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How Many Stage 4 Girls are getting SS disability..

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  • kbl
    kbl Member Posts: 2,731
    edited June 2020
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    Thank you, vinrph. That would be nice if they would count back to my diagnosis, since that was on May 3, 2019. I am working four hours this month and am not sure whether I should wait to apply until July so I’m totally done. I am an S corporation and not paying myself a salary this month. I have been working steadily for 39 years just in this job, and working since I was 16.

  • kbl
    kbl Member Posts: 2,731
    edited June 2020
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    I applied Monday and did not end up working this month, so my last workday was May 22nd. I understand the process much better after reading all the posts. I won't be paid from my diagnosis date because I made too much per month, so it will be from my last day of work. The interview took about an hour. The rep was so nice, and I didn't have to send any paperwork. It was fairly easy. Now I wait. Part of me is happy that I'm done working, and the other part of me feels sadness. I told very few people I was applying, so I just said I was retiring. I was in my field for 39.5 years.


  • aprilgirl1
    aprilgirl1 Member Posts: 765
    edited June 2020
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    KBL, thanks for posting an update. I am still working but have been wondering about the process when I decide to stop working. I understand how you have mixed feelings. Congratulations on your retirement - 39.5 years in your field is impressive! Enjoy the summer. With covid19 I have spent more time at home than I usually do and it has been nice.

  • kbl
    kbl Member Posts: 2,731
    edited June 2020
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    Thank you, Aprilgirl1. I will enjoy the summer mostly indoors. The heat is unbearable where I live. I came home to work in 2015, so it wasn’t a shock to the system to be home more.

  • kbl
    kbl Member Posts: 2,731
    edited June 2020
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    As I said, I applied Monday. I see what’s coming in my mail, and I see two pieces of mail from the Division of Disability Determinations. I see on the Social Security website that a medical determination has already been made. I’ll post here what the two letters say once I open them.

  • ts542001
    ts542001 Member Posts: 36
    edited June 2020
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    i have bone mets and at the time i was diagnosed i was in severe pain, had spine surgery twice and radiation therapy and radiosurgery. i was sure i would never be able to get back to work and was happy that i was able to get social security disability. anyway i'm certainly not ready to go to work full time, but i have been thinking about doing some work one day a week, anything to keep me busy, but my question is does anyone know how much money you are allowed to make while on disability? i'm pretty sure i that you are allowed to earn something, if not, i would probably volunteer one or two days a week to keep me busy and around other people.

    and KBL, if you applied on monday for disability and they already made a determination i'm sure you were approved. when i spoke to the person doing my application he said, not to be surprised if i get notified very quickly re dispostion, as people with "your diagnosis" often hear from us very quickly. and i did, i was approved within a couple of weeks.

  • ninetwelve
    ninetwelve Member Posts: 328
    edited June 2020
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    I worked for five years with a stage 4 diagnosis. With Covid around, I finally left work and started applying for disability. I just got a call from them, and they were asking a lot of questions about my ability to work. I thought disability insurance was automatic with a stage 4 breast cancer diagnosis? I am freaking out now. (I live in Oregon.)

  • candy-678
    candy-678 Member Posts: 4,098
    edited June 2020
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    NineTwelve- Stage 4 is an automatic qualifier. They may ask you if you have a diagnosis that will lead to death, the answer is Yes. They will have to get your medical records to verify diagnosis. Here is a link to a webinar I watched and was helpful for me.


  • kbl
    kbl Member Posts: 2,731
    edited June 2020
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    NineTwelve, that must be standard protocol. The mail I got today was something I have to fill out about pain and then one with the last 15 years of work history. Is that what you got?

    I’m not quite sure how to fill out the pain one. I would assume I’m supposed to fill it out with pain from my cancer. Well, my cancer is in my stomach and possibly omentum. I have issues with eating and nausea. How do I put that as pain? I do have pain after I eat. Then it asks if you use a TENS unit, physical therapy. I mean, really? Do they assume everyone has bone or muscle pain with this? I do have chronic pain, but it’s from a car accident.

    I have a call in to the lady that took my application. I don’t know what they are looking for, so I will try to ask her.

  • kbl
    kbl Member Posts: 2,731
    edited June 2020
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    I went to the My SSA website, and the decision has been made. I was approved. Big sigh of relief. I don’t understand why I was given these other forms to fill out. I will call to see if I still have to fill them out. I was approved in four days.

  • dodgersgirl
    dodgersgirl Member Posts: 1,902
    edited June 2020
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    KBL- interesting questions you were asked. I thought I had read where TENS units were not recommended on bone mets.

  • sondraf
    sondraf Member Posts: 1,600
    edited June 2020
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    DG - TENS shouldn't go directly on tumors but since you cant pinpoint exactly where they are...probably not the best idea. Which sucks because I like using them and, frankly, was using one on my pelvis last summer just before I was diagnosed. However, if you have lower back pain for some other non-cancer reason then perhaps this is just the generic question.

  • kbl
    kbl Member Posts: 2,731
    edited June 2020
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    I have a feeling the person who sent me this paperwork doesn’t know about my Stage IV diagnosis. I think this might be paperwork that they automatically send out no matter what. I will keep you posted on whether I have to fill it out.

  • kbl
    kbl Member Posts: 2,731
    edited June 2020
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    DodgersGirl, I don’t know because I don’t have diagnosed bone mets. My cancer is in my organs only as far as I know.

  • kbl
    kbl Member Posts: 2,731
    edited June 2020
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    Just got the call back. She said the paperwork does go out automatically, and I don't have to fill it out.

  • ninetwelve
    ninetwelve Member Posts: 328
    edited June 2020
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    Thanks for the encouraging words, candy and KBL - I'm glad you're approved. I'm not sure yet what's going on with my application, but I'm trying to be calm about it. If worse comes to worst, I'll just have to appeal, and make sure I have all my ducks lined up better, I guess.

  • ninetwelve
    ninetwelve Member Posts: 328
    edited June 2020
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    My disability claim was denied: You state you are unable to work because of Stage 4 Breast Cancer. We have determined you currently have the capacity to perform work you have done in the past as a Clerical.

    The whole application was done over the phone. All of the questions were about what my job was. None of the questions were about my capacity to do the job.

    Guess I need to get an attorney.

  • kbl
    kbl Member Posts: 2,731
    edited June 2020
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    I don't understand that at all, NineTwelve. Did you answer the question that your illness will end in death? Maybe someone better versed will come on and say something that could help. I'm sorry. I can't imagine the stress you're going through. I'm sure you'll appeal. Did your doctor submit records?

  • candy-678
    candy-678 Member Posts: 4,098
    edited June 2020
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    Nine Twelve----I don't understand it either. Social Security Disability has a Compassionate Allowance Program for Stage 4 folks. Our cancer will result in death. Can you call them and asked about that Program? Maybe they can resubmit the paperwork under that Program. Are you still working? Do you have an HR department that could help you? Try calling Social Security first before hiring an attorney.

  • Momchichi
    Momchichi Member Posts: 98
    edited June 2020
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    nine twelve,

    I used to work for SSA doing disability claims, all you need to do to get approved is provide your pathology report showing mets. You must have gotten an idiot adjudicator. You can file an appeal on your own, called a reconsideration and ask for it to be fast tracked/compassionate allowance. Don’t get a lawyer or they’ll take some of your $ and that doesn’t need to happen. I think there are advocacy groups and American Cancer Society patient navigators that help for free.

  • ninetwelve
    ninetwelve Member Posts: 328
    edited June 2020
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    * Adjudicators may, at their discretion, use the Medical Evidence of Record or the listings suggested to evaluate the claim. However, the decision to allow or deny the claim rests with the adjudicator

    ^This is the small print on the compassionate allowance list for metastatic breast cancer. They are allowed to be uncompassionate with me and that is what they're doing.

    https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms.nsf/lnx/0423022125

  • mlc96
    mlc96 Member Posts: 17
    edited July 2020
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    I was just approved for SSD, have been stage 4 since December 2016 and was trying to work full time. I applied for LTD in 2017 but was denied as Unum determined I was stable on Herceptin and Perjeta.In 2018 new tumors were growing and had to go back on Taxol. I was not getting good response and chemo changed 3 times. I applied for LTD again and was approved. I had an admin job but I listed out the reasons I was unable to perform my desk job; severe fingertip neuropathy made using keyboard and handling paperwork very painful, body aches made sitting at desk very uncomfortable, frequent digestive track problems and spending too much time in bathroom, lowered immune system and need to reduce contact with employees and visitors, chemo causing poor memory, all these caused greatly reduced productivity which my employer could not accommodate.


  • kbl
    kbl Member Posts: 2,731
    edited July 2020
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    Mic96, I’m sure it’s a relief to be approved. I know we would much rather be working and not have to deal with this.


  • dodgersgirl
    dodgersgirl Member Posts: 1,902
    edited July 2020
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    I was approved for SSD and should receive my first disability check next month. Pretty quick process. I applied online since CoVid has my local office shut down for face-to-face meetings.

    Question for those already receiving benefits— were you asked about federal taxes and how much to withhold? Like a W-4 when you start a job???

  • margaritams
    margaritams Member Posts: 183
    edited July 2020
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    Dodgersgirl, congrats on your approval. No, I wasn’t asked or invited to have any withholding. It’s created tax issues for me every year since I was approved because it is so hard to live on the payments and then also save for taxes. If you an opportunity to withhold, I’d take it - and please let me know. I’ll sign up for withholding too. Admittedly, I’ve been too lazy to search out myself whether withholding is an option

  • dodgersgirl
    dodgersgirl Member Posts: 1,902
    edited July 2020
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    MargaritaMS— I received a letter from So Security today which talked about having taxes withheld. There is a W4 form online that you can fill out and mail to Social Security.

    I plan on withholding 18%, if that is an option. Otherwise, I will have 20% withheld for taxes. 85% of my disability will be taxable.

  • margaritams
    margaritams Member Posts: 183
    edited July 2020
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    Good to know about the W4. I’ll have to fill that out. Thanks

  • Frap
    Frap Member Posts: 7
    edited December 2020
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    Curious for those who were able to claim early SSDI as a MBC candidate, did you need your Dr's approval or input? My Dr says I'm perfectly fine working even though she has no clue the mental stress of my job, not to mention battling the side effects. Wondering if her input will disqualify my application. Certainly appreciate any input and many blessing to all who are suffering through the many SE of these meds.

  • chicagoan
    chicagoan Member Posts: 973
    edited December 2020
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    Frap-You don't need your doctor's approval but they will check your medical records. I don't think you will have a problem since you are stage 4. In future doctor's visits, you may want to be sure to tell your doctor about side effect difficulties, fatigue, etc so it is in her notes. My doctor was cool-she said she is fine with patients working or not working. It's a very personal decision. Some people find their jobs life-giving; others find them to be life sucking and stressful.

  • Momchichi
    Momchichi Member Posts: 98
    edited December 2020
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    frap, I used to process ssa disability claims and all you need to provide is the path report showing your Mets. It'll go by your date last worked unless you were using sick leave, received accommodations at work, etc. don't be shy stating how cancer kept you from working normally. There is 5 month waiting period before benefits start so the sooner you quit working the better!