Topic: Short Term Disability Benefit Exhausted. What are my options?

Forum: Employment, Insurance, and Other Financial Issues — Employment, insurance, and financial concerns are common. Meet others here to discuss and for support.

Posted on: Sep 8, 2010 12:44PM

Posted on: Sep 8, 2010 12:44PM

PinkBunny wrote:

Good Morning,

I'm hoping someone out there in our wonderful community can shed some light on this confusing topic. Here are the facts:

In June 2009 I was laid off from my job. I began receiving unemployment.

In August 2009 I was diagnosed with BC and shortly thereafter went on short term disability.

I just received a letter from Disability saying that was my last check because disability benefits were exhausted. The letter tsaid that I should inquire with Social Security if my disability is permanent.

My doctor extended my disability for a bit longer.Not sure how long because the paperwork is at his office and I have not picked it up yet. I assume it is for another month maybe.

Here is my question:

My disability is temporary. Do I request an extension of my short term disability benefit for the length of time as the form my doctor has signed? Can you request short extensions of benefits for say, a month? Or do I get an ok to return to work from my doctor and file for unemployment?

Thank you for any light you can shed on this confusing topic!


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Sep 8, 2010 01:41PM MaryNY wrote:

Hi Michelle: Sorry, I don't know anything about disability but I'm sure someone else will chime in. How do the disability payments compare to what you would get on unemployment? If you feel able to work and unemployment benefits would be higher, I think I'd make the switch. I was laid off in Jan 2009 and started collecting unemployment benefits. I was diagnosed with cancer in May 2009. I'm still on unemployment benefits but they will be exhausted in November. It's very hard to find work in this economy.

Are you finished all your treatment?

Mary ~~ lumpectomy 8/10/2009, Oncotype DX 18, Chemo 10/28/09--2/1/10 AC*4, CMF*4 Dx 5/19/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 2/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Sep 8, 2010 11:53PM makingway wrote:

Michelle- This is ironic becuase basically the same thing happened to me. Laid off in March 09, diagnosed in April. What happened is, as soon as my surgery took place (June 09) I no longer qualified for unemployment insurance becuase I was 'ill'. They automatically switched it to state disability. It comes from the same place. It was also the same amount of money. If you live in California you can get state disablity for one year, and that's it-no more than that. There are no extentions beyond one year. The source of it's funding is from your past deductions of employment. Every few months they will send you that letter. You have to take the form that comes with it to your doctor and have the doctor extend your disablity another 6 months. I had to do this 2 or 3 times even though the doctor put 6 months time until possible recovery. The first time I did this I mailed in the form to the state, and of course they lost it. The following 2 times I brought it in to the local office, so they had no chance of 'not receiving' it. Unfortunately, if there is any way of screwing you, they will find it.

What state do you live in? Are you able to work physically? If so, unemployment would be the best route to take unless you can find a job.

Visit my website for helpful tips when using cold Dx 3/2/2009, ILC, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/19 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Sep 9, 2010 12:13AM squidwitch42 wrote:


I'm so sorry you are under this stress.  I do have a few ideas to share.  There was some really great information shared in the thread "Where can poor people get tested for free?"  There are resources for financial/legal etc.. that may be useful to you.

If you have a social worker, they might be a good advocate, regarding Social Security benefits.  I know that there is some social security benefits that are "interim." Please excuse my lack of clarity, but I would go for any sort of emergency funding..called SSDI.  I sincerely hope you qualify for unemployment as well.

There may be some funds to help with rent, food with your local BC groups.  I know I received assistance with a hospital co-pay, and there is also co-pay assistance with medicines too with another group. I wish you the best, and keep bumping this thread.  There will be some clearer  info than I provided...I know we have some SW's on this forum too.


Dx 10/2/2009, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/7 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Sep 9, 2010 07:51PM PinkBunny wrote:

Hi Again, pinkbunny here!

I am in California...if it helps to know that. I appreciate everyone chiming in. I guess what I don't understand is this:

I was laid off and on unemployment. When I became unable to work I switched to short term disability. That short term disability has been exhausted. Now that I am able to work, do I reopen my original unemployment claim from before I was diagnosed of file a new claim? Am I eligible for unemployment since I was laid off before I became disabled?

Thank you!!!

 PS: I am done with my AC4/T4 treatment. this was my second go round with breast cancer. At age 24 I battled it the first time. Second time was at age 40. I'm on meds for depression and Nueropathy from the Taxol. What a journey. I beat cancer twice but cant make heads or tails of this unemployment situation! Go figure!

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Sep 9, 2010 11:26PM MaryNY wrote:

Pinkbunny: I'm pretty sure you can just reopen your old unemployment claim. I would just call the DOL office and ask. If your disability has been exhausted, I'd do that as soon as possible. I had a break in my claim once when I got a few weeks work from the census bureau. I just reopened the old claim when I finished that. You can probably reopen the old claim on the CA website, but I think it would be better to do it over the phone so you can explain your circumstances.

I've used this Unemployment Forum on the City Data website a few times when I had questions about benefits. If you post your question there, make sure you mention you are in CA, someone will have the answer. 

Maybe a social worker would be able to help you apply for long term disability if that seemed like a better option for you. 

Mary ~~ lumpectomy 8/10/2009, Oncotype DX 18, Chemo 10/28/09--2/1/10 AC*4, CMF*4 Dx 5/19/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 2/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Sep 10, 2010 04:33AM lauri wrote:


Don''t try to call from home about unemployment -- you'll be on hold for 45+ minutes.  Instead, go in to the EDD office (or one-stop office) and have them place the call for you -- they have a way to get you connected right away.

Not sure how unemployment would work for you since the formula looks back to the prior year of earnings to determine how much your check is -- if you can go back and reopen the earlier claim that might work.  And if that doesn't work, EDD has classes on resume writing and interviewing.

I did it the other way around -- on SDI for 11-1/2 months, went back to work (with neuropathy, thank you Taxol) and then was laid off 2 years later and went on unemployment. 

As noted above, CA SDI only goes for 12 months and SS LTD is extremely hard to get (generally you get rejected unless you have Stage IV or ALS, and have to file an appeal)

From the ashes of disaster grow the roses of success Dx 3/8/2006, ILC, Left, 6cm+, Stage IIIB, metastasized to bone, Grade 2, 11/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 11/15/2021, ILC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone Hormonal Therapy 11/28/2021 Femara (letrozole) Targeted Therapy 12/2/2021 Ibrance (palbociclib) Radiation Therapy Whole breast: Breast Surgery Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxol) Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Sep 10, 2010 01:32PM MaryNY wrote:

For others with questions on financial issues, Lowrider has a post on the Stage IV forum where she has collected many links to posts on money matters: Money and Newbies - SSDI, STD, LTD and Life Insurance...
Mary ~~ lumpectomy 8/10/2009, Oncotype DX 18, Chemo 10/28/09--2/1/10 AC*4, CMF*4 Dx 5/19/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 2/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-

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