 y o female who has herniated discs at L4/L5 with spondylolisthesis to the point where I have experienced pain and sometimes numbness in my legs, hips and back. In the spring of 2013, I broke my foot because my legs went numb going down stairs. I also have sciatica on both legs (especially the back of my thighs and down the hips) which extends to the heels and feet. One doctor told me I have the back of a 70 year old! I have also been diagnosed with carpal tunnel on the right hand and prolapsed uterus/bladder. I have hypertension and type 2 diabetes, both controlled with meds although I am about 50 lbs overweight and have lost 2 inches in height due to my condition. I get steriod injections every 3 months (lasts about one month at best and still have pain) and have tried every kind of PT without lasting results. I have had three MRIs, several xrays and see my family physician on a regular basis.

    My question, I work part time (20 hrs/week) but I and am still over the minimum earnings of $1040. I have been on short term disability thru my employer twice, once for two months and once for one month, but I am working now, although I can barely make it most days. I just can’t afford to quit. I still have a significant amount of time available thru my employer’s disability plan, but getting up for work is becoming nearly impossible. The pain and stiffness is becoming unbearable, along with the constant worry that I will go numb at any moment, especially going down stairs. I have a “desk job” but there are daily occasions requiring movement and carrying 10 lbs or so. My employer is aware of my condition and has made accommodations, but I sometimes I have take meds to control the pain the dull my abilities to perform my job. I also have custody of my 6 yo grandchild, but get lots of help from my husband and family to take care of him.

    I applied for SSID two years ago and it was denied (I was on a two month leave and worked full time then). I would like to talk to my doctor about reapplying and would like to know if it would be to my benefit to discuss it with my employer. What are my chances of approval of SSID this time around? Is it based at all on my employer’s cooperation for long term disability? How should I request to my doctor that I be considered for SSID?

    Thank you,

    BJ

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear BJ,

      Deciding whether to give up working because of health challenges is always a difficult decision to make. It is a good idea to be as informed as possible in making the decision. I would recommend that you talk with your employer’s insurance carrier to find out whether, if you qualify for short-term and long-term disability under their policies, your benefits would be based on your earnings when you were working full time or on your half-time earnings, as theirs will be the insurance that could tide you over until Social Security begins. (There is a five-month period of disability that is unpaid. SSD benefits start in the sixth month of disability). I also support your talking with your doctor and your employer.

      You can find detailed informative articles about applying for benefits and how Social Security Disability decisions are made at http://www.disabilityadvisor.com. Just click on the appropriate topic on the navigation bar across the top of the home page. But, in general, the claims process involves comparing your physical and mental limitations with the requirements of the occupation you are in when you cease work and with the requirements of any occupations you have performed in the past to determine whether you can perform substantial gainful activity (SGA), which this year is the $1,040 that you referenced. (Of course, if you continue to work at your current level, you will be demonstrating that you can perform SGA.) The type of support that you could receive from your employer would be to ask you employer to write a statement that describes the accommodations they are providing, any duties you are not longer performing if you have dropped duties because of your health, and any objective observations your employer has from seeing you on the job that indicate you have physical problems–drowziness after taking medications, difficulty moving around or sitting after a certain length of time, etc.

      Be open with your doctor about the pain and medication side effects you are experiencing and about the specific difficulties you are having at work. Then ask whether the doctor is willing to make a statement supporting saying that the symptoms you report are credible. Your doctor is not expected to make a disability decision–just provide test reports and support diagnosis, symptoms, and limitations. It is up to Social Security to decide whether you meet their definition of disability. (People have been approved without their own doctor’s support, but it is more difficult.)

      As far as your chances of being approved, I suggest talking with an attorney who is very knowledgeable in Social Security Disability law and going into detail about your condition, your symptoms, and your work history. A knowledgeable attorney will be able to give you an idea of whether to file a claim. You can reach a good Social Security attorney by calling Disability Advisor at 1-888-393-1010. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your retroactive award at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  31. Sandra gowett says:

    I am age 60. Been diagnosis stage three colan rectal cancer. Currently on std ,I just finished chemo radiation treatment.I am having alot of side effects,and a lot anxiety.i am scheduled for surgery in December. I don’t feel I am able to return to work. I have applied ssdi .if I am forced to return to work, to keep my Health benefits.Would I still be eligible for ssdi .

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Sandra,

      To be eligible for Social Security Disability, you must be expected to be disabled according to Social Security rules for a period of longer than twelve months. If you return to work and are able to perform substantial gainful activity (now $1,040 gross earnings per month) before the twelve months is up, you will be denied benefits. The only exception would be if you attempted such a return to work and had to stop work again in less than three months due to your medical condition. (Sometimes work up to six months is also disregarded as an unsuccessful work attempt.)

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  32. Jay Griffin says:

    I have just been approved for SSI long-term disability. I have terminal cancer and 6-12 months. My employer is continuing to pay my sick leave an will carry me for some months.

    Am I allowed to collect SSI and sick leave at the same time?

    Will I have to pay any money back/.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jay,

      I suspect that by “SSI” you mean Social Security Disability (called SSD or SSDI). If you do mean you were approved for Social Security Disability, then you can receive both sick pay and Social Security.

      If you really mean that you were approved for SSI (Supplemental Security Income) while receiving sick pay, then it is likely an error has been made. You probably are not eligible for SSI because your sick pay is probably more than $710 a month. If you do mean you have been approved for SSI, you need to report your sick pay immediately to avoid overpayment. If you have already been paid SSI, it is likely you will have to repay it.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  33. Beverly says:

    I am currently drawing a retirement check and have health insurance with the company I retired from. I worked as a contractor since retirement until this past April 2013. I have been diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer and taking chemo treatments has left me unable to work. I was able to draw STD for 6 months which ended last of Sept. I do not have LTD. If I file for SS disability, can I keep my health insurance thru my company or do I have to apply for medicare? I have a great plan that has paid for all my treatments and also paid for second and third opinions from other doctors. I do not want to give this up.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Beverly,

      People under age 65 who are receiving Social Security Disability (SSD) are not eligible for Medicare until they have received twenty-four months of Social Security Disability benefits, so you should not encounter a conflict in medical coverage. I would encourage you to apply for SSD right away. If you attach a letter from your principal cancer physician that states your diagnosis and prognosis, you may be eligible for expedited processing.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  34. Karen says:

    Hi just trying to figure out this whole disability thing..age 49…I’ve had several health issues Systemic Lupus , Fibromyalgia,cervical fusion with hardware ..C4-C7 autograft ,limited neck movement …am just 6months out of surgery …also suffer from Anxiety & Migraines…realizing I’m not able to continue my job fulltime …too much pain ect ..not even sure about part time..was working 4days which was considered fulltime but my employer doesn’t offer a part time position 4 me…anymore as of this past year…prior to last year 32hrs was considered fulltime which i worked for 18 yrs here..I need medical insurance so I hafta stay fulltime it sucks when they told me I cried said I have enough trouble getting here 4days …no one cared…so now I’m not clear how to handle this can u advise? Live in NY?..anything would help thanks Karen !

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Karen,

      I think I understand that you are now working four days a week. If you are, you will not be eligible for benefits because you are performing substanial gainful activity (SGA), which is generally defined as earning $1,040 gross (before taxes and other deductions) earnings.

      Just a note: It usually takes two to four months to have your claim processed and the first five full calendar months you are off work is unpaid. Social Security Disability, if you are approved, starts for the sixth month of disability and is paid in the following (seventh) month. If you stop work and your countable income and assets are below the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) income levels, you could be eligible for SSI payments, which begin in the month that you apply.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Karen says:

        Hi I was wondering if I do stop working will i qualify for Medicaid or Medicare? Due to no income…?

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Karen,

          After you have received twenty-four months of Social Security Disabilty benefits, you will be eligible for Medicare. If your Social Security benefit is low enough (less than $710) and you do not have other countable income, so that you also qualify for ongoing Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability payments, then you would probably be eligible for Medicaid beginning with the month of your SSI eligibility.

          Sincerely,

          Kay

  35. Karen says:

    Thank you for your reply as it stands I’m actually working 5days Not by choice…do u advise using an lawyer to file when I do file or not I’m confused on that part some say yes some say fil on your own first then appeal?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Karen,

      If you think that you can be thorough and do a good job of presenting all the medical and work history for you claim, filing on your own could be successful. If you are denied, however, be sure that you get an attorney for the first Reconsideration appeal. Do not wait for a second denial.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  36. Karen says:

    Sorry ment fail…

  37. aree says:

    I am on FMLA waiting on short term disability from my employer. My last day of work was 10/18/2013. I completed the medical portion (Dr info) for disability back in June 2013. I also had phone interview in July 2013 but since I was still working was told by an SSA agent that filing for disability would be denied. I am legally blind. How do I go about finishing my disability claim since I am no longer working? Is there still a five month waiting period before I start receiving benefits? I’m not sure what other questions to ask at this time.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Aree,

      Could you please clarify one point for me before I respond: Please clarify what you mean when you say that you “completed the medical portion (Dr. infor) for disability.” Do you mean that you completed only part of the claim forms and have not completed the rest or did you mean something else?

      Thank you,

      Kay

      • aree says:

        I completed the disability report thru the SSA website, which I later found out was not the actual application for disability. So it included all work history, education and medical info.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Aree,

          Do you have a question you would like answered?

          Thanks,

          Kay

          • aree says:

            I am not receiving disability from my employer. I have a week of pay and vacation left. Should I apply for Social Security disability? How would this affect benefits if I decide to take short term or long term disability with my employer?

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Aree,

            If you expect to be disabled for twelve months, then it is appropriate to apply for Social Security Disability. Applying will not have a negative effect on short-term disability (STD) or long-term disability (LTD) on your employer’s policies. The maximum STD and LTD benefits are likely to be higher than Social Security. You will not receive the full STD or LTD benefit, but you will receive your Social Security benefit (if approved) and a supplmental amount from the STD or LTD policy.

            Sincerely,

            Kay

  38. Erin says:

    Hello,
    I am trying to find out some information for my roommate. He is 40 years old and has a degenerative hip, which has been getting worse ever since he was a child. We tried to apply for SSD a few years ago but was denied and we didn’t appeal. But then in February of this year his hip dislocated (which happens quite a bit) and it was really bad. So he was approved for FMLA – intermitant leave and reduced schedule. After a couple of cortisone shots wore off in August he was not able to work and went on a leave of absence. He doesn’t have short term disability through his work, but they do offer long term disability. From what the doctors are telling us he will need a full hip replacement, but will need to get some other things taken care of before he can get the hip replacement. This process is going to take at least 2 to 2 and a half years if not more.

    We applied for SSDI in May and was just approved and waiting to here about SSI. My main question is should he stay on leave from work and try to get LTD or just quit? Before we found out about the SSD approval he was just staying on leave so that he could get the medical insurance and LTD until he was approved for SSD but now that he has been approved we’re not sure what to do. We didn’t think you could receive LTD and SSD.

    Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Erin,

      Your roommate will not be eligible for Medicare until he has received twenty-four months of Social Security Disability. He will get Medicaid only if the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payment is ongoing, which it may not be given that he has been working. The current SSI limit for other income, including Social Security, is $710. Of course, your roommate will need to make his own decision, but I would think he would want to keep his employment relationship with his employer as long as he can to continue insurance.

      With regard to the long-term disability (LTD) benefit, because your roommate became disabled while he was employed, he could receive LTD whether or not his employment terminates later. He should certainly pursue the LTD because the maximum LTD may be more than the Social Security. If it is like most LTD policies, the LTD would supplement Social Security. For example, If you roommates Social Security benefit were $1,000 and the maximum LTD were $1,400, your roommate would get $1,000 from Social Security and $400 from the LTD policy.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  39. T. J. says:

    Hi, my husband hurt him self at work and was off work for three mts and was being paid work comp. they released him and he has been using his sick time that he has had stored up. 240hrs. He applied for SS and received and award.
    He has been using sick time while off waiting and decided to reitre. He received a letter from his employer tell him that he needs to complete Group Long Term Disabilty insurance. If he applies for this will it affect his SS benefit payments? His retirement date is Dec1st. and he should start receiving his SS around the same time. What should he do? Complete the forms for Long Term Disabilty? Thanks

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear T. J.,

      Yes, your husband should apply for long-term disability (LTD) benefits. The maximum LTD benefits are likely to be higher than Social Security. If so, your husband will receive his Social Security benefit and a supplmental amount from LTD.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  40. Karen Ronk says:

    Hello,

    I have been out since July 2012 on disability from my job due to rotator cuff repair surgeries on both shoulders and what was thought to be cervical radiculopathy. After almost a year of my right shoulder getting worse, my diagnosis has been confirmed as a traction injury to my brachial plexus from the first shoulder surgery. So, I am getting a second shoulder surgery in 2 weeks. My job is very physical, although my company’s WC insurance company says my injuries have nothing to do with my job – but there is no light duty. I have LTD through Cigna ( they have had me apply for SSDI which has been denied twice) and I am still receiving healthcare insurance through my company – continuing to pay my share of the premium. My company has approved my leave through end of the year, but I suspect they will terminate me at that point without giving me the chance to actually rehab from the surgery. What options would I have for health insurance at that point – there is next to no chance that I would be ready to go find another job at that point – possibly not for a long time depending on the outcome of the surgery and if the nerve complications are permanent. I know this is really complicated, which is why I am online every day looking for answers. Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Karen,

      First of all, you need to file a second appeal as soon as possible to be sure that you appeal within sixty days of the date of your denial letter. You will likely need an attorney to have a chance of being successful in the appeal. (See below about finding an attorney.)

      With regard to health insurance. If you are terminated from your employment at the end of the year, you may be able to continue your medical insurance under COBRA law by paying all the insurance premium. You should get a notice about COBRA when and if your insurance is terminated. Typically you have to enroll and pay the premium within 30 days of termination of insurance. If you are approved for Social Security Disability and continue to be disabled, you will be eligible for Mediare beginning January 2015.

      You can obtain an excellent Social Security attorney by calling Disability Advisor at 1-888-393-1010. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your retroactive award at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Karen Ronk says:

        Dear Kay,

        Thank you for your response. Through Cigna, I am working with Allsup to obtain SSDI and they are handling the appeals process. Frankly, the disability issue is much less urgent than medical insurance. I have spent over 30% of my disability pay on medical care and cannot afford COBRA. I guess my real question is whether someone on disability can qualify for subsidies under the ACA. In all likelihood, if my company terminates me, I will be seeking the help of an employment attorney. Thank you again for your reply.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Karen,

          Subsidies to help pay for health insurance are available under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Eligibility for, and amount of, a subsidy depends on family income. The federal enrollment website is not fully functional at the present time; however, medical insurance brokers are likely to be sufficiently knowledgeable to give you income guidelines and rules about enrollment periods after losing group insurance.

          Best regards,

          Kay

  41. Victor says:

    The date of this posting is November 8, 2013.

    I have been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. I just recently finished STD through my employer. My LTD will start in another week through my employer. I have been approved for SSD that will start in February 2014. My LTD insurance company, Lincoln Financial through my employer, says once my SSD starts I will get the minimum payment of $50.00 instead of $1069.00 per month I will start to get in Dec of 2013. Is he correct? Do you think I should get an attorney?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Victor,

      Most long-term disability (LTD) policies reduce benefits for Social Security Disability (SSD); therefore, the information you are getting is probably correct. You will receive your Social Security Disability. Ask them to give you the name and page of the provision that discusses how benefits are calculated and of provision that show SSD will reduce your LTD.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  42. melinda says:

    I’m a 44 year old female who has under gone thyroid ectomy surgery due to cancer, Also I just under went a unilateral masectomy 6 weeks ago. I’m fatigued, I move a lot slower. I’m mentally drained. I start work tomorrow, I feel that I want be able to perform my duties like before the recent surgery. Just wanted to know is there any help for me???

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Melinda,

      To be eligible for Social Security or SSI disability benefits, you must be disabled or expected to be disabled for a period of twelve months. Those twelve months can be interrupted by an unsuccessful work attempt. Therefore, if you find that you are unable to continue working because of your illnesses and your doctors think you are unable to work and your return to work is less than three to six months, then you might qualify for disability benefits.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  43. carol says:

    Dear Kay,
    I thought i understood you to say that when someone goes on SSDI and then turns age 65, they continue to receive the same amount as their SSDI payment with no COLA. Did i understand correctly?

    If this is true, then please answer one more question…are SSDI payments usually similar to what a 65 year old would receive from SS?

    I am 58, live in Nebraska and have been on STD for six weeks. My neuropsychologist informed me just last week that she recommends long term disability until I turn 65.

    Thank you!!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Carol,

      The amount of your Social Security Disability is the same as your Social Security Retirement would be if you were 65 when you became disabled. You will receive any cost-of-living adjustments that the government approves for Social Security, both before and after you reach retirement age.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  44. Christina says:

    Hi, I received my Social Security award and backpay this past May. Shortly after, I was required to pay most of it back to my employer. My question is, do I owe the tax on the SS backpay or does my employer since they took it all? Thank you in advance!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Christina,

      It sounds as if you were receiving either short-term (STD) or long-term disability (LTD) through your employer and had to repay part of it when you got Social Security.

      You will need to consult with a tax professional to know for sure, but I believe that you will have to pay taxes on Social Security as if you did not use it to repay an employer disability policy. However, some states do not tax or do not fully tax Social Security. Also, depending on your total income you may not have to pay federal taxes on all the Social Security, not because you repaid your employer’s plan, but because that is the tax law for everyone. It is possible that you will not have to pay taxes on all STD or LTD you got through your employer’s policy because you repaid part of it.

      Again, please keep in mind that my comments are just a start to help you discuss your tax situation with the appropriate tax professional.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  45. Lee says:

    Need HELP!

    Need assistance with social security disability

    currently on STD for a fall – started this time with broken wrist and spasms in shoulders various ailments.
    Dec. 16 date Prudential STD gave me to go back to work but cannot work. Have several appts. coming up. had brain scan, going to PT, more neurologists, tests, psiatrist, psych.

    Rheumotologist says nothing can be done.

    Nov 2012 ACDF operation replace 3 disks with fake disks and plate one of worse cases said doctors, had to cut out 2″+ inches of bone by spinal cord. Waking up from operation resulting in dead hand unable to work STD was up and went did not think to apply for disability at that time.
    back to work in March pain in neck slightly better, numbness still and
    pain in rest of spine as well in contstant pain.

    CURREN:
    Recent fall September made all worse (had 3 falls since operation)

    all ongoing diseases and many new diagnosis have been

    ⁃ Advanced Osteoarthritis (30 years getting progressively worse)
    ⁃ Ankylosing Spondilitis (30 years progressively worse)
    ⁃ Fibromyalgia
    ⁃ Severe muscle spasms in back and neck
    ⁃ Degenerative disk disease
    ⁃ more

    Pain all over chronic, spine and neck and hand numbness makes impossible to work. Cannot sit in front of computer nor stand due to spinal issues and now memory loss and loss of concentration since fall. Just had brain scan for memory and concentration.

    Getting worse every month, every year. No cure.

    Off balance

    blurred vision and strained AS causes Iritis on occasion

    blurry speech at times now

    PLUS psychological = OCD, PTSD, Depression, Bi-polar, Severe anxiety and panic attacks and more

    BIG QUESTION:
    apply for ssi or get attorney first once std thru prudential runs out i am fired anyway as i cannot work, cannot stand, sit or do much for any length of time. can only drive with one hand not safe cannot turn head due to repeated neck problems.

    Please advise. If apply it looks confusing site does how to start?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Lee,

      Apply for Social Security Disability now so that hopefully you will have a decision before your short term disability (STD) runs out and you are left without income.

      Often people with several different medical conditions need legal assistance to be successful with their claims. I suggest that you retain an attorney to help with your initial claim; don’t wait to be denied. You can obtain an excellent Social Security attorney by calling Disability Advisor at 1-888-393-1010. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your retroactive award at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  46. luis says:

    solicite el seguro social por incapacidad el mes de febrero , y estuve cobrando mis vacaciones de enfermedad hasta el mes de junio, luego me aprobaron el seguro social por incapacidad el mes de julio. Cuantos meses de retroactivo resivire y para cuando. gracias

  47. luis says:

    applying for social security disability February, and I was charging my holiday illness until June, then I passed the social security disability July. Retroactive resivire few months and when. thanks

  48. Barbara says:

    I am receiving SSDI for 2 years. Last Nov. I received a letter letting me know that due to my household income being high that my disability payment was being reduced by about 100.00 a month. The increase in income was due to my husband retiring that year and receiving his pension. Our income is about 210k less then that. Will they re-evaluate our income and increase it, or do I have to contact SSA and let them know that our income is less?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Barbara,

      Because your benefit is affected by your husband’s income, it sounds as if you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits and not Social Security Disability (SSDI). You do need to report the lower income to the Social Security Administration so they can evaluate to see if your SSI can be increased. Take whatever documentation you have to show that the income went down and when it went down.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  49. Sarah Jane Medida says:

    This question is for my mom situation. My mom is 70 years old and receiving SSS while still working at Wal-Mart. Two months ago she had a stroke and had a heart surgery twice and thank GOD she was able to survive. She was receiving STD from work temporarily, after 1 month she told me to stop the STD cause she wanted to go back to work. A week after she fell down and fractured her hips by the incident and got another surgery and now she’s currently in Nursing home. My question is, if she apply for a LTD and get approve, can she still receive her SSS? Also, How long is the LTD? I heard that SSI disability is bigger benefits that SSS. Can she apply both the LTD and SSI disability? Cause I believe that my mom can’t go back to work because of her situation. The most important question with you is, my mom have a 25 life insurance from her work. If my mom died God forbidden, is the company that she work with still provide that?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Sarah,

      Apologies for the delayed response. Our site has had a software problem, which is now resolved.

      You raise several questions.

      1. Can she get both LTD and Social Security Retirement? Her LTD will not affect her Social Security retirement. The provisions of the LTD policy will determine whether her Social Security will reduce her LTD. (Many LTD policies do not reduce benefits for Social Security Retirement benefits that an individual was receiving before becoming disabled, but you need to check the LTD–and STD–policy provisions to be sure.)

      2. LTD lasts as long as the policy says. The policy will have a maximum benefit period, which for older workers is usually fairly short. Ask for a copy of the policy (not a brochure) from her employer or from the insurance company.

      3. Whether or not your mother’s life insurance remains in force when she is not working depends on the provisions of the life insurance policy. request a copy of the life insurance policy from her employer or the insurance company and look at the provision that describes when insurance terminates.

      4. You do not say where she fell. If she fell at work, she might have a workers compensation claim also.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  50. Mary says:

    I have my SSA Hearing in a few weeks and I do have legal representation however they are on vacation. I am finishing an Unsuccessful Work Attempt and was given 2 choices by my employer, after clearly missing way more days (hours as I’m considered an hourly employee) of work due to my disability, than allowed. According to their written policy I should have been Terminated (this is written in their attendance policy that they have everyone sign every few months and I have already been given a written warning at the halfway period a month ago). I am just under 6 months.
    My psychiatrist has written explicitly that work of any kind has exacerbated my panic and mood disorder and I can not work and he has filled out tens of pages of forms indicated everything they need to know in detail. My neurologist also has documented work has exacerbated my anxiety and stress to the point that I experience uncontrollable migraines etc etc.
    My attorney feels the case is strong and before she left it seemed imminent I was getting fired.
    However my employer will not fire me! They have come up with two options (they do not know I had filed for disability 2 years ago or anything about it- only that I have severe migraines and have had to miss extensive amounts of work).
    Option 1- I Resign and have the option of coming back to the company at a later date when I am ‘well’ with no guarantee which dept or team, etc.
    Option 2- I take a 1 month leave of absence (unpaid) and come back, but if I then continue to call out and it ‘doesn’t work out’(…and again the manager would not, no matter how hard I tried, say ‘fired’ or ‘terminated’) I could not reapply.
    My question is this: If I RESIGN will that hurt my Unsuccessful Work Attempt statement? I mean, it was absolutely unsuccessful, but does quitting hurt my case?
    They want an answer TODAY (yes it’s Xmas) and my attorney is away until January 2nd.
    Please advise.
    Thanks
    Mary

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Mary,

      Apologies for the delayed response. Our site has had a software problem, which is now resolved.

      You may have already been able to confer with your attorney at this point, so you may have the advice you seek. What to do depends in part on whether you think your health will improve enough to work again. If so, you might want to leave the door open to returning to the company. Other considerations are impact on benefits. Do you have health insurance and other benefits that would continue while you were on a month’s leave of absence and that you could continue under COBRA if they ultimately terminate your appointment?

      Either choice you make, I recommend that you gather documentation of all your warnings and your poor attendance and the choices they are giving you so that you can document that you were not successful in your attempt to work. With this documentation, the choice you make should not affect your SSD claim. Either way, they are saying you can’t work for them any longer unless you can show up well, full-time.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  51. glenda butler says:

    I applied for disability in June of 2013 and I was told that I was approved but since I was a teacher and went back to work in August that I was not eligible. I have since become disabled from the same illness and am no longer able to work. Do I need to re-apply or can I just submit an appeal?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Glenda,

      Apologies for the delayed response. Our website has had a software problem, which is now resolved.

      If you are still in the appeals period, you can and should appeal. In your appeal, state that your return to work in August was an unsuccessful work attempt and that you ceased work again due to the same illness. If you are out of the appeals period, file a new claim. However, on the claim forms give the information that you applied previously and were medically approved. Also give the date you originally became disable, your return-to-work date, and the date you ceased work for same condition. There is a chance that the adjudicator would reopen the prior claim even though you are out of the appeals period.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  52. tammie says:

    am i suppose to be recieve LTD even if i currently recieve SSD ive been like this for nine years been receiving SSD 6yrs an workers comp for 9yrs for LTD keeps asking me to fill out paper work an there not paying me anything

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Tammie,

      Apologies for the delayed response. Our website has had a software problem, which is now resolved.

      You will need to talk with the long-term disability (LTD) insurance carrier to get an accurate answer regarding why you have to continue to complete updates with them. That said, here’s my guess. It appears that the LTD insurance company has your claim open with payment in suspense. They may think that your worker’s comp will run out in the future and that you will again be eligible for an amount of LTD to supplement your Social Security; therefore, they ask for medical updates to show that your are still disabled.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  53. Ess says:

    I received SS Disability for about a year due to a back injury that is not fixable. I found a job working from home ad I have done it for the past 4 years. They stopped my SS Disability because my income was over the SGA. I am at a point where I can no longer keep working due to the same back problem. I want to apply for Expidited Reistatement. I will be out on short term disability. Does short term disability count as SGA? Or will I need to quit the job to apply for the reinstatement?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear “Ess,”

      Short-term disability is not work earnings so it does not count in the evaluation of substantial gainful activity (SGA). You do not have to resign from your job to apply for Social Security Disability. Just watch your time frame and be sure that you stop work and apply for reinstatement before five years have passed since your benefits were terminated.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  54. faith says:

    hi, I’ve been out of work since may 2012 when I went out for surgery, I have a personal, short term disability policy I’ve been drawing 2000.00 a month tax free since I’ve been off. I filed for ssdi and if and when they approve me,will I have to pay back what I received thru that policy? I looked at it and didn’t see anything about overpayment. it will probably end before im approved…if approved

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Faith,

      Your short-term disability (STD) policy will say if there is a reduction of short-term disability for the receipt of Social Security. The reduction could be described in a section called “integration of benefits,” or “income from other sources” or in a section that explains how benefits are calculated. If there is an offset, it would likely apply retroactively and you would have an overpayment. I suggest that you talk to your insurance representative and ask whether the STD is affected by Social Security and whether you will have an overpayment if you are approved for months for which you already received STD. If they say yes, ask to be directed to the portion of the policy the provides for the reduction.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  55. Kathie Condo says:

    Hello, I am approved for SSI and my SSDI was not approved due to lack of medical reports. I waited until all my money was depleted with no job before applying and couldn’t afford drs. so altho I had SSDI credits I was denied.

    That’s fine though I really need the medicaid so I CAN have a Dr. and the SSI payments will help alot. But what about the back pay which will go back to Jan 2012 my award letter stated. Because I wasn’t paying any rent due to having no monies it will be reduced by the one-third reducion rule? And once I receive checks I will have to begin to pay rent and untility by means of fair share. Will I also be reduced for one month payment? I can’t let them know that upon receiving the checks I will be paying my fair share according to the amount divided by the people in the home paying? I’m confused.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Kathie,

      You are correct that for the months in which you received free housing, your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits will be reduced. As soon as you pay your share, you will no longer have that in-kind income. However, the amount of your check will go up two months later. For example, if you receive your back pay in January and pay rent for January, your SSI will be increased in March. This is the case because income received in one month determines your payment amount two months later. This system avoids overpayments, assuming that you report all income and living arrangement changes immediately and you remain eligible for SSI after the changes.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  56. Leslie says:

    Hello. In January 2013, I had a total hip replacement and went back to work in May. My job classification is full time, however I rarely work full time hours. Due to the pain, I ended up needing to have the other hip done and had that done at the end of July. I returned to work beginning of December, at the same time I found out that I was approved for social security disability. I have remained full time status at work, however have only been working 2-3 days per week because I am just not physically able to do the work. I am a nurse at a hospital. I have used benefit time at work to supplement my income. I did not receive any income at all from October until December. Last week I did work 5 days. It almost killed me. I can’t physically handle working anymore. I am not sure how to proceed. Am I still eligible for my social security disability benefits despite that I did attempt to return to work? My first payment is to come this week…any advice is appreciated.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Leslie,

      You do not say whether you have reported to Social Security that you returned to work twice. If you have not already done so, gather together all the exact dates that you were on and off work and your paystubs for the periods that you were working. If your earnings were under the substantial gainful activity level every month ($1,040 monthly gross in 2013), your work may not affect your eligibility. If your earnings in some months reached $1,040, but you did not sustain work at that level longer than three month (sometimes Social Security allows up to six months), you can claim that your returns to work were unsuccessful work attempts. (Presumably, your two hip replacements were due to the same underlying condition, osteoarthritis, so you can claim stopping work due the same disabling condition.) Unsuccessful work attempts during the first year of disability do not affect eligibility. If you have not provided this information before, I suggest that you do not cash the check until Social Security has determined that you are eligible to receive it.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  57. dave says:

    i am going thru a ssdi follow up. i was approved 2 years ago, and have received monthly payments from my previous employer thru disability third party. i was fired in january of last year and have not worked since 2012 so i have not been working but receiving payments. does that affect my ssdi? is that the reason they are now doing their revalatuion?

    • dave says:

      the total is 1200/month i receive from the 3rd party insurance

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Dave,

      Your third-party disability insurance is not considered work earnings, so it does not have a bearing on whether you are disabled according to Scoial Security law. Your claim is being reviewed because, at the time you were approved, it was thought that your health would improve to the point that you might no longer be disabled.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  58. dave says:

    sorry for multiple posts, mine seem to be disappearing

  59. Kathy Ayoub says:

    I am receiving Social Security for the past 3 years, at the time that I had applied, my employer put me in touch with the long term disability company that was going to help me, I had received notification of a Dolar amount I would get, so excited I bought a car and new I could handle this….much to my surprise, because I was “granted” my social security disability, the LTD company said they would offset and so instead of the large amount I thought I was going to get from them, it was dropped down to $50 a month, why can’t I collect on both what and who made these rulings??? I have been in a financial bind ever since this happened ..thank you

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Kathy,

      Almost all long-term disablity (LTD) insurance policies integrate their benefit with Social Security benefits. This means that LTD benefits are reduced by Social Security benefits both ongoing and retroactively for months in which they overlap. (You may have an LTD overpayment to repay.)

      The insurance policy and its provisions, including integration of benefits, is the policy your employer chose to provide. If the LTD benefits duplicated Social Security benefits, the premiums paid for the LTD insurance would be many times higher and perhaps unaffordable to your employer (or its employees if employees paid part of the premiums). Also, if you received the maximum LTD as if you had no other disability income, you might have been receiving more income in disability benefits than you were earning while working, which is not the intention of disability insurances. I hope this helps a bit with understanding.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  60. Dee says:

    On medical leave from work received short term disability (STD)and long term disability (LTD) (greater than a year), I was approved and received back pay from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). LTD insurer wants all monies from day 1 of LTD stating SSDI check received is an over payment. It is referenced in my employer’s policy that I must reimburse the insurer for over payment received if permanently disabled. The employer policy does not reference how far back the insurer can request the reimburse (e.g.day one of LTD to current or starting after 6 months of LTD to current) .The language is very very vague.

    I do not think it is fair or ethically correct. What is the point of paying years of STD/LTD insurance premiums.The loss of income from not working is significant and LTD barely covers any loss of income. I have tens of thousands of mounting medical bills not covered by health insurance. If anything the money should go to the medical providers.

    If I have to return the back pay, can I return the monies to Social Security Administration (SSA) stating I have already received LTD for the same period of time therefore SSDI back pay is considered an over payment thus I cannot accept the monies then inform LTD insurer that I am returning funds to SSA. SSA rep states I can return the monies and they will not reimburse insurer because I am denying the back pay and have already been paid through my employer’s LTD insurer.

    If I return the back pay to SSA, can the insurer sue me even though I reject the SSDI back pay monies?

    The LTD has already cut off my benefit as my SSDI is greater than the LTD benefit which is fine.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Dee,

      You should be overpaid long-term disability (LTD) only for the months for which you got Social Security Disability (SSD), not for the LTD months for which no SSD was paid.I recommend that you look over the calculation of the LTD overpayment to be sure that it is correct. (Correct amount of SSD, correct overlapping months, correct math.) If the calculation is correct, I recommend that you use the Social Security back pay to repay your LTD overpayment.

      You definitely should not return the Social Security Disability benefits. They are not an overpayment; you are eligible for the Social Security and it is the LTD that is overpaid. Also, you said that your Social Security is more than your LTD was. If you return your Social Security benefits, you will have to withdraw your social Security claim and you would likely be left with no income. (Most LTD policies have a provision that requires you to apply for other disability benefits such as Social Security and, if you don’t, not doing so is grounds for not paying the LTD.)

      Additionally, there are multiple benefits to receiving Social Security Disability. One is that after you receive twenty-four months of Social Security benefits (including back benefits), you will be eligible for Medicare. Also, if you pay taxes on your LTD, you may have a tax advantage in having your income be Social Security instead of LTD.

      Just a note: Nearly all LTD policies integrate LTD and Social Security to reduce LTD by Social Security received. If they did not, the premiums would be many times higher and unaffordable to most employers and individuals. The LTD tides you over while waiting a long time to get Social Security.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  61. Lollee says:

    Hi, I am only 43 years old and have been diagnosed with mitochondrial myopathy following a stroke like episode 10 months ago. I returned to work part time with the hope of a full recovery from the episode but after a recent muscle biopsy showing mitochondrial disease (neuromuscular disease…form of muscular dystrophy) there is no cure or treatment. I’m an administrator and have LTD benefits. I can no longer keep up with my workload as I am frequently having trouble walking and swallowing. I have decided to leave my job as soon as a replacement can be found and will continue to work part time until such time. Will I be able to file LTD with my company after I relinquish my position? The LTD benefit amount would likely be higher than SSD. I honestly do. Not know where to start.
    Thank you for your input.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Lollie,

      I suggest that you investigate eligibility under your company’s long-term disability (LTD) policy now. Many policies pay benefits for partial disability if you are not working and earning too much in your part-time work. Your policy will have information about working while disabled. You began to have earnings loss when you first left work and have partial earnings loss since the part-time return to work; therefore, When you file your LTD claim, be sure to claim the date you first went off work.

      If you are grossing less than $1,070 monthly in 2014 ($1,040 in 2013), you can also apply for Social Security Disability (SSD) now. If you are earning more than that amount, wait to apply until you stop work or are earning less. Even if your earnings have been above the amounts listed, if at the time you stop work, the duration of your part-time work is less than six months, then claim your original cease work date as your date of disability and list the part-time return to work as an unsuccessful work attempt.

      If you are approved for both LTD and Social Security, your LTD will probably be reduced by the amount of your Social Security. You may also have an LTD overpayment to repay with any retroactive Social Security benefits paid for the same months as the LTD. There are advantages to having some of your income come from Social Security. First there may be a tax advantage. Second, after twenty-four months of SSD benefits, you will be eligible for Medicare. Additionally, your Social Security Retirement benefit will not be reduced by years of no earnings if you are on record with Social Security as being disabled in those years.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  62. Tom says:

    It appears I have post therpetic neuralgia. I have been in a lot of pain and on pain meds for the last 3 months. Doc says this could be permanent. It is becoming more difficult to function through a work day while on all this medication. I am concerned about my future, does this sound like something that could calls me a total disability.? If so how does this ability insurance work along with Social Security disability? I do have a policy through work. And I guess I will have to be out of work a period of time before I can get Social Security disability benefits is that correct?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Tom,

      I cannot predict whether you will be approved for Social Security Disability (SSD). I suggest that you talk with a good Social Security lawyer to get an idea of whether you might qualify. If you are under age fifty, you must be unable to work in any occupation, whether or not you have done it in the past. Social Security considers your medical limitations, your education, work experience, and training. If you are age fifty or over, you only have to be disabled from occupations you have done in the past.

      You can receive both short- or long-term disability and SSD at the same time. If you are approved for both, your LTD will probably be reduced by the amount of your Social Security. You may also have an LTD overpayment to repay with any retroactive Social Security benefits paid for the same months as the LTD. There are advantages to having some of your income come from Social Security. First there may be a tax advantage. Second, after twenty-four months of SSD benefits, you will be eligible for Medicare. Additionally, your Social Security Retirement benefit will not be reduced by years of no earnings if you are on record with Social Security as being disabled in those years.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  63. B morris says:

    Hi, thank you in advance. My question is for my husband. He is a statutory employee delivering baked goods doing very physical labor for approximately 16-18 hours a day. Has done this for about 20 years. In October of 2012 he hurt his shoulder but Because he is consider an “independent contractor” and under contract, he is not covered under sick leave or work and comp. It got worse and in January of 2013 he had surgery for a complete rotator cuff and bicep tendon tear. He did get std for his employer because he had been paying for the insurance. It is not a “benefit”. He had a horrible recovery taking 6 months. Even then, based on the magnitude of physical labor he does, we felt it was too soon to go back but his employer wasn’t “playing nice” and we were worried they would breach his contract. Now six months after being back it appears he has messed up the previous repair. Apparently at least one of the metal anchors used in surgery has dislodged and wreaking havoc in the shoulder. Now it’s back to surgery to fix it all again but I am pretty certain that he will have to leave work this time because they will breach his contract if he is out again and I’m also certain that the doc will tell him he can’t go back to this line of work. I’m sure eventually he will be able to do something, just not what he is doing now and certainly not for equal income. We are worried about the std. Since they covered him for 6 months last year and now he will most likely have to leave his job they probably will not cover him again. And staying on or not will probably not be his choice. Since he is considered an independent contractor under contract they WILL breach him if they can.
    Would all this be basis for filing for SSD and how will that work later when he is able to go back to doing something but just not this and at a lower pay.
    Thanks for any info.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Ms. Morris,

      You raise two questions. First regarding the short-term disability (STD): The policy will say how long a person has to be back to work for the second period of disability to be considered a new period payable with a new benefit period. If your husband does not have a copy of the policy, he can request one from his employer or the insurance company.

      I recommend that your husband apply for Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to get a formal decision. To be eligible, your husband must be disabled or be expected to be disabled for twelve months. I suggest that he apply for for benefits and claim the first date October 2012 and include the dates he returned to work stating that they were an unsuccessful work attempt. Six months is on the outer edge for being approved for an unsuccessful work attempt, but it is worth a try.

      Even if Social Security does not approve an unsuccessful work attempt, your husband might be approved based on his most current cease work date. You do not say how old your husband is. If he is age fifty or older, he only has to be disabled from occupations he has performed in the past. If your husband’s final condition after he has fully recovered from his next surgery, he is restricted from the level of lifting that he used to do, he may be approved even if he can do some other light work. If he is under age fifty, he will have to be disabled from all occupations he could do given his education, training, and work experience. If he is denied because they say that he will not be disabled twelve months, wait until about six weeks into the sixty-day appeals period and appeal if he is still disabled. By the time they process the appeal, he will be closer to the twelve months.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  64. Ann says:

    I have been receiving LTD since 2012 and the LTD company has made be file for Social Security. The LTD company has provided legal representation free of cost, although they have not done much from what I can tell. I have been denied twice now and will appeal again and likely need to go before an ALJ. Are there any resources you can refer me to on extra things I can do to help my case/next appeal? Also, is it possible for my LTD company to cancel me if I do not get approved for Social Security benefits? It does not stipulate that in my policy, but still I am concerned they may try to find a way out if they have to continue to pay the full amount of my benefits each month.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Ann,

      Most long-term disability (LTD) insurance policies will not terminate your benefits if you are denied Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits through all the appeals levels. They will suspend benefits if you do not pursue SSD.

      To help your case, be sure that the attorney firm your insurance company is providing has all the information possible about your condition. To review whether you have submitted everything you can, I suggest that you read the articles under the “Apply” and “Hearings” tabs on the navigation bar of DisabilityAdvisor.com.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  65. Karen says:

    Hi
    I contacted you before …
    I recently found out I have Osteoarthritis
    And chronic venous insuffiency disease,
    I am also profoundly hearing impaired
    ( I have a cochlear implant gives me about
    35-40%hearing in.my left ear, I have very
    Little , maybe 20 % in right… If that)
    I still work, I work cause I have to pay my
    Bills and I need health insurance .
    Help me out here…
    Can I apply for disabilty now while I’m still
    Working?
    Thank you
    Karen Ligocki

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Karen,

      If you apply while you are working and earning $1,070 or more gross per month, your claim will be denied because of your work. It can take two to five months to get a decision on a Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim. If you feel that you cannot continue working, you might investigate whether you are covered under a short-term disability plan through your employer or whether you can get disability benefits on a temporary basis from your state or county to tide you over till you have a decision.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  66. dave says:

    i just received another request from florida health for ssdi asking for 3 people they can contact.
    i don’t speak to anyone except my father and significant other, is that acceptable to them?
    what questions would an adjudicator be asking? is this a bad thing they want people to contact?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Dave,

      The examiner probably wants to talk with people who know you to get their impression of how your condition affects your daily life. The information provided will be part of the total package of information considered in making the decision. Given the examiner contact information for your father and significant other and tell the examiner that you do not see or speak to other people.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  67. Rhonda says:

    I was just approved for SSD recently. However, for many years I paid into LTD and was denied. My LTD would have covered a gap between what I will receive from SSD and 66% of my annual salary.

    Do I have any recourse to get LTD to pay me since SSD states that I’m disabled?

    Thank you for in advance for your advice.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Rhonda,

      If you are still in the appeals period for your LTD denial, then you can appeal. Even if you are outside the appeals period, you could recontact the insurance company and ask them to administratively review the denial because you have been approved for Social Security Disability. Give them a copy of your Social Security Disability approval letter. If your LTD is through an employer policy, you might also talk to your employer’s benefits department or human resource department to explain the situation and ask for their support. An administrative reopening and approval would be a courtesy to you. It is unlikely that the insurance company would have a legal obligation to do so. If they refuse to do so, of course, you could sue; but that is complicated and expensive. NOTE: I am not advising you to sue.

      Best regards,

      Kay

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  68. dave says:

    also, do they call the people i list or do they get the mail packet to fill out information

  69. stephan says:

    does ssdi mail packets for disability reviews? i had to list 3 people for them to contact and was wondering if they would called via phone or sent packets?
    is it normal for them to ask for reference?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Stephan,

      Social Security sometimes asks friends and family to provide information about how your medical condition affects your daily life. The most common situation is when a claim is based on mental illness or chronic pain. The contacts you list will likely be sent a questionnaire.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  70. stehanie says:

    hi,
    i was fired about a year ago and have been on the ssdi program for a few years. my question is that since i was fired, would i be able to collect unemployment as i can attempt to work one day a week and also would that affect my ssdi payments going forward.

    thank you.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Stephanie,

      Too much time may have passed to now be claim unemployment based on a partial ability to work. To find out for sure, you need to contact your state’s unemployment benefit office. The receipt of unemployment will not affect Social Security Disability (SSDI). It is also unlikely that one day of work will affect your Social Security benefit in that you are likely to earn less than $1,070 monthly. However, you do need to report the work. (If you were receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), unemployment would affect your SSI payment amount.)

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  71. RettySee says:

    I’m 35 years old. I was diagnosed with hbp and osteo arthritis in both knees from my pcp in 2009. I was given meds for bp and for inflammation and pain.Although in pain, I continued to work. As time went on my performance started to deteriorate and I was let go from my job in March 2011 after 9 years. Since then I received unemployment until 12/2012. I didn’t want to believe I was disabled. I thought I would rest a bit then get back out and get a job. I had lost my health insurance so my then significant other and I decided to finally get married in April 2011 so I’d have health insurance. During that time my pain was getting worse. It became more difficult to walk and stand for long periods of time. I got depressed and started having anxiety attacks. I’ve had a bad opinion of the ssa due to my mom not being approved for arthritis so I didn’t bother to apply. As time went on it got worse, my mobility is limited. Although I have good days, they are few and far between. I was also diagnosed with a high grade rotator cuff tear in oct 2013. I received a steroid shot for that and am going to physical therapy. In 1/2014 I received shots in my knees to help cushion and relieve some pain. As of today It has not worked. My savings have deteriorated along with my marriage. I’m unable to do the work I’m qualified for because it requires labor intensive activities and alot of standing and lifting. My education and experience is limited. I just got my ged in 12/2013. I finally applied for ssd in 12/2013. I put my date of disability as 3/2011 because that’s when I was fired and was no longer able to do my job. In 1/2014 i was sent to one of their psychologists to be evaluated. I want to get better and return to the workforce. I need some type of schooling to gain skills that don’t require lifting and standing. I need money to go to dr’s to get better both mentally and physically. Now it’s all about the waiting game. Will being married or my husbands income affect me receiving benefits?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear RettySee,

      If you have enough work credits to be insured for Social Security Disability (SSD), your husband’s income and assets will not affect your claim for SSD benefits. His assets and possibly a portion of his income will be considered in determining whether you meet the financial guidelines for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability.

      You might contact your state’s Department of Vocational Rehabilitation to see if you would qualify for rehabilitation assistance. Given that you have health insurance, you may be able to arrange medical care on some sort of sliding scale that would minimize what you have to pay in addition to your insurance company’s payments. I suggest talking with your medical providers to see if that is a possibility.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • RettySee says:

        I’ve received a letter being denied. What I deem a disability, is not severe enough. It states that I’m capable of doing work (even if it’s part time) where I’m able to walk and stand for a shift, a job where I can lift 20lbs and carry 10lbs as well as a job that I only have to use one arm and has limited responsibilities. Now that’s a big joke. For one I can’t stand for more than 15 minutes nor walk 3 blocks with out pain. What is the next step I should take? Do you know of any reputable disability lawyers? I’ve seen an “800″ number up here, but cant seem to find it. Is being denied the first time very common? Please advise. Thank you.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear RettySue,

          Because you believe that you are disabled, you should appeal because some people who are denied on initial claim are approved on appeal. I do recommend legal representation for an appeal. You can obtain an excellent Social Security attorney by calling Disability Advisor at 1-888-393-1010.You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your retroactive award at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

          Sincerely,

          Kay

  72. Sophie says:

    Hello,
    I am currently receiving SS benefits, LTD, and a survivors benefit from my husband. Since my husbands passing in 2012, my income was significantly decreased. Do my benefits change based on total family income? Also, when I turn 65 and my LTD stop, do my SS benefits change? Will I receive any disability benefits after age 65?
    Thank you.

    .

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Sophie,

      Your Social Security benefits from both your and your husband’s earnings records are not based on family income. They are based on the amount of earnings you have over your lifetimes. Your Social Security Disability (SSD) will not increase when you reach your Social security Normal Retirement Age (SSNRA), which is age 66 or older, depending on the year you were born.

      If you have not already done so, you might inquire with a Social Security claims representative about the possibility of declining any more benefits on your husband’s record until you reach normal retirement age and then switching from your SSD only to survivor’s only. Under some circumstances doing so can result in higher Social Security benefits than continuing to receive from both accounts. In other words, you receive a lower amount now (your SSD only) to receive a higher benefit later (survivor’s). A claims representative can give you specific calculations.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Sophie says:

        Thank you for your response. My husband did not qualify for SS because he was a federal employee. My concern is my LTD. when it ends, does my SS change? Before I received SS, my LTD was more but now the SS and LTD equal what my original LTD used to be. I wasn’t sure if SS would reevaluate after LTD ends. Thank you for your time and response. I am trying to understand all of this!

        Sophie

  73. Denise says:

    I have been having a lot of health issues for nearly two years. I had to stop working last year because I was having severe migraines with blackouts, that caused me to miss a lot of work. I stopped working in February of last year, constantly back and forth to the Doctor. Thinking I was better, I started a part time job in December and a month into that job I began having more health issues. Now, on top of my migraines, I have severe stomach problems. A few of the Doctors I am seeing have said some of my problems are due to severe anxiety. I am on medication for anxiety, migraines and a few more issues. I have had an office job but could barely work, I am constantly having to miss work because of my health issues, should I file for disability? Do you think I would get approved?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Denise,

      The best way to find out whether you qualify for disability benefits is to file a claim. I suggest that you claim the date you ceased work in February 2013 as your disability onset date. List your subsequent work as an unsuccessful work attempt. Be sure that you are thorough in listing all your conditions and the mental and physical demands of your past jobs. Information about filing a disability claim can be found in the articles under the “Apply SSD” tab on DisabilityAdvisor.com.

      If you are denied and you think the decision is incorrect, I recommend getting a Social Security attorney to help with the appeal.You can obtain an excellent Social Security attorney by calling Disability Advisor at 1-888-393-1010.You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your retroactive award at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  74. Sabrina Reed says:

    I was approved for SSD for a closed period. This time period was for 13 months. I received LTD during that same time period from my employer. The amount that I received from LTD was less than the amount that I was awarded from SSD. Will I have to pay anything back to LTD?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Sabrina,

      You may have to repay all the long-term disability (LTD) that you received for the same months that Social Security was paid. If your LTD was paid for months before your Social Security entitlement, you would not have to repay LTD for those months. Also, there is a possibility that your LTD policy has a minimum payment. If it does, you would be able to keep LTD equal to the minimum payment. For example, if your LTD was $1,000 a month with a $50 minimum benefit, you would only have to repay $950.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  75. Michael says:

    Dear Kay,
    I have been out of work since April 3, 2013, after having a high tibual osteotomy. My projected time for recovery was 6-8 months. I haven’t been able to return to work due to severe muscle atrophy in my right quad along with femoral nerve damage. I can walk without assistance, but have trouble climbing and descending staurs due to the weakness in my thigh. I have a constant pain in my leg which is now causing me discomfort while I sleep. I have applied for SSDI and have been denied twice and now awaiting a hearing date. SSA says I can still work. I don’t understand what they are meaning by that statement. I worked as an aircraft mechanic in the Navy and when I retired at age 41, I continued my career in the aviation field with a big company. I have 24 yrs exoerience. My theory is if I have to make a career change at age 50, it costs money to do so. I have a third party representative helping me out. Do you
    think I will get approved?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Michael,

      If you are over age fifty, you only have to be disabled from occupations you have done in the past. If you are under age fifty, you have to be unable to perform all occupations for which your have transferable skills. If you turned fifty while your claim has been pending, that could be to your favor.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  76. Alistair Crawford says:

    I have been off work for 5 years with heart problems ( 3 heart attack) and cant go back to work.

    My employers insurance have been paying half my wages all this time, am i untitled to any social security benefits, disability etc.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Alistair,

      You may be eligible for Social Security Disability. I recommend that you start your application before the end of the month so that you do not lose any more back benefits. (Social Security Disability pays only twelve months prior to the month of application.) Use the date that you ceased work as your disability date and provide medical documentation back to that time. You have to have a certain amount of work credits at the time that you became disabled. Because you may not be insured now, you need to establish that you have been disabled ever since you stopped work.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Alistair Crawford says:

        Thanks, Sorry for not replying sooner, I am still getting half my wages and will do until i retire or death, do you think it is worth while applying as i have no idea about this sort of thing as i have worked all my days.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Alistair,

          I do think that it is worth it to apply for Social Security Disability. Refer to my previous response about claiming your original cease- work date as your disability date. One advantage of applying and being determined disabled by Social Security is that, if you don’t your Social Security retirement benefit may be lower when you reach retirement age than if you establish disability years with the Social Security Administration. Another benefit is that, depending on whether your current insurance benefits are taxable or not, getting part of your income from Social Security can be favorable in terms of tax liability. And, after two years of Social Security Disability benefits have been paid (including retroactive months), you will be eligible for Medicare, which could reduce your medical insurance premium costs.

          Something to keep in mind: most employer-sponsored disability insurance policies reduce the insurance payment for the amount of Social Security received. That means, if you are approved, you will need to use most or all of your retroactive Social Security to repay your long-term disability overpayment for months that the two benefits overlapped.

          Lastly, if any other benefits such as medical insurance are tied to your receiving disability insurance payments under your employer’s policy,I suggest that you get an estimate of how much your Social Security would be. If it is more than your LTD and your LTD would stop, you need to balance the pros and cons of losing the other ancillary benefits.

          Sincerely,

          Kay

          Sincerely,

          Kay

  77. Jerry says:

    What income benefit is available for someone who has been out of work due to illness since October 2013 and expected to return by June of 2014? He does not have long or short term disability benefits and his sick/vacation time ran out in December.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jerry,

      Disability must have lasted or be expected to last twelve months to be covered by either the Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income programs, so benefits would not be payable for a disability that from October 2013 through June 2014. You might investigate to see if your county or state has any short-term disability cash assistance. You might also apply for food stamps, Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), or energy assistance to help pay for heating bills. If government sources are not of available, you might contact churches and private charitable organizations.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  78. Debbie says:

    I have advanced terminal cancer and I was approved for Social Security Disability as of 9/17/13 which is as far back as I have documented. I’m receiving California State short term Disability for 12 months until 9/17/14. Will my SSD be lowered because of the state disability? Also, my job terminated me at 4 months extending my health until 3/31/14, but now I understand I can’t get Medicare for 24 months. My doctors don’t think I’ll last that long and I’m in the middle of chemo right now. Is there anyway to get Medicare sooner? Should I appeal the Medicare part?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Debbie,

      There is no way to get Medicare before receiving twenty-four months of Social Security benefits. I suggest that you apply for Medicaid through a state office and if that is not successful, apply for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA, Obamacare). Of course, another option would be to continue your current health insurance under COBRA law, although the premiums may be higher than insurance obtained through the ACA.

      Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will be garnished for temporary disability assistance received for the same months as the temporary assistance. Social Security Disability will not be garnished, but you may have signed an agreement to repay.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  79. Richard Morse says:

    My question is if you are 59 and have worked your whole life and become disabled and unable to work and apply for Social Security Disability will your payment be less than if you waited to file for regular Social Security at 62. If so when you turn 62 does Social Security take you off disability and onto regular Social Security and reinstate your payment to what it is supposed to be if you retired at 62?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Richard,

      If you become disabled at age fifty-nine and are approved for Social Security Disability, your benefit will be more than your Social Security Retirement at age sixty-two. If you were born in 1954, your Social Security Normal Retirement Age (SSNRA), at which you can receive unreduced benefits, would be age sixty-six. If you were born in 1955, your SSNRA would be sixty-six and two months. There is a reduction in benefits for every month before your SSNRA that you take retirement benefits. Disability benefits are unreduced and are paid as if you were at your normal retirement age, and the amount stays the same when you reach SSNRA.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  80. Andrew says:

    My wife is receiving a retirement disability check from nj due to a work injury. She also gets her health insurance which covers all our family free. This is thru the nj division of pensions for teachers. She never applied for Ss disability because she thought she would be able to return to some sort of job. This may not be possible now. We received a letter from the division of pensions stating if receive a Ss disability pension that we need to apply for medicare. My question is would we lose the state health insurance plan she goes on medicare or would medicare be secondary. If we lose the plan we have now which is good it’s not worth applying for Ss. My daughter and myself are on my wife’s plan. We are both below age 50.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Andrew,

      Unless your wife is on kidney dialysis, she will be eligible for Medicare at age sixty-five or after receiving twenty-four months of Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits.

      You and your wife need to carefully look over the provisions of her teacher’s disability retirement and her health insurance policy, including provisions related to the continuation of the family’s health insurance to see if it requires her to apply for Social Security disability in order to get Medicare and also to see whether your wife would continue to receive teachers health insurance as a supplement to Medicare and whether the family benefits would continue. Another point to look for, is to see whether your wife’s teacher’s benefit would be reduced by Social Security disability or she could receive the full amount of both. If needed, get a person experienced in insurance to help you understand the policies.

      As an aside, if your wife paid Social Security tax when she worked as a teacher, it could be to her long-term advantage to apply for Social Security Disability. Social Security does not include years of zero earnings in a retirement benefit calculation if the worker has received Social Security Disability for those years. This means that her Social Security Retirement benefit could be higher at retirement age if she were to be approved for disability now.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Andrew says:

        Thanks for the reply. She did pay social security when she worked. I did find out that she does not have to apply for ssid but I was more concerned about medicare being her primary insurance vs our bc/bs plan. Basically my daughter and myself would continue to have that plan and she would have medicare as primary and bc/bs as secondary. Don’t know how much ssid would be per month for her. Figure worked 20 years 10 at last job. Where would I find out about if her benefit would be higher at retirement if applies for disability now.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Andrew,

          I don’t think you can get the calculation that you are looking for. Social Security benefit calculations are automated based on a complicated formula, and I do not think you can get that calculation run until your wife actually reaches retirement age with actual work history or lack thereof for the intervening years. A current earnings statement will show projected retirement and disability benefits. You can check with the Social Security Administration to be sure I am not mistaken about the availability of such an advance calculation. I can tell you that retirement benefits are based on the worker’s highest thirty-five years of earnings. If your wife does not work again, her retirement calculation would be based in part of fifteen years of zero earnings, unless she receives Social Security Disability for those years. If she does, an adjustment is made in the formula to factor out the zero years.

          Sincerely,

          Kay

  81. Scott says:

    I am age 70. Up until my illness I was working full time and chose to take Social Security since age 66. I now have advanced cancer and I am out on medical leave. If I go on my company LTD plan it says will pays 60% of my salary for 2 years. My question: Will my LTD payment be reduced by the amount my Social Security Check? Or is that reduction only for someone on Social Security Disability payment. I don’t know how to make it is is reduced!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Scott,

      To get the answer to your question, you will have to look at your long-term disability (LTD) plan. If you do not have a copy of the actual policy, ask for one from either your employer or the insurance company itself. I will say that some LTD policies do not reduce LTD benefits for Social Security Retirement benefits that were already being received prior to becoming disabled.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  82. Scott says:

    Thank you I need to contact Human Resources for the fine print. From what I read the summary says 60%, less other income. In that case it looks grim.

    At my age, would I be eligible for SSDI in lieu of Social Security retirement? Would that be a higher payment than the Social Security benefit?

    Thank you so much. This is such a stressful time!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Scott,

      Social Security Disability benefits are not available to people who are at full retirement age, so your only choice is Social Security retirement. In any event, Social Security Disability benefits would not be more than your retirement, which I believe you said that you started to receive when you reached full retirement age.

      I suggest that you file a formal application for long-term disability benefits with your company’s policy to get a formal determination of eligibility and benefit amount. Usually the “60% less other benefits” means less benefits that start after disability begins, not retirement benefits already in place. Even is that is not true of your policy, you may be eligible for some LTD above the amount of your Social Security retirement.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  83. Shirley Heatwole says:

    Kay,
    I stopped working as an RN on July 28, 2013. I had costochondritis, dealing with back pain for several years. Unfortunately, my doctors didn’t catch my Cancer. On Oct.8, 2013 I fractured my back doing physical therapy. I was diagnosed with Lung Cancer with mets to the bone Stage IV, I was told I have 9-12 months. I started on STD paying 60% of my pay. At age 55, I applied to SSD and was approved within one week because of my terminal diagnosis. Jan. 26th I was switched to Long Term Disability, I have read through the other postings. My question is if my pre-disability monthly earnings as stated by LTD is 4,462.90. Giving me 60% is $2677.74. I have been approved for SSD, I am to receive $2014.00 starting the end of this month Does this mean that my LTD will be reduced by 228.84$ so I do not receive more then my Pre-disability monthly earnings? I would appreciate your answer. I am confused by all this. I have not had any guidance. Thanks Shirl

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Shirley,

      Based on the figures you gave me–$2,677.74 maximum LTD and $2,014 Social Security Disability, your LTD benefit would be $664.74 ($2,677.74 less $2,014). You will be asked to use your retroactive SSD to repay your LTD overpayment for months that the SSD overlaps with LTD already paid.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  84. Jim McGuire says:

    I’m 53 now
    Back in 2011 I began having back pain,An MRI showed 4 bulging Disc.One impinging on the nerve
    They recommended Steroid Injections.I was concerned about side affects so put them off until June 2013.Injection never worked and now am laid off collecting unemployment.had another MRI june 2013 showed same condition,Tried Physical therapy,Chiropractor
    I have worked for the same co for 23 years in construction and can no longer climb ladders and scaffolding and do my job.
    I’ve been told that I can get SSD for my back condition since it is permanent and has lasted since 2011
    what are your thoughts thanks Jim

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jim,

      The best way for you to find out if you qualify for Social Security Disability benefits is to apply. You are over age fifty, so to qualify you only have to be unable (or be expected to be unable) to perform past occupations for twelve months or more.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  85. nosa says:

    Hi,
    I would appreciate your help.
    I’m a Canadian who worked in the State for about four years and 3 months, I had a car accident back in 2012 that caused me to be home and unable to work since 08/2013 , sever back pain , nerve compression, depression and other details in my back and neck. I’m on SSD now, and I will be moved to Long term in few days, I have no idea about my rights , I’m receiving 60% of my income through my employer insurance ,can you advice me .Also I need to know how can keep earning credits with SSI . Thank you ,any advice is appriciated

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Nosa,

      SSI is Supplemental Security Income and, although administered by the Social Security Administration, it is not Social Security and eligibility is based on financial need, not work credits. Social Security work credits are earned only through Social Security-taxed work earnings and Social Security-taxed sick pay and short-term or long-term disability benefits paid in the first six months off work.

      You do not say whether you also worked in Canada. The U.S. and Canada have a cooperative Social Security agreement that allows combining earnings and work credits from the two countries to determine Social Security eligibility. I suggest that you visit a Social Security office to find out whether you have enough work credits to apply for Social Security Disability. (Your short-term and long-term disability is likely too high for you to qualify for SSI.)

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • nosa says:

        thank you for responding,
        to answer your question about working in Canada, No I don’t work here too .

        Can explain to me what do you mean here :

        Your short-term and long-term disability is likely too high for you to qualify for SSI –

        Thanks

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Nosa,

          Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal disability and old-age assistance program for people who have not worked enough for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits or have a low SSD benefit and little or no other income and limited resources. If your short-term disability is $741 or more per month (before any withholding), your income is too high to qualify for SSI (unless you have a disabled or aged (over sixty-five) husband who has little or no income.

          Sincerely,

          Kay

  86. nosa says:

    Sorry , I meant I’m on STD now not SSD.thanks.

  87. Nakia says:

    I suffered two heart attacks and had quadruple bypass surgery within a 6 month time period at age 50.
    Currently under long term disability and now being asked to apply for SSI.
    1. What are the chances of getting approved with many side effects from illness?
    2. I was asked to apply for ADA waiver after FMLA ended. I’m afraid if I’m pressured to return to work I will get fired or laid off because of relapse what safety net with regards to income will I have?

    Thank you!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Nakia,

      If you are receiving long-term disability (LTD), you were asked to apply for Social Security Disability (abbreviated as SSD or SSDI), not SSI, which is Supplemental Security Income, a federal public assistance program. If you have been asked to apply for SSD by your long-term disability insurance company, it means that the company representative thinks–based on the information in your file–that you will qualify and it would be advisable to apply. Many policies with reduce your LTD benefit by a presumed amount of Social Security if you refuse to apply.

      I am not knowledgeable about Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) laws or what signing a waiver would mean. I suggest that you contact the ADA agency or an attorney knowledgeable in ADA and employment law. Alternatively, if you belong to a union, the union might have helpful information.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  88. Michael says:

    Dear Kay,
    I wrote to you on February 12, I’m the aircraft mechanic. I saw my Dr today and was told that I have femoral nerve dysfunction and that is causing my severe muscle atrophy in my right quad. I will be fitted for a brace to stablize my knee and to prevent further injury. He stated that it could take up to 2 yrs for the nerve to heal. With this new findings on my condition and being 50, are my chances of getting approved for SSD at my hearing be in my favor. Also, can my current long term disability that I currently get monthly stop if my company decides to terminate my employment? Do I need to apply for the supplemental income as well? Thank you for all you do for everyone on this website. I’m sure it eases our minds that we can ask questions and not be like what is going to happen in our lives due to a tragic illness or disabling condition.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Michael,

      Please see my previous reply. The new information you provide–a two year for prognosis for recovery–helps clarify your condition and could work in your favor. The primary question will be whether you can perform your prior occupation of aircraft mechanic, which you had been doing for a long time, while wearing a leg brace and with any accompanying symptoms.

      Your long-term disability benefits should not be affected by termination of your employment. The events that can cause your LTD to end will be listed in your LTD policy in a section title something like “When Benefits End.” (Caution: NOT the section entitled, “When Insurance Ends.”)

      Glad to be of help.

      Kay

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  89. Michael W says:

    Hey Everyone,
    I didn’t have time to look at every comment or question in the thread but still hoping someone can help me. My wife recieves SSD for severe depression and anxiety. That in mind a letter from SS is enough to trigger stress that can pretty much overwhelm her completely. She is strong Willed and battled her condition her whole life and dislikes getting the benefits, she would rather work. For now she just isn’t able to. She did however go back to work for a big company in 2009 and it was a struggle for her and an adjustment she did exceptionally well. In 2011 she started falling into depression and it was effecting her ability to perform her work, she did all she could before going back to SSD. She exhausted FMLA and the lady suggested short term disability insurance if she had coverage. We decided that a break from work was for the best, she had the insurance and notified social security of the situation and that she needed to get back on benefits in the future. That was a rough patch back then and didnt realize that 2 months overlapped where she recieved the S term insurance as well as SSD. It was in no way intentional and 3 years later we get a letter saying 6 k was overpaid and if necessary they will take all her benefits every month until its repaid. I understand its a process and we have options but for her it has a much bigger impact on her mental health. In curious if
    1-getting short term disability and SSD at the same time, accidental or intentionally is considered “substantial work income”?

    2-does a severance package, extended pay after a lay off, or back vacation, sick days, etc payed to an employee after leaving a job considered income earned from work by social security?

    3-in the likely outcome that reconsideration and appeal is there a specific percentage of expense/income ratio SSD uses to determine if a someone is eligible for a reduced payment? After bills and prescriptions most months it’s negative. We have been losing money just about every month the last year, 2 or 3 months of lost benefits would be a nightmare.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Michael,

      The following remarks on based on the assumption that your wife was and is getting Social Security Disability (SSD), not Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

      It sounds as if your wife should file a request for reconsideration, contesting the overpayment and request that collection be deferred until the outcome of the appeal. She has to appeal within sixty days of the date of the overpayment letter to be in the appeals period. If she is outside that period, Social Security might reopen the decision of their own accord if the evidence that she shows is clear that some of her income was paid for periods that she was not working. If the Social Security Administration (SSA) made its overpayment determination based on an interface between the IRS (tax) and SSA computer systems and the overpayment was based on her getting disability benefits for months before she stopped work, then they may have counted months of accrued vacation, sick pay and/or short-term disability. If that is the case, then she probably is either not overpaid or not overpaid as much as they say.

      Whether or not an appeal is filed, your wife can make a written request to reduce the collection to a lower amount each month, explaining specifically the financial reasons your expenses are more than your income. Or, if she believes she didn’t cause the overpayment (including didn’t use benefits she knew weren’t due) and can’t afford to repay, she can request a waiver of repayment on form SSA 632.

      If your wife’s benefits are SSI benefits, then her STD, sick pay, and vacation pay would would affect her SSI eligibility and her only recourse would be to request reduction of the collection rate or waiver of repayment.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  90. D says:

    Can a widow age 60 applying for Social Security benefit to begin in April and currently on short-term disability from work be paid by both without penalty? If person goes back to work part-time for a week and it is an unsuccessful attempt, will STD and LTD remain in effect and how will that affect the widow benefit? Not being able to return to work would the widow qualify for SSDI at an earlier age than 65? Should the widow quit the job or continue with STD & LTD, not having insurance for a period would not benefit the widow, STD & LTD would still cover insurance.

    Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear D.,

      You will have to look at your short-term (STD) and long-term (LTD) disability policies to see whether Social Security widows benefits based on age will cause a reduction in your STD and LTD. Many policies do have a reduction. A week’s attempted work would probably not affect have a significant effect on your LTD, but you do need to report it to the insurance company. If you worked while on STD, it might cause your STD claim to close and for you to have to file a new STD claim with a new unpaid waiting period of a few days.

      Social Security widows benefits will not be reduced because you are receiving STD or LTD; however, widow’s benefits are reduced if you receive them before full retirement age, which for you is likely to be age sixty-six. The reduction is substantial and permanent. If you are disabled and have work earnings sufficient to be insured for Social Security Disability, it could be to your financial advantage to apply for Social Security Disability on your own work record and leave the widows benefits untouched until you reach full retirement age. This would be true if the unreduced widow’s benefit is higher than your disability benefit. I suggest that you make an appointment with a Social Security claims representative to go over the different choices you have.

      Your human resource department can tell you how long and under what conditions your health insurance continues when you are not working. You can receive Medicare after receiving twenty-four months of Social Security Disability or disabled widows benefits. (You can apply for disabled widows benefits just to qualify for Medicare before age sixty-five, even though you are old enough to qualify for reduced widows benefits based on age alone.)

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  91. Mike says:

    I had a major stroke bleed in 2-12-13 my work felt sorry for me and let me basicaly draw a check for a 20hr work week. All be it i make $22 an hour. At first they were willing to help me cause ive been with the company for 15 years but now they have zero jobs i can do. I applied for ssd this feb 2/13/14 i just cant sit walk or stand for more than 4hrs a day. On a pain patch that makes me unsafe in the work place doing any jobs. Ive been a mechanic for the last 15 years. My company was giving me chariaty as in part time $$$ i wasnt preforming any jobs just getting ins and a check of between $310 and $380 a week for the last 8 months. Whats a guys odds going for ssd in this at age 40 after a stroke?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Mike,

      Be sure that your claim file shows that you were not working while getting a pay check from your employer. You should claim February 12, 2013 as your disability date even though you received pay after that date. You will need a letter from the employer indicating that you were not working and that they were basically paying you sick pay until they felt they no longer could and could not put you back to work because they didn’t have any work you could perform.

      At your age, you must also be disabled from occupations that you have done in the past and from other occupations for which you have transferable skills. Disabled means being unable to perform substantial gainful activity, which currently has an earnings benchmark of $1,070 gross per month. Whether you are approved will depend on whether your medical records support your four-hour a day work limitations and whether, if so, there are occupations you could do in which you could make substantial earnings.

      Looking to the future, while you are waiting for your claim to be processed, you might contact the department of vocational rehabilitation of your state to see whether they can provide rehabilitative services such as skills assessment and identification of occupations you could perform or be trained for that you could physically perform given your symptoms and medication side effects.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  92. john medeiros says:

    hi my name is john and live in california, i have beenn employed for 31 years and a plant manager for the last 15 years,agust 19 th 2012 i went to ER with chest pains and a major mental and stress disorder, was treated and back to work after 3 days ,on sept. 10 2012 the same thing happen, was told by my boss to come to work when I could and work only half days few days a week, on sept 25th 2012 I went back tor with restrictions and following my boss order, after meeting with him and start working on hi assignments , he came back to my offices and want it to talk with me about my situation, told me about performance issues in which I had no clue,and the best thing was for the company to give me 60 days notice and a severance package, i went home not feeling very good , and went to see m dr , which put me off work , i start to seek treatment from a phychiatirst and theurapist for my mental disorder and taking pain medication for my lower back problem, I have been one of the top plant managers very loyal, make lots of sacrifices with my family so I could be at work solving lots of problems and helping other with their plants for the whole company, travel to help other plants with my expertises increasing profits ,working 6 to 7 days weekly and at time sleeping in hotel closer to the company so I don’t have to drive an hour plus home after a very long day at work, talked to HR about my situation they told me this was not going to be a workers comp CLAIM should be STD, i question them why , the insurance and the company told me that it was going to make me and my family miserable , they will ask questions about my family person’s life and myself , the insurance company even told me the reason they are letting me go is due to the company closure on december 14th 2012 which it was a complete lie, i ask the HR about that and they told me it was not true and would find out why i was told about that, they apologize to me later on.well I have been off work since then, std and ltd run out and for the past 4 months i have been receiving benefits from a ltd ( insurance company) which is alot less that state disability, the advocate group help me applying for SSD, which i believe they accept my claim yesterday.back on may 2013 i file a workers comp claim for my back, which is under investigation still. my dr told me due to their policies i could not get anymore time off notice, i contact the company and was asked in order to come to back to work i need a dr. work release which i supplied them restrictions no more than 4 hours to work from work or home, i wait for 4 days , company ask me for a meeting, i meet with them , they not even mentioned anything about the work release , talk was only about my exit from the company, offer me a severance package to be reconsider never told me about reasons .
    due to my illness im very confused as far what to do on top of everything i was offer cobra to cover my health benefits which is very expensive i definetely would like for adivse.

    thanks

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear John,

      My expertise does not extend to labor relations or workers compensation. I suggest that you contact either an labor attorney or a governmental (state) labor relations board for guidance.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  93. A says:

    Hi,
    I have been out of work for 5 and a half months due to severe migraines. I have been collecting short term disability. I am scheduled to return to work but am still having the severe migraines. My question is, if I return to work and discover I can’t do my job would I be eligible for Short term disability again? Is there a waiting period in order to be eligible or would long term disability be an option? I am not sure if my employer has long term disability or if I would have to apply for SSD? I am not clear how this disability thing works at all. Thank you for the help.
    A

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear A.,

      Your short-term disability policy should have a provision title something like “recurrent disability” or “temporary recovery.” The provision will talk about a length of return to work that will not require a new claim. If you return to work for longer than that, you will likely be eligible for a new period of disability under your short-term disability policy. If you have trouble finding or understanding the provision, your short-term policy claims representative can provide an explanation.

      To be eligible for Social Security Disability, you must be disabled (or be expected to be disabled) for twelve months. If you return to work for less than three months (in some cases less than six), the Social Security Administration may consider your work an unsuccessful work attempt and allow your time off work before the return to work to count toward the twelve months.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • A says:

        Dear Kay,

        Thank you for the quick response. I am not sure if you can answer this question but I will ask anyways! Since I have been out 5 and a half months, and short term disability only covers 6 months, if I return to work and it is unsuccessful am I eligible for up to another 6 months or only the few weeks I have left on my original short term disability claim?
        Thanks,
        A

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear A.,

          Do check your short-term policy to be sure, but I believe that you will be eligible for only the remaining half month unless your return to work in too long for your second period off work to be considered recurrent (part of the same period of) disability. If the return to work is long enough to break the connection with the first claim, then you will have a new period of disability with a six-month maximum benefit period and a new unpaid waiting period.

          Sincerely,

          Kay

  94. Josephine says:

    Hello,
    My friend’s husband was out for 6 months due to surgery and came back to work (worked from home) when his dissability ended and was ready to go back. He was scheduled for a return surgery in February, 2 months after he came back from 6 months dissability. Surgery did not go well and needs to be out for maybe a month.
    How will this work if he already exhausted his 6 months and it cannot be counted as long term because he went back to work.
    Can he go on dissability again for a month or two?
    Please help clarify this.
    Thank you.
    J.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Josephine,

      Please clarify your question. Are you inquiring about Social Security Disability or a short-term or long-term insurance policy provided by your friend’s husband’s employer or that he purchased on his own?

      Thank you,

      Kay

  95. Donald Simmons says:

    My wife who will be 61 in July was diagnosis with stage 4 Breast cancer 2 months ago,she is on short term disability for 6 month,then her long term kicks in ,should she apply for ss disabilty? Doctor don’t think she will be able to work again.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Donald,

      Yes, your wife should apply for Social Security Disability. If she is approved, she needs to inform the short-term and long-term disability insurance company. Her long-term (LTD) benefits are likely to be reduced due to receipt of Social Security Disability; but sometimes LTD ends while Social Security continues through a life time. Additionally, depending on the amount of each benefit, she could receive a small amount more from the two benefits from the LTD alone. Also many LTD policies do not reduce for Social Security cost-of-living increases, resulting in more over-all income.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  96. Sandra Cortez says:

    Hello!

    Thank you in advance for all your expertise! I am inquiring about my mother. She is 59 1/2 years old. Back in December, she was told her kidneys were functioning at 18% and she would need to be on dialysis one year from now. My mother took the news pretty hard and has fallen into a depression state. She is 110% against dialysis and says she can reverse it with proper diet (she’s very stubborn). She was hospitalized at the end of January because of her diabetes (low blood sugar). The doctor approved for her to be off of work for 2 weeks until she was stable again. My mother returned to work for 2 weeks. She tells me she is weak and needs to take several breaks. She works 3rd shift as a CNA so she can afford to do this. This past Monday and through today, my mother fell ill again. She isn’t able to hold anything down and is very anxious. Her stomach is very bloated and I know she is very depressed. I am encouraging her to apply for Short term disability and SSI/SSDI. My question is if my mom opts not to go on dialysis, what are her chances for being approved for SSI/SSDI?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Sandra,

      Social Security law does not require your mother to accept any particular type of medical treatment to be approved for benefits. She does have to have enough medical documentation to establish her diagnoses and her limitations to show that she is disabled.

      I do not know the reasons your mother does not want to undergo dialysis, but I will mention that people who get treatment for kidney dialysis can get Medicare to pay for it even when they continue working and are not disabled. This means that your mother could file a Medicare-only claim for Medicare coverage to pay for dialysis. She would do this at a Social Security office. The application is fairly simple, though it will require a form to be completed by the physician.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  97. Judy says:

    Hello….inquiring about myself. I was diagnosed with breast cancer back in August and have been out of work ever since. I am 53 years old and have worked since I was 18. I had major complications from the bilateral mastectomy and have had three surgeries total. I also have hearing loss in both ears-(left only have 40% hearing and right only have 50%), I have also been diagnosed 3 times in the last 2 yrs for C Diff and take Vancomycin daily to prevent it from coming back. I got the C Diff from being on Biologics for the last 6 years due to plaque psoriasis that covers probably 30% of my body..I also have Hoshimoto’s disease and suffering with major depression. My primary care dr and therapist both suggested I apply from perm disability which I did in Nov. Well since then SS has sent me to a psych eval which took all of 11 mins and dr asked me the craziest questions. She was not interested in how long I have seen a therapist and the meds I take daily which including one for depression. Please help!! Thanks

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Judy,

      The only help that I can provide at this point is to wait to see what the decision is on your claim. You could be approved. If you are not, I recommend that you get an attorney who is experienced with Social Security Disability claims because it often takes a professional to effectively present a claim when several illnesses are involved.You can obtain an excellent Social Security attorney by calling Disability Advisor at 1-888-393-1010. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your retroactive award at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  98. chuck says:

    I’m 50 years old. I have been a pipe fitter for 30 years
    I have several issues with my lower back I have mild bulging disc (3)
    L-1 through l-5 has facet has arthritis. And stenosis as well.
    X-Ray and mri shows this. I have leg pains due to a pinched nerve. But we don’t know the exact location of the never problem. My dr. Put me on restrictions so limited that my co said they nothing for me to with these restrictions
    3 days later they offered me an office job. They don’t have a job for me.
    I just sit in an empty office or walk around out side. I sit/stand and all day. They don’t want lost time on WC. I worked hurting as long as I could.
    They are paying me sick pay on my check at work.
    I went to a back surgeon last week. He said we will have to go through a lot of things before surgery. This WC company is slow about approving anything . This is going to be a long drawn out ordeal. Can I apply for SSDI while I’m drawing sick pay from my co.? I have to show up at there office everyday Or is this considered working? It has taking me 5 months. To get my first visit with my back doctor. If I get approved for ssdi my union will let me draw my retirement.

    I don’t my company know how long this is going to take. And the way they act towards my, I don’t know how to apply to approach them.

    This whole injury and pain is a nightmare . I wish it would just go away.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Chuck,

      I can’t advise you about workers compensation law, but it sounds as if you need a workers comp attorney to help sort this out for you.

      With regard to Social Security, I encourage you to file an application. Claim the day that you stopped working as a pipe fitter as your disability date. Put on the application that you are receiving sick pay (not regular pay) and trying to establish a workers comp claim but so far have not been paid workers comp benefits. Also on the Social Security disability application, say that your employer is requiring you to go to work every day for an “office job,” because they don’t want workers comp to pay; however, you are not given any duties. You are not doing any work. Just sit, stand, and walk to adjust your position. If you do not have office skills or experience, you would want to say that also. The Social Security Administration may not consider your being on the premises work because you have not duties and are being paid sick pay.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  99. maddy says:

    My husband is suing his job corp because he got fired while having back surgery and under FMLA due to cancer . He is applying for SSA can they take his money if he suing

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Maddy,

      I will take a guess that you are asking whether Social Security will be reduced if your husband gets a settlement from his lawsuit. If the lawsuit is related to a workers compensation claim and the lawsuit results in the award of workers compensation (monthly or lumps sum), then Social Security benefits will be offset by part of the award. If this is done retroactively because of the timing of when the benefits and settlement are received, there could be a Social Security overpayment to repay from the settlement. However, if the lawsuit has nothing to do with workers comp, then your husband’s Social Security benefit would not be affected.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  100. Mandy says:

    Hello, I am 33 years old and went off on FMLA from my employer 6/2011, I was then transferred to STD then long term disability. We only received a pamphlet covering the basic of our policy. We also had an account online that you could check your coverage, this states that they do STD, and LTD. Once I was on LTD, they made me apply for Social Security Disability, they did not mention I would have to pay any money back if awarded. I was paid from my FMLA leave STD through 2011. So my wages prior to disability date was about 8,000. In 2012 I was awarded a lump sum payment in August of almost $4000 covering me from Dec 2011 to May of 2012. I also tried to work just two day a wk May 2012 through September 2012. I got approved for disability in Oct 2012 and they back paid me from 6/2011. I had never been told that the insurance would have to be paid back and still haven’t . I had an attorney that helped me up until I approx. August 2012, so all this information was reported, however I was approved Oct 2012 Now I’m getting letters asking about this income for 2011 and 2012. I am not positive this is why they are asking, but reading all of these entries I’m assuming so. This would be a hardship for me to pay back. Can they make me pay back for LTD lump sum when I didn’t get approved until Oct 2012? Now that I myself and looking back at dates I was back-paid from 6/2011, and I had STD and LTD, helping up until May. How could I have known this? It seems like things just get harder for me. And then they want me to try to work through and understand all this? What is worst case scenario?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Mandy,

      It sounds as if your LTD policy has a standard integration of benefits provision that does require repayment of some LTD for months that overlap with a retroactive Social Security award. If you continue to be eligible for LTD, ongoing payments will be reduced by the amount of your Social Security. You will receive the difference between your Social Security and the maximum LTD. If your Social Security is more than the LTD, depending on the terms of the policy your LTD will either terminate or you will receive a minimum LTD benefit prescribed by the policy.

      If your LTD is more than your Social Security, your LTD overpayment will be in the range of your monthly Social Security times the number of months the tow benefits overlapped. If your Social Security is more than your LTD, then the overpayment would be an amount equal to the different between the maximum LTD and the Minimum benefit times the number of overlapping months.

      I recommend that you obtain a copy of the entire policy from your insurance carrier.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  101. Dee says:

    Dear Kay,

    I have not worked since 1987. I was caretaker to my terminally ill parents in my home from 1990 until their deaths in 1997 and 2002 respectively. I had two cancers myself.

    My husband abandoned my daughter and myself, and it was a constant battle to find him and help pay any support. It was a domestic violence situation where I was physically and verbally assaulted. He also attempted suicide in our home before I was finally able to get him out for good. I was recently diagnosed with sjogren’s disease, an autoimmune disorder, and have vascular disease as well. I have one child, age 19, who has been battling Lyme disease and co-infections, as well as hashimoto’s disease for nearly 15 years.

    She has bonecrushing fatigue, insomnia, cognitive impairment, neuropathy and a myriad of other symptoms. She is now in the tertiary stage of Lyme due to misdiagnosis over the years. She pushed through her school years, but could not find the strength to start college, because she was diagnosed with encephalopathy of the brain with severe hypoperfusion (low capillary blood flow to the brain) and hypometabolism (as seen in Alzheimer’s or dementia patients). She has infection-induced autoimmune encephalopathy.

    I am unemployed as I am her full time caregiver. She is on a plethora of medications, and she will be starting IV meds in two weeks once she gets a picc line inserted.

    Peole have been telling me we should apply for social security or disability, but I don’t know if we would qualify. It has taken a severe toll on us emotionally, and we do see a therapist to help us work through all this pain and uncertainty. Our home is in foreclosure, and I’m panicking by the day. I turned 61 this past January.

    Much appreciation for your help,
    Dee

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Dee,

      I suggest that you and your daughter both apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits if you have low income and limited assets. SSI does not have a work earnings requirement like Social Security.) You both need to be sure that you list all your conditions and all the medical providers who have treated you, especially in the last three years and any before them that have important testing.

      You do not say whether your husband receives Social Security disability or Social Security retirement. If he does, your daughter should also file an application for disabled adult child benefit, which are dependents benefits for individuals who become disabled before age twenty-two. If he does not currently receive benefits, she should try applying once a year as a way of checking to see whether he is then getting benefits or is deceased so that she can then file a claim.

      With regard to your home, the federal government passed some regulations that help people whose homes are in foreclosure. I do not know if any would be helpful to you, but you might look into it to see if you can buy yourself some time.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  102. Dixie Burge says:

    Hi. I am 63 years old and had to retire May 2013 because of severe scoliosis in the lumbar region of my spine causing chronic pain. Up until then I was receiving STD, which converted to LTD. I had applied for SSD at the time of retirement, May 2013. I was receiving LTD, and the SSD was an offset to the amount of LTD I have been receiving. Every 6 months I must have disability status update paperwork filled out by my doctor. I have not been seeing the doctor at pain management since my retirement, because their treatment regimen, mostly injections, was doing me no good. I cannot afford to buy health insurance because so much of my income is going to paying off debts (loans and credit cards), so I haven’t been going to the doctors I was seeing. My question is: If I lose the LTD because UNUM determines I am not eligible any more, because I haven’t been seeing the doctors, will this affect my ability to continue receiving SSD? Losing the LTD won’t affect me much, because it’s only $32 a month after the SSD offset and taxes. But I would REALLY be affected if I lose the SSD. I hope I was clear enough with my description of my concern. I am mainly concerned that if SS is informed of the reason I am no longer getting UNUM LTD, they may think I am no longer disabled, which isn’t the case!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Dixie,

      Loss of your LTD is not likely to cause your Social Security to stop. If your condition has not improved, your Social Security should continue. Regarding your LTD, next time your LTD review comes up, just tell them that you stopped pain management regime because it didn’t help and you didn’t have the funds to pay for it without health insurance and that you have a condition that cannot improve. If you can afford a primary care visit, just go to your primary care doctor and have him examine for back and write no change.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  103. Lynn Smith says:

    I am on workmans comp for a broken bone injury at work. I am starting physical therapy for four weeks hoping to recover and return to work after therapy. But now I am sick and being treated for cancer and unable to return to work after physical therapy. My cancer doctor says they will approve disability for me now and I can apply for SSDI, but will I lose my physical therapy for my work related injury at this time since I am unable to return to work after the workmans comp doctor releases me? Will they stop treatments if they find I am unable to return to work because of the cancer?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Lynn,

      I am not an expert on workers compensation, but I think that treatment for the work-related injury could continue. I suggest that you contact your state’s workers compensation ombudsman or a worker’s compensation attorney for a more definitive answer regarding your rights under workers comp law. I would encourage you to file your SSDI claim soon because you do not want to be left without income when you reach maximum recovery from your broken-bone injury.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  104. donna says:

    I want to know if my dad entitled to disability he ad throat cancer 4 years ago and the treatment he had stopped him from drinking and eating for the rest of his life he was on the low rate of disability but they took it of him he’s so unhappy wanting to end is life not able to enjoy is life with family and friends anymore just stays in all the time and he’s worried that job center going to send him on cousres cuz he can not read or write either and to be honest there’s no jobs out there for my dad with his condition he feeds from is stomach I’m really worried about him can u give me advise please

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Donna,

      I suggest that your father apply for Social Security Disability and/or SSI again right away. When you are helping him with the application, be sure that you list his first date of disability as the day after his last disability benefits ended and be sure that you mention his getting nutrition through through a stomach tube, and–very important–that he cannot read or write. (If he can read or write a little such as at a young child level, state the level.) I also suggest that you get a letter from his physical about lifting, carrying, and bending restrictions that he has due to the port for the feeding tube or any other conditions he has.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • donna says:

        Thank you I’ll let him know so should he be getting disability? Cuz they saying cuz he can walk and wash him self he not got a disability but I think he’s got the most disability ever going cuz drinking and eating part of life spending time with family and friends It hurts the family to see him like this he’s mental disturb with it all :(

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Donna,

          You are welcome. He should describe the “mental disturbance” you reference on his application. It might be helpful to have a Social Security attorney assist with the application this time. He can obtain an excellent Social Security attorney by calling Disability Advisor at 1-888-393-1010. He do not have to pay any legal fees up front and he will pay attorney fees only if he is approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount his attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from his retroactive award at the time they send his back pay to him. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

          Sincerely,

          Kay

  105. Rebecca says:

    I have several back issues that caused my employer to place me on medical leave in July 2013 (spinal stenosis, herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, and fractured verterbrae to name most of it). I went through various treatments that didn’t solve the problem and ultimately had surgery in October 2013 (spinal fusion, discectomy and a clamp placed on L4/L5). I was recieving STD which ran out and am now recieving LTD as of February 2014. I turned 49 in August and will probably still be out of work when I turn 50. How is that going to affect me during the application process for SSD (LTD insurance carrier is expecting me to apply)? I expect to be out of work for the majority if not all of this year. Thanks in advance for any information.

    • Rebecca says:

      I should add my job requires me to do heavy lifting, twisting, bending, 8+ hours of standing/walking, and lots of ladder climbing, none of which I can do now. As it is, it’s a challenge do do sitting or standing for longer than a half an hour before I am in pain. Thanks again!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Rebecca,

      As you are apparently aware, while you are under age fifty, to be disabled you must be unable to perform all occupations for which you have the ability and transferable skills or education to perform and at age fifty and older you only need to be disabled from occupations you have performed in the past. Your claim will probably be processed before you turn fifty. If you are denied because it is said that you could perform other occupations than those you have done in the past, be sure to appeal. You will probably turn fifty before the appeal is processed, especially if you wait until close to the end of the appeal period to appeal, and will be evaluated under the single standard.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  106. Susie says:

    Hi, I’m 41 years old female. I’ve suffered from gad and panic disorder for 15 years at least. I was on disability this year starting 1/20 and returned to work on 3/25. I’m not feeling well and have a drs appoinment next week, I’m afraid she’d say I need to take time off again. Can I take short term disability back to back in one year?
    I’m very concerned about my situation. Also I’ve been laid off effective September 15th and I wanted to work till then to receive my severance package.
    Please advise.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Susie,

      Dear Susie,

      It sounds as if you are inquiring about benefits under an employer-sponsored short-term disability (STD) policy and not about Social Security Disability. I will respond as if my assumption is correct. I suggest that you look at your policy and/or call the insurance company to get clarity on the policy’s maximum benefit period (MBP). If the MBP is sixty days and you returned to work because it ended, whether or not you can have a new period of disability probably depends on how long the policy says you have to be back to active work to be covered. If you cannot have another STD benefit period, you may be eligible for long-term disability (LTD) If you are covered by an LTD policy, benefits might pick up under the LTD policy.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  107. errman24 says:

    My husband was injured at work May 7, 2013 and was off work until Dec 20, 2013 returned to work but has missed several days due to not being able to do his job completely and since March 7, 2014 had spinal surgery and will be off 6 weeks or longer and then needs to have shoulder surgery on both shoulders and will be out for 12 months for those and has lots of other issues. can he or should he apply for SSD and if so will they also pay for the time off before

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Errman,

      Your husband has to be disabled for twelve months to be eligible for Social Security Disability. If he ceased work in May 2013 for the same condition as he got surgery for in March 2014, the Social Security Administration may disregard his return to work as an unsuccessful work attempt. If he has the shoulder surgery before recovering from his spinal surgery enough to return to work, it is possible that he might be disabled past May 7, 2014 and eligible for benefits. I recommend that he file a claim now listing all of his conditions, past treatments, and planned surgeries as well as information about the amount of days he missed work from December 20, 2013 through March 6, 2014.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  108. Kelly Garces says:

    Dear Kay I was wandering about a GAF score and how much it counts and my lawyer said that because of the medications I’m on could maybe be enough to get me approved I don’t want to doubt them just wandering your opinion and this process is taking a toll I have been even more anxious and my meds aren’t working well and crying spells and other things could you give me your opinion oh my GAF score was 50 not sure what it all means and if my medication is enough thank you Kay for everything

  109. Parisinny says:

    You may or may not be able to answer this question, but I can’t seem to find anyone who can so I thought I’d give it a shot.
    My son’s father was in a motorcycle accident in Oct and sustained a traumatic brain injury. He was in a for nearly 3 months and has had to re-learn how to do everything….walk, talk, feed himself, etc… His job has been paying him full salary for the past 6 months, but that just ended. He just applied for social security disability (which I realize now should have been done long ago….but his mother must have thought he couldn’t get it if he was still being paid by his job).
    So the dilemma is…..along with his pay, his insurance coverage is also ending, but we have no idea how long it will take to get the social security disability (and the insurance that comes along with it). What do people do who’s insurance has run out, but their insurance through disability hasn’t kicked in??? Is COBRA the only answer? Or to be uninsured in the interim? Please help!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Paris,

      I believe that your son’s father losing his employer-sponsored insurance is a “qualifying event” that will give him a special enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)(Obamacare), at much less cost than COBRA. the loss of insurance will allow him a limited period of time after his insurance ends (probably 30 days) to enroll in an insurance plan through ACA. Because he now has no income, he will qualify for a government subsidy to pay the insurance premium or may qualify for Medicaid within the ACA, which could require no premium. Note: if a premium is required, he must pay the premium during the open enrollment period to actually get the insurance.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  110. Lynn says:

    Hi, Kay!

    My husband is a commercial big rig driver. He has been off work on STD beginning in September 2013 with a fall and 2 broken ribs, but while off was diagnosed with Parkinsons. We have been trying different combinations of medication without much luck. He turned 65 last September, so he has MediCare and also employer provided insurance (thankfully). His retirement age is 66, but we submitted paperwork to start his full SS retirement the beginning of this year and he started receiving benefits in Ferbuary. He has always planned on finding medications that will help him return to work for another year or two. But, his doctor just sent us the paperwork to continue STD and it now says he will not be able to return to work ever. Besides being upset about not being able to work, we are now concerned about the STD that we had planned on being available until September 2014 (one year) while we work on medication options. We haven’t sent the paperwork in yet for 2 reasons. 1) The latest medication change has made a significant improvement in his symptoms, and 2) because we aren’t sure how it will affect us! I don’t believe he is a candidate for SSDI because he’s receiving his retirement Social Security benefits, and also because he could do other work, just not commercial driving. If we send in the paperwork, will we stop receiving STD? Thanks for your help answering all these confusing questions on this topic!

    Sinerely,
    Lynn

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Lynn,

      I believe that you are referring to trying to decide whether to submit the STD paperwork. If that is the case, by all means submit it. Typically STD is payable if a person is unable to perform the work he was doing at the time disability began. It is quite possible that despite the improvement with medication that your husband cannot return to driving truck as the doctor indicated.

      With regard to Social Security Disability (SSDI), if your husband has been a long-haul truck driver for a long time, he might qualify for SSDI because individuals age fifty and older only have to be disabled from work that they have done in the past. There is a five-month unpaid waiting period. Your husband’s waiting period would be would be October 2013 through February 2014. If he were approved for SSDI, benefits would be payable from March 2014 through the month before his 66th birthday The SSDI would be slightly higher rate than his slightly reduced retirement benefit.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Lynn says:

        Hi, Kay!

        Thank you for the response. My husband is already on STD and has been since September 2013 when he fell and before his Parkinsons diagnosis. We are concerned about whether he will continue getting STD benefits if the doctor says he will never return to work. For several reasons, we don’t want to apply for SSDI at this time. We just want to be sure that STD won’t end the minute we submit the doctor’s paperwork saying that he will not be returning to work. We want to be sure that the STD benefits he is currently getting will continue until September 1, 2014.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Lynn,

          You do not need to worry about short-term disability (STD) benefits ending because your husband will not be able to return to work. HisSTD would end if he recovered from his disability, not the opposite. For some STD is a bridge to longer term disability benefits of one kind or another. In any event, if you don’t submit the requested doctor’s report, the insurance company could terminate benefits for failure to submit continuing proof of loss (continuing proof of disability.)

          Sincerely,

          Kay

          • Lynn says:

            Thanks, Kay!

            I’ve been watching the date to file while I research this – we have to submit by April 22, so we’re ok there. Tom would like to find some other employment – perhaps just part-time since he’s retirement age and I know he’ll be off STD at that point. Just was worried they would stop benefits if he couldn’t return to work while we find a good combination of meds and he finds more suitable employment. THANK YOU! That takes a load off my mind and his!

          • Kay Derochie says:

            You are welcome, Lynn.

  111. Julie says:

    Hi,
    I am currently coming to the end of treatment for lymphoma and have been on California State Disability for close to my 52 weeks. Hopefully I will not have any more issues from this illness. But what happens if my lymphoma comes back? Will I be eligible for state disability again? Do I have to be able to work a certain amount of time before I would be eligible again? Or is it a one time deal (and then what in the world do people do if they get sick again?)

    Thank you so much,
    Julie

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Julie,

      I am not an expert of California State Disability Insurance (SDI), but I believe that you can have more than one period of disability insurance. That said, I recommend that you contact your local SDI office to get reliable information on the matter, including how long you would have to be back to work to receive SDI again for the same or another condition.

      Also, note, if your current period of disability lasts twelve months or more, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSDI) for that period of time and possibly a trial work period during which SSDI would continue. If so your SSDI claim would remain open with ongoing payments or only suspended payments. If you were approved for a closed period and paid just one check, but had to stop work again within five years due to the same condition, you would not have a new unpaid waiting period.

      Sincerely,

      Kayy

  112. Jeff says:

    Hello! A question: I have Parkinson’s disease (5 years now) and I’m still working, but probably not for much longer. Through my employer I do have a long-term disability plan that will pay 60% of my salary until I’m 65 (I am currently 56). Do I have to apply for Social security disability also, or do I wait until 65 to do so? I do know that the disability insurance is reduced by the amount of SS benefit. I live in New York state. Thanks!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jeff,

      I recommend applying for long-term disability (LTD) and Social Security Disability (SSDI)at the same time. It is advantageous to be approved for SSDI as early as possible because you will become eligible for Medicare after twenty-four months of SSDI benefits. Additionally, a long period of no work can have a negative effect on the amount of Social Security Retirement you will receive when you reach age sixty-seven, your full retirement age. If you are on SSDI, the years of no earnings will not be factored into the benefit-calculation formula. Lastly, if your employer paid any portion of the premium for your LTD plan, there may be a tax advantage in receiving some of your income from Social Security.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  113. Candi says:

    My uncle went into the hospital 42 days ago. He will have to go into a nursing home due to his conditions. His pay was reduced to $300 a week which is STD. His LTD will start when his STD runs out and the LTD will be slighter higher. Can he apply for Disability thru Social Security? He is 61

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Candi,

      If your uncle is expected to be disabled for twelve months, he should apply for Social Security Disability right away to get his claim started. It can take two to five months to get a decision.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  114. Jean West says:

    Hello. I am 56 and I have uncontrolled Parkinson’s disease and degenerative facet disease of the back. I am on LTD with Cigna, who REQUIRED me to file for SSDI. I have been off work for 6 1/2 months. I was approved for SSDI in less than 2 weeks and they sent a check. I am still employed with my employer, though I will never be able to do my previous position. HR hopes that I will be able to return in a different position and are holding my employment for 1 yr. I have hopes of returning to work as well.
    My question is: Does Cigna still pay a pro-rated amount of my LTD as long as I am employed? Since the SSDI check covers March 2014, and I received LTD for March and April, Do I have to send back some money to Cigna? What if I don’t have any money? (my cobra insurance and medical bills wipe out the monthly budget).
    I can’t get medicare for 2 years, and have not been able to find affordable insurance. (The Obamacare is the same cost as my Cobra!)
    Thanks for your help. I would have waited to file for SSDI till I was more sure I was done working, but Cigna forced this.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jean,

      Most long-term disability (LTD) plans reduce the LTD benefit by the amount of the Social Security benefit paid for the same month. This means that future benefits are likely to be reduced and that you will have to repay some of the March and April LTD that you were paid. I recommend reporting the approval to Cigna right away to keep the overpayment to a minimum. If you do not have the full amount of the overpayment available to repay, ask Cigna to collect the overpayment spread over a period of time.

      An aside or two: If your employer paid all or part of the premiums for the LTD insurance, you may find a tax advantage in receiving part of your income from Social Security. Also note that if you return to work before you have been off twelve months, depending on the amount of earnings, your Social Security claim could be reopened and denied.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  115. Ginatee says:

    A friend of mine was receiving long term disability starting in September of 2013. He then started receiving his SSD along with his lump sum check in December of 2013. He’s been receiving both checks for several months. I informed him to let long term disability know once he initially received his SSD benefits back in December, but he did not, he avoided their calls inquiring about it. Once long term disability finds out, what will they do? Will he have to pay back the money for the months he was receiving SSD out of the SSD check?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Ginatee,

      You are right on all counts. Your friend is running up a long-term disability overpayment, which he will have to repay. He is also opening himself up to prosecution for fraud.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  116. Barb says:

    I am 58 years old. Worked as a CNA for 31 years now
    Hadhitsl hernia surgery done twice now. Having it done again for the third time in a week.
    Also have a torn roto cuff. Will I have a good chance for ss disabity . It’s just too hard to work anymore
    Ty barb

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Barb,

      I cannot say whether your conditions are severe enough to keep you from working as a CNA for a period of twelve months (excluding possible unsuccessful short work attempts). I suggest that you discuss your conditions with your physician to get his or her opinion on whether you can return to CNA work. Give your physicians information about the lifting requirements of a certified nursing assistant. Also be sure that the physician you speak with is aware of both your rotator cuff tear and your third hernia operation. (You can probably get a position description from your human resource department that will outline lifting, carrying, etc.) As a person over age fifty, if you are unable to work as a CNA (your only occupation in the past thirty-one years) and the inability is expected to last at least twelve months, you will be disabled as defined by the Social Security Administration. I suggest that you also check with your benefits department to see whether you are covered by an employer-sponsored short-term and/or long-term disability insurance policy.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  117. LOLY MARTE says:

    I AM 52 YEARS OLD AND HAVE BEEN WORKING IN THE SAME JOB
    FOR 33 YEARS. I AM DIABETIC (TYPE 2) AND HAVE A COUPLE OF
    COMPLICATIONS DUE TO MY DIABETES.
    I HAVE CHARCOT FOOT. MY FOOT HAS DROPPED AND I ALSO
    HAVE NEUROPATHY ON BOTH MY FEET AND HANDS.
    MY DOCTORS HAVE TOLD ME TO APPLY FOR PERMANENT DISABILITY.
    MY CONDITION JUST GETS WORSE AND IT IS VERY HARD FOR ME
    TO PERFORM MY DAILY WORK ROUTINE.
    DO I HAVE TO QUIT MY JOB TO APPLY FOR PERMANENT DISABILITY OR CAN I REMAIN AT WORK AND FILE FOR DISABILITY.

    APPRECIATE YOUR HELP.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Loly,

      To have a chance of being approved, you have to reduce your employment enough that you are earning less than $1,070 gross monthly before applying.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  118. teresa cox says:

    My mother in law is currently receiving ltd from her employer. She was forced to retire after having several surgeries over last 2 year with a result of leg amputation sure to blocked arteries. She also has dementia and I have recently started trying to do her finances and stay with her on a regular basis. It has been hard to figure out what she is receiving or what benefits she is eligible for. I also just found a letter where her ltd will stop in November. My question is what benefits is she eligible for and can she apply for Medicare disability? She is not eligible for Medicaid benefits at this time due to her financial status with 401K and other savings she currently has in her name. Thank you for assistance

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Teresa,

      Please tell me how old your mother-in-law is so that I can provide some guidance. Also, if you know the reason her LTD stopped, please tell me that also.

      Thank you,

      Kay

  119. teresa cox says:

    Kay she will be 78 in July. According to the letter maximum benefit duration reached .. which will be 18 months she received her ltd…

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Teresa,

      Your mother is too old to be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. If she is not already receiving Social Security Retirement and Medicare, you should apply for her. If you do not already have power of attorney, it could be helpful to get a conservatorship or guardianship so that you can access and manage her finances.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  120. Rose says:

    My husband had a stroke March 9, 2014. He has aphasia and is paralyzed on his right side both arm and leg. Currently he is receiving short term disability from work and in three months will go to long term disability. Our question is can he get a social security disability check and still receive his work long term disability check. His company is a large employee owned company in the fortune 500 list. His doctor has told us returning to work will be a challenge and he will have a long term disability. Thank you, Rose

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Rose,

      Your husband can receive both Social Security Disability (SSDI) and long-term disability (LTD). If he is awarded Social Security, his LTD will probably go down by the amount of the Social Security, but it can be advantageous to be on Social Security. There can be a tax advantage; he will become Medicare eligible after twenty-four months of Social Security benefits; and the amount of his Social Security retirement benefit earned thus far will be protected.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  121. lisa says:

    My husband. 53 year old male. Works. At a. Factory. Was diagnosed. With chronic. Depression., after. He was givin 3week’s. Off work. With pay to see. What was going. Onwith him because. He was messing up on the job. Is he able. To fole for disability

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Lisa,

      Your husband has to be disabled or be expected to be disabled for twelve months to qualify for Social Security or Supplemental Security Income disability payments. If he is going to be off work for less time, he could check with state or county social services to see whether they have any temporary disability assistance.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  122. Larry Plummer says:

    I am a 52 year old male, I have been on temp. disability for 10 months. I had knee surgery in November for meniscus. The Dr. is now telling me I have arthritis in my knee and is telling me I will have to get a partial knee replacement. Can I get my disability extended, if I do not have surgery I will not be able to work in my career again or in my opinion anywhere with out the surgery. I am sure arthritis is not a permeate disability for work. I am less then 5 years from having my retirement as an option.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Der Larry,

      It sounds as if you will be disabled for more than twelve months. If so, you can receive Social Security Disability for a limited period of time while you have the surgery and recover from it. Once you are recovered and return to work, you can notify Social Security and have your benefits stopped. It does take two to five months to have a claim processed, so I recommend applying right away. Be thorough in your application. Articles on this website (www.disabilityadisor.com) that appear under the “Apply for SSD” tab will give you tips on filing your claim.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  123. Paul B. says:

    I am on long term disability with excellent health care coverage through Blue Cross. My LTD company is encouraging me to go on SS. I am terminally ill with less than 6 months to live. I need as much money as the best coverage I can get and I don’t understand what to do.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Paul,

      You need to apply for Social Security Disability (SSD). Your long-term disability (LTD) policy probably has a provision requiring you to apply; and if you do not, they can reduce your LTD by the amount of SSD you could receive if you had applied. When you are approved for SSD, you will have to repay some of the LTD that you received for months overlapping with your Social Security, so plan to use any back pay you get for that. Then ongoing, part of your income will come from Social Security and part from LTD.

      Given that you have a short life expectancy, your SSD claim will qualify for a compassionate allowance, which means that the claim will be processed very quickly. Perhaps a relative or friend can help you file the claim. To support your claim you could get a simple letter from your doctor that gives your diagnosis and your life expectancy.

      Kind regards,

      Kay

  124. Eddie says:

    Hello,

    I am currently unemployed and receiving Short Term DI for the last 6 months…I have MS and used to be an Analyst in Healthcare. I deal w extreme short term memory loss looking from one monitor to another and my vision has suffered. My challenges affected production in my last job and know I cannot cont in same position because of the cognitive challenges associated with MS. I will be 45 soon. I take medication for fatigue especially during the Summer months, as the heat wipes me out.

    I was going to apply for SSI, especially after reading about processing times, etc., but also have a question nobody I have seen here has asked…the amount awarded is nowhere near livable, I barely get by on the disability I am getting now. I am also a creative, and hoping to get more involved w that in the future and long term, but that is not a steady job. If I get SSI, am I also able to receive Other income, etc that comes in? I know on the Senior side u can, but was not sure on the Disability side.

    I have to look at the rest of my life, and the stress of this is Overwhelming, which is Horrible for MS. There are only certain things I can do, and I can not do them anymore effectively. In fact, my boss really went to bat for me in my older job, as felt I probably would not even pass interviews because of my cognitive challenges, stuttering, etc. I actually failed promotional efforts because employees wondered what was going on w me…Boss told them. I know that’s a HIPAA violation, but that’s a separate issue-lol

    I don’t know what to do…I also have no insurance and afraid to apply for Medical because don’t want them to look at family income and get wife involved. She works, but it has not been an easy road.

    Any help,would be appreciated…Thx!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Eddie,

      I get the impression from your post that you have a work history and may have enough work to be insured for Social Security Disability (SSDI). If you are able to earn only $1,070 gross wages or net self-employment per month, you can still be considered disabled and eligible for SSDI. If you do not want your family income looked at, then do not apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is a federal disability program for people with low income and assets. If at all possible see your doctor and get a current medical update to document your current deficits. Your claim could also be helped by a letter from your boss about the problems he observed that interfered with your ability to work.

      If you are denied, I recommend appealing with the help of an attorney. You can obtain an excellent Social Security attorney by calling Disability Advisor at 1-888-393-1010. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your retroactive award at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

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