Topic: disability ins question

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Posted on: Dec 30, 2010 06:37PM

Posted on: Dec 30, 2010 06:37PM

inOhio wrote:

I was recently laid off (and not eligible for unemployment, because technically "self-employed"), and THEN just dx with BC (looks bad, I think mets and therefore stage IV).  I have health insurance. (I am also the single mother of schoolage children).

 I am wondering... if I can get another job (big IF), one that provides disability insurance as a benefit, will I be eligible to receive disability when I become disabled, or does already having the BC diagnosis disqualify me from receiving benefits?

The answer to this is important.  If I might be able to get disability insurance via a new employer, I will try hard to get a job -- any job -- while feeling healthy enough to work.  Maybe a large employer would even hire me with the idea of helping me get disability insurance?

 Thanks for your guidance!

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Jan 2, 2011 12:54PM - edited Jan 2, 2011 12:55PM by redskies

I think it will depend on the specific plan offered by a prospective employer.  I had the "luck" to have my bc found just after my 2 year employment anniversary, which was for me the point when I became eligible for LTD through Hartford.

I found an Anthem BS/BC application that states the policy has a one year exclusion on pre-existing conditions- see #3 on the last page:

http://www.pbsai.com/assets/anthem1.pdf

 Anthem's application states that you may be denied a policy, at their discretion.

So, if you can manage to work at least a full year, your idea might work... any time taken off under FMLA may not count though, so be careful in regards to that.

If I understand correctly, LTD policies only replace something like 60% of your income, and if you receive social security disability, LTD may be reduced by the amount you receive (mine is.)

I know some companies can be very helpful when an employee needs help, but I think your work history and personal relationships with persons in the company play at least some part... in other words, I would never go into a job interview asking to be hired to get disability insurance.  As far as I know, potential employers are not allowed to directly ask about your health, and I would certainly not mention it either directly or indirectly under any circumstances when interviewing, and I would be cautious as well about mentioning it to anyone once hired.  You will need to be honest when filling out paperwork for a policy, of course.

I would be most concerned with making sure you have no gaps in health insurance coverage; I believe you still need a certificate of prior coverage to avoid exclusions for pre-existing conditions if you change insurers.

My LTD policy required me to apply for social security disability at the same time, as the amount they pay is reduced by the amount I receive in SSDI.  The policy states they will require you to pay back any "excess" payments.

You should probably check with social security to see if you have enough credits (including enough recent credits) to qualify for SSDI.

Another thing to consider is the option of extending any employer health insurance through COBRA if you become unable to work.  SSDI approval is automatic and quick for stage 4 bc (but remember you have to have enough credits to qualify.)  COBRA is normally only available for 18 months, but there is an exception if you are disabled so that it can be extended to 24 months, which is when you become eligible for medicare.

Your health insurance premiums will most likely increase under COBRA, another thing to remember.

Good luck and best wishes,

Lynne

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Jan 2, 2011 12:58PM Fearless_One wrote:

Since you have had no insurance lapse, you should be able to immediately fall under their group health plan (after the usual 90 day waiting period, or whatever it is), but disability insurance?  I doubt it.   I would file for SSDI immediately and continue to keep whatever insurance you have.
lump/chemo/rads/hyster-ooph/mastectomy/implants

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