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Old 07-11-2007, 09:04 AM   #1
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Process For state aid and Social Security benefits

Since my IGM bands came back positive and with the new additional requirements of me with my kids since my divorce my body is shutting down.
Although I have improved significantly over the past two years, I don't have the physical energy to care for my kids 50 percent of the time and continue with my full time job which is over an hour away. After about a week of work and the kids, itís hard to move and I fall into a deep depression.

I was just told by my HR department that my FMLA has run out, this includes nine weeks I was out in 2006 to cope with my divorce, and then I returned for the rest of the year and had to go back out for nine weeks for knee reconstruction in 2007. I returned to work for two months and I've been out now for four weeks due to exhaustion from Lyme complicated by my new schedule with the kids. I just can't do it and my wife is unwilling to bend.
The fact is that I need to be there for my kids and I have accepted I cannot do that unless I get proper rest, get the appropriate medications to finish off the Lyme and keep up with the doctors and therapy.

I'm pretty confident they are going to fill my position and cut me. I have never been out of work due to illness and have always pushed through it but I have faced the fact, I've got to respect the severity of the illness and finally give myself the rest I need.

I was wondering if anyone has experience with state assistance and
Social Security benefits once unemployment runs out. I'm trying to be as responsible as I can to forecast what the next couple of years might be like for me financially. I plan to start placing calls to attorneys today, but it would be helpful to hear first hand of some other peopleís experience rather then reading links on technical data that really doesn't help me to understand what I'm in for.

 
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Old 07-11-2007, 09:51 AM   #2
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Re: Process For state aid and Social Security benefits

Hi itsmylife. I am very sorry you are feeling so bad. It is not your fault you are sick. Are you still getting treated?

Applying for Social Security Disability can be a lengthy process. Almost everyone is denied twice regardless of why they are applying. I highly recommend getting a Social Security attorney from the start. This may save you time. These attorneys only get paid if you win and there is a limit on what they can collect.

Make sure you make copies of all paperwork you fill out. You will likely have to fill out very similar information again. Focus on how the disease impacts your daily life and ability to function/work. Many times people dealing with these diseases are so used to the symptoms they have they seem normal to them. Do not leave anything out. For instance if leg pain is one of your symptoms, it may prohibit you from standing for very long yet if you sit for too long, you may get stiff.

My advice is to start the process as soon as you can since it takes time. I also recommend calling a Social Security attorney.

Hang in there okay?

 
Old 07-11-2007, 10:25 AM   #3
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Re: Process For state aid and Social Security benefits

I'm sorry you are so ill. Yes, rest is VERY important... although not many of us are able to get any....

I am unable to do the job I went to school for, there is NO way. After having my first child 5 years ago, I decided to stay home with my kids. Thank God we can afford for me to do this, but it would certainly be nice to have a second income, especially with all the bills that add up with a chronic illness. I am too young to even be able to get disability. I was reading a paper we got that states our benefits, and I haven't been able to work enough to get enough credits to get it on my own merit, would have to get it off my husbands, but I would have to be 60 or something like that.

I do hope you can get some benefits, I know all too well how hard it is to care for children when you are so ill....
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Old 07-11-2007, 11:05 AM   #4
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Re: Process For state aid and Social Security benefits

Thanks Ticker, I'm meeting with an atty who specializes in SS benefits today at 4:00. He was referred to me through another atty. He is charging 350.00 for todays meeting, I don't know if that sounds reasonable but I feel liked we connected over the phone, so thats a big plus.
My regular doc has me on doxy for now until I go to NY city to meet with doctor Raxlen on Monday.

Thanks again.

Last edited by itsmylife; 07-11-2007 at 11:07 AM.

 
Old 07-11-2007, 11:53 AM   #5
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Re: Process For state aid and Social Security benefits

Hi itsmylife. Make sure the attorney is one who will not charge you unless you win. Good luck at your appointment today!

Dr. Raxlen comes highly recommended. Good luck at this appointment too!

 
Old 07-11-2007, 05:03 PM   #6
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Re: Process For state aid and Social Security benefits

Hi Itsmylife....really sorry to hear this news...

When unemployment ran out I applied for State Disablitly...when that ran out I was on workerscomp for ALONG tme..then when it was finally figured out it was Lyme I went to Social Security office and the lady put me right on it...I gave her all of my paperwork and she copied years of medical records...

Have you tried State Disability? I'm in Calif. maybe it is differnet here. And maybe my circumstances were different...but just thought I'd through that out here.

Also I know co--infections need to be treated..But have you been tested for virus's? When our bodies shut down EVERYTHING seems to want to play in our bodies. Epstein Barr, Cytomeglovirus...ect...sure can play havoc on us too!

Good luck to you...keep in touch!

Jodie

 
Old 07-11-2007, 08:04 PM   #7
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Re: Process For state aid and Social Security benefits

Thanks Jo. I met with the Atty. He was more of a wrongful termination atty- I thought he was for disability.
He was empathetic, kind and sharp. He put it to me the hard way. He asked if I elected long term disablity last year during enrollment and I reluctantly replied no.
He said at this point, my company can fire me because I have exhausted FMLA which secure my position. The company from there would pay for six months of short term disablity, then I would need to go to unemployment and then he said I would run out of money and lose my house if I was relying on social security benefits.
He said if there is any way I can manage it, to get back in to work and make it to open enrollment in november, elect long term disablity, get through December and go out for treatment.
I am still in a state of shock because I am not mentally or physically ready to go back in to that environment. I cant work with herx reactions and I cant work with the way I currently feel. But to lose my house and to see my children lose their room and me to possibly be in a situation where I have to live with my mother after 15 years of marraige and middleclass living, I just dont know what to do.
I may already be fired. I dont know for sure, but I have a feeling they are waiting for my next doctors appt and if I tell them I will be out for another month, I will definitely get the axe.
Still even with long term disablity elected, I dont know the ins and out of that either. They may try to blame this on a pre existing condition and I could still be out.
There is no definite answer and even my mom can't tell me what I should do.
Every day I have been at work over the last few months I feel like I want to jump off a bridge, its just way to stressfull with the fatigue, the kids, the schedule and of course the highly stressfull job.
I called my boss tonight and left him a message. I asked him if he was available for dinner friday or saturday so I could update him on things.
I plan to explain my situation and ask him for his support through the next six months- there may be a day here and there will I will not be able to work, and let him know if by January things don't improve then I will submit to long term disability. This is something the atty suggested, not the dinner but the communication, rather then silence, like I'm trying to scam.
Not sure what else to do. The thought of returning to work next week sickens me. And the thought of possibly being fired before I could get to the next open enrollment is a risk as well. Not that I've had performance issues, but still very scary.

Last edited by itsmylife; 07-11-2007 at 09:48 PM.

 
Old 07-11-2007, 08:09 PM   #8
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Re: Process For state aid and Social Security benefits

Quote:
Originally Posted by jojo View Post
Hi Itsmylife....really sorry to hear this news...

When unemployment ran out I applied for State Disablitly...when that ran out I was on workerscomp for ALONG tme..then when it was finally figured out it was Lyme I went to Social Security office and the lady put me right on it...I gave her all of my paperwork and she copied years of medical records...

Have you tried State Disability? I'm in Calif. maybe it is differnet here. And maybe my circumstances were different...but just thought I'd through that out here.

Also I know co--infections need to be treated..But have you been tested for virus's? When our bodies shut down EVERYTHING seems to want to play in our bodies. Epstein Barr, Cytomeglovirus...ect...sure can play havoc on us too!

Good luck to you...keep in touch!

Jodie
Jo, doesnt workers comp have to do with an illness or injury where the company is at fault?

 
Old 07-12-2007, 05:40 AM   #9
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Re: Process For state aid and Social Security benefits

Hi itsmylife. I am sorry things are so rough. I suggest that you speak with a Social Security attorney.

 
Old 07-12-2007, 05:56 AM   #10
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Re: Process For state aid and Social Security benefits

Yes Workcomp is for injury on the job. I ddin't mean to imply you try to get workerscomp. sorry..

This is why I was put on workcomp...got ready for work one day and found 3 ticks under my right arm by my chest...pulled them off...broke a head off into me...got to work became EXTREMLY tired...went to ememergency got it dug out...was given ONE antibiotic...within the week I was running fevers, sweats, Sprung my back and neck while AT WORK...then holy hell broke lose...and EVERY flippin doctor poo=pood that I had lyme and wanted to do surgeries and such....craziness I'll tell ya...So for about 8 years it was a work comp case. Was told I was dellusional, had FIBRO from stress. needed neck and back surgery, sent to many shrinks ect ect....All because my test wouldn't come out positvie for Lyme. Had a couple bands here and there. Lost my job, my marriage...a baby ...ect...ect...

I am so sorry for what you are going through. It breaks my heart.
I know you were doing so well there for awhile. I hope the doctor will put you back on a treatment to get you on your feet. Have you given any information to your boss to help him understand what you are going through? (I know easier said than done)

Don't give up okay. You know what you have it is just finding the right combination of med's for your treatment.

Sending you good ***** and wishes for a healthier life...





 
Old 07-12-2007, 08:42 AM   #11
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Re: Process For state aid and Social Security benefits

well thanks guys. I slept on it. My mom has done some research and it looks like even if I had the ability to return to work, and today I feel I really do not, if I was able to sign up for long term disability enrollment, this would be considered a pre existing condition because its been treated within a six month period. I think Im in serious trouble now even if I was approved for ss benefits, I think I would only get 700 a month which would not even cover my mortgage for the condo. I feel pretty defeated.

Last edited by itsmylife; 07-12-2007 at 08:43 AM.

 
Old 07-12-2007, 10:26 AM   #12
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Re: Process For state aid and Social Security benefits

Hi, TML!

Sorry to hear that you're near to hitting bottom, as I call it. I was there many years ago when I had to leave my full time job too.

I had not taken any time off with my illness until I truly couldn't control my basic thought functions at all - I took a leave of absence, but when I didn't improve, between the stress of such an altered life and not well treated Lyme as well as constant breaks, dislocations and tears in my body from falling, I took my long term disability.

I applied for Social Security and as they saw my history and deterioration, after being on disability for 6 months (although because of "clerical errors "sending my file to California" the LTD contact who called me constantly through all this time to check on my status but never had an answer for why I never got ANY money although it was supposed to start 6 weeks after applying) I was eligible for Social Security Disability after 6 months and had no problem with providing paperwork confirming disability ...

I never needed a lawyer for SS. Check with Human Resources regarding your disability requirements and they may be able to help you, as well as the LTD Company benefits person, with the requirements for SS.

Good luck - and accepting the dreadfully limiting experiences of the disease is a big step - there's no Pride lost in going through unnecessary stress to accept the help you've paid in for all these years and not having to go into work will surely lower your stress level some and help you to focus on the disease and the care of your children.

If I can help at all with advice or support, please don't hesitate. The SS is the way to go and worth the effort - just put as much as possible in writing every time you contact them when possible (because of the memory problems and "lost records" = Hah)

Last edited by outinthe_woods; 07-12-2007 at 10:28 AM.

 
Old 07-12-2007, 10:39 AM   #13
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Re: Process For state aid and Social Security benefits

TML:

Don't forget that you may be able to talk with a Social Worker or go through a State Agency to help with questions and perhaps give you possibilities you don't know about.

I had "sunk" to beating some of the homeless people collecting bottles on my streets, for change, churches and food organizations that provided a week of donated food for practically nothing (under $15 a week) just tell the kids that FOR A WHILE it'll take eating a little different - they may love PB&J sandwiches anyway and French Toast, etc LOL). and a chicken with Rice to extend with canned string beans and a package of pudding can fortify and give lots of taste.

PRIDE can be a big problem when you reach this stage - just remember that your health and your kids are your priorities and there IS a great deal you can do until you're back on your feet again, and maybe those feet will be rocky for a while, but you can do better - don't get discouraged keeping your priorities in mind. There are people out there to help!

 
Old 07-12-2007, 10:46 AM   #14
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Re: Process For state aid and Social Security benefits

Gerri, your post really means a lot and it hits me right where I am. I'm definitely in big trouble and I am freaking out. I think Im going to need to leave to be with someone today, my mom or my sister.
I did not elect long term disability during last enrollment and even if I could find some way to go back to work which I know is not going to be possible, and enroll in long term, this is definitely a pre existing condition.
I suppose even if I can get the ss benefits, the fact is Im going to lose my home which is the only thing besides my kids that gives me any pleasure.
I just moved in here six months ago and made it beautiful. I know if I try to go back to work, I am not going to be able to function. My mind is just racing.
I will get six months of std at full pay, but I dont even know if I will be elligable for unemployment because I'll need to be in a position to look for new work.
Its bad, my kids love this place but I cant go on like this anymore. It's so scary and my ex wife is going to be furious.

 
Old 07-12-2007, 01:40 PM   #15
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Re: Process For state aid and Social Security benefits

Quote:
Originally Posted by ticker View Post
Hi itsmylife. I am sorry things are so rough. I suggest that you speak with a Social Security attorney.
Definitely. I'll make sure this time, that is what they specialize in. I did find a SS statement which I've been receiving for the past few years. It does say that I've earned enough credits to collect ss benefits if I am disabled at about 1500.00 per month. Of course I have not been approved and I would still lose the house with only this much coming in for any length of time.

I'll keep plugging away. I called my therapist and she was shocked my employer was going to stick to the FLMA guidlines and fire me. She said she has a little time to do some research for me before our appt on Sat.

 
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