Frugal Village Forums banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
412 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I got the yearly insurance bill today, and DH's disability and death insurance is getting expensive. But then I started thinking. DH har been too sick to work for the last 3-4 years. He has chronic head ache, memory loss, depression, etc. Maybe we should consider claiming on that insurance? After going through the regulations, I discovered that he only needs to be 50 % disabled to get the full amount of $250 000. Also, his student loan would be forgiven. But it has to be declared a permanent disability by the government.

Most of the stuff the welfare state provides is administered by a governmental entity called NAV. Sometimes it feels like they are guarding their own money, because getting what you need is not easy. The bureaucracy can be overwhelming, to state it mildly. There are a lot of (good) programs for helping people getting back to work. DH is currently at a protected work place doing very simple and easy tasks, while being evaluated. The signals so far is that they see him as a hard worker and genuinly nice and helpful person, who is too sick to work. So I think they would support a disability claim. I also think his doctor would be of help (or at least not hindrance) in the process.

The whole thing will probably take at least a year, and the outcome is not certain. But I think we should try. In the mean time, I'll keep paying the insurance, but stop paying extra on his student loan.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
412 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I live in Norway. The system here is probably completely different from yours. We are basicly going to apply for the government to declare DH disabled. If that happens, he will get:
-Disability pension from the state; about 66 % of his normal pay level (when he was working). This is equal to the "waiting money" he gets today, but the disability pension is more secure. The "waiting money" is granted every two weeks.
-Payout from a private disability insurance; $250 000
-Student loan forgiveness; $12 400

If they think he has even the tiniest chance to get well, they will refuse to declare him disabled, and he will be stuck on "waiting money". After a few years, he will also loose these, and will get social security instead. Those only cover the basics.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,167 Posts
wow, Norway is totally different, I'm in this mess, too. Maybe I should move there! But you have the same issues we have, it is very difficult to get Social Security Disability and many people hire a lawyer. The process takes 2 years in most cases and the payment is very small, or at least it will be in my case, it's based on how long you worked and I think what you earned. I worked 23 yrs and my payment will unlikely be enough to live on. My thoughts go out to you and best of luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
286 Posts
Good luck I hope he gets it. Here in the U.S. my nephew was dx with MS at 22. He is now 32 and can only walk so far before his legs just give out and he falls to the ground. If you didn't know him you'd think he was drunk the way he staggers, but he doesn't drink. He's healthy and gluten free (which he credits being GF with making him feel the best he's been in a long time). Anyway he hired a lawyer and was still denied disability. He works partime and lives with my sister and probably will forever. Sad seeing as he majored in art and wanted to get his masters to teach art but has hard time w/his limbs now so that dream is crushed. He mentored teaching disabled kids art and loved it. He would have made a great teacher. Sometimes the system really stinks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,167 Posts
The way SSDI rejects the first application, ok, I kind of get that, weed out people whose disability may be short term or reduce fraud, whatever. And my lawyer said there are certain terminal diagnoses that get accepted on the first application. I'd like to know what the heck they are because I saw many, many different terminal illnesses in 11 yrs at hospice and none of them got it on the first go 'round. They'd get it on the second, when they had already died and they reviewed MD notes, the family got the SSDI back payments. But surely we could have more compassion for the families of the truly terminal ill and accept them the first time, so while dealing with the stress of dying, the financial stress can be relieved a bit.

And frankly, I think there is some "fraud" on their end. When I went for my physical with their doc, no one could get a blood pressure and my pulse was in the 200s. I explained I have POTs and it is extremely rare that anyone hears it and half the reason I'm here is that I have no BP and a very rapid pulse, on a bucket load of meds and nothing is working. I told her I fall and fall and fall some more and all the other details. Explained the mass of vessels in my brain and all the fun that has come with that. So "don't freak out, this is my new baseline since Sept." She didn't care, she was running around trying to get the doc to let her call the ambulance I really did not need. Doc comes in, now I got a letter that he had to see me because I have a history of asthma, nothing at all to do with my disability. He proceeds to check my BP, it was one of the old mercury ones, you can see what your BP is by how the mercury jumps. And as usual, there were no jumps, thus an inaudible BP. He says, "148/96 you have high blood pressure, see your doctor." I told him that is not remotely true, it's the total opposite, could he perhaps check it again? No and he left. That was my entire physical, I'm there for some stupid reason for asthma and he did not listen to my lungs, did not touch me at all or ask any questions. Well, no wonder no one gets through on the first pass if no one examines you! My lawyer showed me his "notes" when I got denied. He wrote a typical history and physical, with assessments that were never done. I wanted to pursue this and make some sort of complaint that clinical assessments and then evaluation based on them were in his note but all he did was (incorrectly) take my BP. She said do not bother, this doc rejects everyone automatically and while he is flat out creating an assessment, nothing would ever happen if I tried to complain. Fine, but then tons of people before me and tons after will be rejected and have false physicals. If "everyone" in the system knows this about him, why the heck is he still there? It's one thing to deny someone, it's a whole 'nother thing to make up history and physicals. We worry so much about people fraudulently getting benefits, we pay no attention to the practitioners doing the denying.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,167 Posts
has your nephew tried applying again if it's been a while? I'm 45, my lawyer said it's really hard to get it before 50, he's so young, that was probably a factor. Denying a stumbling person with MS, that makes sense.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
64 Posts
Its hard to get because US disability is overrun with fraud. In some places, 1 in 4 people are on disability & 80% of them work under the table, go on vacation, are at the mall etc. It's a huge drain on taxpayers..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
412 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Fraud alligations have also led to a stricter process in Norway. The truth behind the statistics and rumours, is that a very small percentage of the money goes to people who don't need it. The largest problem by far is tax fraud. If the same resources that today are used for catching disability fraud was used to catch tax fraud, the increased revenue to the state would increase thousand fold.

Also, people get sicker from fighting the system. A lot of people would be able to work 20-30%, or a few days a month, if they didn't have to spend all their energy in meetings and doctor's appointments.

Thirdly; research shows that the more people feel trusted and that they are part of something, the less they will try to cheat. If you fight for scarce resources, you will try to get hold of as much as possible. If you are a part of a group that must share resources in a fair way, you will probably not try to take more than you need. This last point is of course much easier to do in a small community/country, where you know the other people in need.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,167 Posts
I wonder how in some places, 1 in 4 people have it. It's hard to prove you need it, very hard. So how are all these people getting through? Is it fraud within the SS Administration? Or are all those people really good actors with docs willing to write notes about how poorly they are doing? Pretty much every patient I had applying for it and anyone I knew outside of work, had gotten a lawyer. It's just commonplace, to get this, you will need a lawyer. And that really sucks, although mine has been awesome.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,167 Posts
yeah, but sometimes you need one. For me, I know I needed one because I have a mass in my brain right where cognition is. I can write almost normal but speaking I say the wrong words. I get confused, have zero memory, at the end of the day, I truly have no idea if I ate, if I had an MD appt, did I go anywhere,it's so weird. All summer my brain has said it's January and every day is Friday. My family had to hide my winter coat because I would put it on whenever I went out, lol. I wore winter clothes all summer. My dad would stand me on the deck, say it's 90 degrees, it's SUMMER! I'd agree with him and walk away thinking, my father is really losing it, right back to January. So I could never have applied without my lawyer. I did the application and it made little sense. She spent 3 1/2 hrs with me doing it all over. All the lawyers get 25% of the settlement if you win, they get nothing if you lose. I don't think I can honestly go through all this, go to a hearing, without her. Seeing as how the concept of am and pm has become a confusing challenge, I don't think me representing myself is a good idea!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
412 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
OMG OMG OMG!! I love my union!

I have never heard about this happening before, but my union has renegotiated the disability insurance, and it will cover us retrospectively! If the letter I got today checks out, we won't have to wait until my husband is declared disabled; because he has been out of work for more than 12 months, we will be getting monthly checks for $2500 (1% of the final sum), for up to 100 months, starting in January. If/when he is declared disabled, we will get the rest of the lump sum.

$2500 a month is a lot of money in our budget. There will probably be some tax, but I can deal with that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,167 Posts
that's great!

Just check the small print, my long term disability requires paying back whatever I receive as a monthly sum from SSDI should I get it. For example, LTD pays $2000 a month, SSDI ends up paying $1000 a month when received 24 mos later. SSDI pays out a lump sum for the two years you were waiting. LTD will take that money to repay the SSDI portion of the payment they were paying out. Does that make sense? I have heard that is the way many LTD's work; part of it is a loan to tide you over.

And my policy is notoriously hard to get and to keep. In the 4 months I've had it, I've had to see their doctor once for an entire day work up and send copious amounts of documentation. Hopefully, because your DH is unionized your policy is a zillion times better.

Also, mine did not automatically withhold tax.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
302 Posts
I work in customer service for a disability insurer, what pp said is correct. Most plans require you to apply for SSDI if awarded LTD. SSDI is considered an offset, once you are awarded SSDI they can collect retroactively, so if SSDI awards you a year or 2 back pay, that money goes to repay the LTD plan. After the LTD plan is paid back, most of the time LTD just provides a supplement to your SSDI (it could be about $100 a month, depending on the plan). You will never make more on STD/LTD/SSDI than you would working. Also there are a lot of hoops to jump through in order to get your benefits. You have to make sure the Dr is willing to fill out all the paperwork and will need to regularly send your medical records in to the insurance company.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top