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Advice:
unemployment/disability help
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Hi, I have primary progressive MS. I have been dragging myself to work each day because I cannot afford to not work. I am a single parent of a 9 year old with no other income coming in. I just found out my position at the high school I work for is being eliminated for the next fiscal shool year so my last day of work will be June 30. I will be eligable to claim unemployment. I live/work in NH. I was wondering with disabilty. If I file for disabilty, will the time I am collecting unemployment be counted as my unemployed days towards disability? I know it is a min of 6 months you need to be unemployed before you can start collecting. I am hoping that I can at least collect unemployment for some of that time. I don't know how they can expect anyone to go 6 months without income as it is. Are we suppose to live on the streets and beg for food? I am devasted that I will be losing my job. I have been doing everthing I can to make things work. I know with disabilty I will only be getting about $1000 a month. I pay that in rent alone now. And I will not have health insurance or be able to continue any of my medications because of that for about 2-2 1/2 years after I get disabilty. NH does not have mandatory health insurance laws. So heaven forbid I need any kind of treatment for a while. If anyone that knows anything about this stuff or has been through it, please give me some advice. I am feeling so lost, ill and depressed right now.
Posted on 05/06/11, 10:08 am
11 Replies | Most Recent Add Your Advice
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Advice:
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Reply #1 - 05/06/11  11:45am
" i don't know where you got that idea that you have to be out of work for 6 months to be able to apply of disability? that's not a requirement of disability the requirement is that you have a condition that makes you unable to hold a job at sgw? ?gainful wage? and that the condition is expected to last for
at least a year?

there is temporary disability for conditions that last at least 6 months but are not permenant.--not use how that is phrased. i advise you to spend some time at the SS disabilty site

i was able to apply on my own, but given you precarious situation with your daughter & the fact that i am not certain you cannot do gainful work right now? but if us have a diagnosis of PPMS you'll qualify in the future for sure - if marginally able to do it now.

1.if i were you i would go to a laywer to apply. if you are not awarded disability, they get no money but if you are awarded disability they take a % out of the first check.

SS & the Unemployment office have no communication with each other-- so your being on uc won't affect your claim but you do need to report your income and there may be a better way to do it, which the laywer can advise. normally i say just fill the form out online--but given your situation as a single parent with the sole support of your daughter in this case i would really advice that you higher a laywer to apply and let him take a cut out of your first check if you are awarded disability.

2.here is a practice sheet of questions that are asked online for you to look at--just don't mail it or try to start the online form--i really think it is better if you do this with a laywer but you can look at the questions.

http://www.socialsecurity.gov/onlin...

3.and cbs ran an article about aplying for disability a long time ago & they identified 14 states had had high denial rates--luckily NH wasn't one o0f them so that is as BIG plus for you. a part of the reason on the internet you will read how difficult getting SSDI is, they live in a state with a high denial rate so it is more difficult and takes more time for them..hopefully not for you :)

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/...

4.and it goes without saying, and you already does this having woorked in a school--i just have it already typed on i list os SSDI instructions to myself for when i applied, but the only one sending stuff to SS will be your SSDI laywer--so save every thing yo send to or recieve from your laywer..write notes after every asppoinment with your laywer. aplying for SSDI is not something to be trifled with.
AND with anything you send to SS and anything you recieve from SS save!!!!! Make screen prints before you press submit & copy everything you mail to them before you mail it.

5.And always answer for your worst day never your best day.

6. SS Webinars

http://www.socialsecurity.gov/webin...

but DON"T APPLY ONLINE USE A LAYWER, i just provide this link because the more you learn the more comfortable you will feel about applying, i'm uncertain if there is anything useful for you in this webinar??


7. SS disability website...
http://www.socialsecurity.gov/disab...

i applied 6 years ago so i'm certain some stuff has changed--i'm just providing links i used or have found since then that i thought might be helpful. "
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Reply #2 - 05/06/11  12:25pm
" but when they extend the coverage past the 18 month you can get cobra, they are not required to extend the same rates as your previous employer had with a group policy.

i know one person checked if she could do this after BobbyJ told her to check on it and she did--but the rates they quoted past the colbra time, were not the rates her previous employer paid, so she was unable to afford it and just went without insurance for the last 6-12 months until she got medicare. "
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Reply #3 - 05/06/11  12:30pm
" its basically just a regular individual policy after colbra coverage has ended. except with ms no individual policy will take you but the federal gov requires the colbra company to extend coverage while waiting for medicare--but unfortunately as often happens with gov laws, they didn't write into the law anything to restrict how high the premiums could be raised to extend this coverage. :( "
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Reply #4 - 05/06/11  12:38pm
" Thanks. They did tell me I could apply for Cobra but I would be paying about $800 a month for it so that is not an option. The 6 month wait I found out about for disabilty I found out when my mom had terminal cancer. They told us she has to be unemployed for 6 months and medicaid wouldn't kick in for 2 years after that. They only gave her 6 months to a year to live. She made it for almost a year but was unable to stop working because she wouldn't have money or health insurance for chemo & radiation treatments.Great system we have. That was back in 98. I looked into things and it hasn't changed for the better since then. "
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Reply #5 - 05/06/11  1:39pm
" I have to say I feel for you. I am just now beginning to recieve SSDI benefits. I started working part time March 2010 and using my sick pay to compensate my wages. I applied myself for SSI and messed the process up pretty good. Finally in September 2010 I couldn't manage to force myself to go to work. (It was bad) I didn't qualify for state aid because I had money in a retirement account that I had been paying into at my job for the past 8 years. I had to cash in my retirement and live on that money until SSDI came through.
I ended up having to get an attorney because my first application was denied. They said I would "get better" within the year!!ha I wish.
I didn't read through the whole posts but I would suggest getting very clear with your doctor and get some help from a social worker for you application process. Take off the brave face that so many of us show to the rest of the world and trust the process. (that's what the social worker I worked with kept saying) Remember that good days can be the exception and not the norm of this disease, that one can be affected significantly in a negative way if everyday activities are overdone even a little bit.
I'm not sure if you know about the National Multiple Sclerosis Society or not but they have information about MS and SSDI. I recieved an informative instruction packet from them. One of the ladies that I go to support group with was approved immediately for social security so don't give up hope. It all depends on how well the bexes are checked in your SSDI application. If you want info about getting $ help with where to apply for assistance to get meds and medical covered, give me a shout.
Good luck to you, you really do deserve to live well and this phase too will pass.
Sam "
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Reply #6 - 05/06/11  1:53pm
" medicare has a 2 year wait after SS has assigned a date of disability. SS can determine your date of disability was a year before you applie-- then you only wait a year but as you were working that's not likely to happen for you.

Medicare is for those that qualify for SSDI because of past work credits...
Medicaide, a person has had to have paid enough credits into SS to qualify for Medicare.

Medicaide is for low income disability, there is no wait for medicade, it starts when a persson applies & is awarded disability.

bluemys is someon who is dual eligibal-eligible for both programs--she described how the both worked...i'll look yo see if i can find her post.


but for sure your questions show you don't yet understand how these systems work---like all of us didn't untIl we had to get into it.

i wrote an email request to SS about the amount of work credits a person had to have top qualify for SSDI i think the other one is SSID?

thanks BobbyJ for also posting what the limit is, that one person 102% she could swing but the 150% she couldn't. i think the federal government privided assistance to pay for colbra premuims during the worsdt of the recession, but i'm not certain if those programs are still active. call your UC to ask.

below bluemyst post if i can find it & that emai i recievedf from SS. i was unemployed ffor 2 years because of a company downsize before i applied. then 2 years after losing my job i waas unexpectedly diagnosed with MS in an immediately disabling episode. i applied for SSDI right away, i wasn't certain how much longer my SS credits would be good. they would have been good for 4 years after i lost my job and given how bad the economy was & the rough shape i was in their was no way i was gonna find a jobe in 2 more years so I did the right thing when i applied for disability right away after being diagnosed.

Bluemysts post on her SSDI & SSID experience

http://www.dailystrength.org/c/Mult...

and the response from SS describing how many workcredits a person has to have to qualify for SSDI - i had 2 more years i could have been off work before my credits expired..

To qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you must have worked long enough and recently enough under Social Security. You can earn up to a maximum of four work credits per year. The amount of earnings required for a credit increases each year as general wage levels rise.



The number of work credits you need for disability benefits depends on your age when you become disabled. Generally, you need 20 credits earned in the last 10 years ending with the year you become disabled.



However, younger workers may qualify with fewer credits. The rules are as follows:



-- Before age 24 - You may qualify if you have six credits earned in the three-year period ending when the disability starts.



-- Age 24 to 31 - You may qualify if you have credit for having worked half the time between 21 and the time you become disabled. For example, if a worker becomes disabled at age 27, he or she would need credit for three years of work (12 credits) out of the past six years (between age 21 and age 27).



-- Age 31 or older - In general, you will need to have the number of work credits shown in the chart below. Unless you are blind or visually impaired, at least 20 of the credits must have been earned in the 10 years immediately before you became disabled.





Born After 1929, Become

Disabled at Age Credits You Need



31 through 42 20

44 22

46 24

48 26

50 28

52 30

54 32

56 34

58 36

60 38

62 or older 40



In addition to the earnings requirement, you must meet Social Security’s strict definition of disability. Read more at the following Internet address:



http://www.socialsecurity.gov/dibpl...



More information may be found in our publication called “Disability Benefits,” publication number 05-10029, available at the following Internet address:



http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/...





Internet e-mail is not secure enough to transmit your personal information. For this reason, we do not use e-mail to discuss information involving Social Security claims, payments or other Social Security-number related issues.



If you have confidential questions or if your inquiry requires access to your personal information, you must contact our toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213, or your local Social Security office.



You can speak to an 800-number representative from 7 A.M. to 7 P.M. on business days. Telephones generally are less busy during the early morning from 7 A.M. to 9 A.M. and in the late afternoon and evening from 5 P.M. to 7 P.M. We encourage people to call during these times to avoid busy signals and extended wait times.



Our phone lines are also busiest early in the week and early in the month. Call volumes are also highest during the first three months of the year. However, if you’re planning to file for benefits, you should call us as soon as possible.



If you call, we can serve you better if you have the following handy:



--Your Social Security number;

--A list of questions you want to ask;

--Any recent correspondence you have received from us; and

--A pencil and paper to make a note of the information we provide.



People who are hearing-impaired may call our “TTY” number, 1-800-325-0778, between 7 A.M. and 7 P.M. on business days.



Callers from Alaska, Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Maria na Islands, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands may receive different “live” service hours. However, they will continue to have automated services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.



You can obtain the address and directions to the nearest Social Security Office on our Web site at the following Internet address:



http://www.socialsecurity.gov/locator "
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Reply #7 - 05/06/11  2:07pm
" it was this post where bluemyst wrote..
about disability date

Bluemyst reply #9:
My understanding...I was just approved last week or so for disability (SSI & SSDI) & I was told that...

SSI is from "Date Of Filing For Disability."

& SSDI is from "Date Of Determination Of Disability."

http://www.dailystrength.org/c/Mult...

i just know the 2 year wait is for Medicare but the need based Medicaide starts right away without a 2 year wait. "
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Reply #8 - 05/06/11  2:13pm
" p.s. Be sure to double check the information given to you from work and others. I was misinformed by the HR department manager and it cost me thousands of dollars in dealing with my COBRA. "
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Reply #9 - 05/06/11  2:39pm
" and a xdisability claim due to cancer digffers in a disability claim due to ms--so don't aurtomatically assume its the same as it was for your mom, even back in 1998 claims for disability due to MS differed from claims for disability due to to cancer which has to be in stage 4 from what i understand. an ms claim is loss of functionality & fatigue, specifically MS fatigue. ms fatigue differs drom normal fatigue...so use tyhe term ms fatigue liberally.

if you want to get into the guts of how SS determines disablity for MS..

if you newly unemployed you hasve time to read this stuff, but really i think you should higher a disability lawyer.

http://www.ssa.gov/disability/profe... "
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Reply #10 - 05/06/11  3:26pm
" The federal government colbra support ended may 31, 2010. so i don't think that is an avenue you will find much assistance, but you can see a social worker or call the unemployment office to ask..

here was the program that was active during the peak of the recession--just so you know there was such a program once. not any more now..you can reference it when you ask if anything else has replaced it.

http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/cobra.html
.

http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/cobra.html "

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