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Topic: How Many Stage 4 Girls are getting SS disability..

Forum: Stage IV/Metastatic Breast Cancer ONLY —

Please respect that this forum is for members with stage IV/metastatic breast cancer only. There is a separate forum for caregivers and friends: Caring for Someone with Stage 4 or Mets.

Posted on: Sep 19, 2006 05:22AM

Shepgirl wrote:

Seems like a lot of stage 4 US citizens are getting Social Security Disability Insurance payments. So lets see how many there are! If you were denied, please comment if it was for medical issues. My understanding is denials are more "not paid in enough" issues than medical.

Dx 12/23/2004, IDC, 2cm, Stage IV, Grade 2, 2/22 nodes, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Sep 19, 2006 05:39AM Shepgirl wrote:

Forgot Link for SS.
Dx 12/23/2004, IDC, 2cm, Stage IV, Grade 2, 2/22 nodes, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Sep 19, 2006 05:40AM Mena wrote:

FYI, anyone dx'd Stage IV automatically qualifies for SSD (Social Security Disability). The number to call is 1-800-772-1213. Of course, you will have had to work some time during your life to claim these benefits, as far as I know.

Also, it doesn't mean you have to stop working! You can earn up to $880 a month and still get your full, yes FULL, benefit amount. This is Federal law.

All us Stage IV's know that some days are great and some just plain suck...some days we feel invincible and some days we want to sleep all day...this is why SSD helps. We can still work! And we can rest when we need to...

You can even apply online at Please let your onc know what you are doing, and they'd better cooperate! (or have me to contend with ahahahah)...

Everyone's benefit amount differs, depending on the incomes they've had during their lifetime...

I wish you all the, Mena...xo
Dx 8/8/2004, IDC, Stage IV, Grade 3, 1/20 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Sep 19, 2006 05:42AM Shepgirl wrote:

Thanks Mena- this is consistent with what I have learned. And yes, you can work "alittle" (under $880 a month).

BTW- the process for stage 4 people can be expediated to 30-60 days. Most other folks have to wait 6 months.
Dx 12/23/2004, IDC, 2cm, Stage IV, Grade 2, 2/22 nodes, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Sep 19, 2006 05:45AM lv2cmp wrote:

ok fill me in on how you work and still draw ssd. I work full time and was just diagnosed with mets in August. Amy

'Life isn't about how to survive the storm, But how to dance in the rain.' Dx 2004, IDC, 2cm, Stage IV, Grade 2, 1/11 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Sep 19, 2006 06:18AM AmryAnn47 wrote:

Hi all!
Thanks for the poll--it will be interesting to see how it turns out.
Last April I realized that I wasn't going to be able to resume my Business Services business (bookkeeping, billing, inventory, etc., for small businesses which are too big for just the owner to handle it all but too small to be able to afford a full time bookkeeper)and just retained 1 client which keeps me under the $880 per month. I applied and got all the back SSD from Feb about 45 days later, and a regular check each month based on my previous income since.
It also means that I will be eligible for Medicare in Feb 2007 which is a good thing since my health insurance premiums have just increased to $870 a month with a $2000 deductible. I will be 59 on the 26th and I must admit that I have some fear that my care won't be as good under Medicare as it has been with the private insurance which has approved all the scans & tests with no questions (but doesn't cover the LE therapy & stuff very well).
In Tx, we qualify for the A Medigap insurance supplemental which isn't great, but better than nothing. Availability of Medigap Insurance varies from State to State so check into it. I don't know if I will qualify for the part D drug coverage either but will continue to research that part before Feb since I have fair drug coverage with my insurance now.
The SS people were very kind & helpful and easy to work with.
Good luck with your applications.
Mary Ann Dx 4/11/2011, ILC, 1cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 5/10 nodes, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Sep 19, 2006 07:42AM CTG wrote:

Thanks for doing this poll. I know this is a bit off the subject of SS.
On the subject of disability;
This is worth checking into if you are a homeowner.
In some communities if you are disabled, you may qualify for a
�Disability Exemption� on your Property Taxes. This may be a small deduction on your property tax bill, every little bit helps.
Just check with your county or city property tax office for the requirements.
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Sep 19, 2006 08:26AM LuAnnH wrote:

I am a fortuante one, I work full time and am salary. I make a decent pay and my boss knows on my bad weeks I may only put in 15 hours and my good weeks 60 hours. I am able to manage my work and get it done timely and can do most of it from home. As long as I can continue to produce this way I can maintain a full time job with my benefits. I know I won't see much raise wise given my situation but working at my regular pay this way is alot better than SSD and I keep contributing to this pension so when I do finally draw off it my contributions may be enough to get enough to actually live on a month!

One question I have though, do those benefits cap out at a certain dollar amount or will you get a percentage based on your contributions?

LuAnn -- Dx 7/2/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Sep 19, 2006 09:28AM rcotton91786-2006Mar25 wrote:

Thanks for the information.
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Sep 19, 2006 11:21AM Roza wrote:

I can go to disabilities and in six months I can have my SS disabilities, and the long term disabilities ins. company will pay the difference between SSD and 60% of my paycheck till I am 65 years old.
I never saw somebody mention this here. Don't believe that this is only on MA.
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Sep 19, 2006 12:08PM Betsey wrote:

I have been getting SSDI since November 2004. I was able to do the entire application process on line, signed and returned some paperwork and was approved within 3 weeks. Like Roza said, I get SSDI and the balance of 60% of my pay from LTD. I don't think this has anything to do with the state, but is based on terms of your disability policy. It has been a blessing for me. On my good days I work on my art projects, volunteer and generally stay busy. On the bad days I curl up, read or sleep.

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Sep 20, 2006 06:55AM Shepgirl wrote:

Interesting on the partial work and SS stuff. I can't edit polls, once active, BUT I would just select the YES option since you are getting a portion. I would also guess the work related insurance has shorter time durations. i.e. once you get SS - you on it unless you can go back to work! I know my hubby LTD plan has limits.

Also I just learn if you have minor children they may also be qualify for SS disabilty - if mom does! AND if you die and the kids get disabilty its "easier" on your family to convert that to surviver benefits.

As you can see........... I'm doing my homework!
Dx 12/23/2004, IDC, 2cm, Stage IV, Grade 2, 2/22 nodes, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Sep 20, 2006 09:15AM MIdb wrote:

I didn't vote, because it is my wife who is stage 4. The process was a breeze for her. Only one thing though. She was diagnosed in June '05. We applied and hoped it would be retro to '03. However, they claimed she became disabled in Jan '05, because that is when her back started bothering her, and she started treatment for her back.

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Sep 20, 2006 09:17AM Shepgirl wrote:

You can vote for your wife as long as she does not vote too!

Thanks for the retro thing! I too might have a problem with this!
Dx 12/23/2004, IDC, 2cm, Stage IV, Grade 2, 2/22 nodes, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Sep 20, 2006 04:13PM KariLynn wrote:

Kathy - getting mine was a breeze and I didn't claim any problems other than the obvious stage iv. I'm still a little shocked that I qualify (in denial land, there's no reason I would qualify...)

My kids get $202 a month each. Between their checks and mine it's about 1800 pre tax which is less than I could earn in the real world but allows me to take better care of myself.

I tell DH I'm waiting for the day they tell me what I have isn't terminal and get your butt to work - I'll do a happy dance that day!!!
If you can solve your problem, then what is the need of worrying? If you cannot solve it, then what is the use of worrying? Dx 6/2/2005, IDC, 2cm, Stage IV, 14/25 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Sep 20, 2006 04:40PM kimmytoo wrote:

I'm getting mine, and my kids get about $200 each also. It's way, way, way below what I earned, but I'm young and don't have quite the earnings history that I would have had if I hadn't gotten this crap.

I have a few decent days, but mainly blah ones -- fewer really bad ones since I quit my job, though.
Dx 8/25/2003, IDC, 2cm, Stage IV, Grade 2, 12/20 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Sep 21, 2006 05:51PM gretchv wrote:

I recently checked into this because I wanted to scale back to part-time work, but was denied because I make too much money (more than $860/month, as I work full-time to support myself, no spouse). And I haven't felt bad enough yet to "have to" work less, so the catch is, you need to be not working or minimally working in order to qualify.
So I decided to just keep on with my full-time income (which is more than SSDI + $860/month) for now. I can't really afford to quit yet!
Thanks for the discussion-
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Sep 22, 2006 05:53AM PaulaBeth wrote:

Remember that your earnings don't count against you for SSDI if you work in a business owned by you and your family.

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Sep 23, 2006 05:45AM Shepgirl wrote:

Paula- SS told me, my earnings did. And I'm the owner and sole employee of my own DBA filed business. I will ask again? Do you have any information link on that topic?

Interesting - what you learn here! thanks again
Dx 12/23/2004, IDC, 2cm, Stage IV, Grade 2, 2/22 nodes, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Sep 23, 2006 07:30AM PaulaBeth wrote:

When I applied the young man who took my application said he didn't think it would count against me because if I hadn't gotten paid it would have come to me as profit anyway. Sure enough, it was approved, even though my salary was too much for their guidelines. They counted my disability as starting the month I had to hire help for the bookkeeping (my job in the company,) which was before I was Stage 4, but since they only pay 12 months prior to application, that was my official date of disability. Your not having had to hire help for your business may affect their decision for your application.

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Sep 23, 2006 08:51AM catgirl wrote:

I applied at the beginning of Aug but haven't heard back yet. I hope I hear something soon. I am only working about 16-20 hrs a wk and my savings acct is just about depleted. I am single w/2 grown kids in college and this is quite a strain on my budget. I am fortunate that my employer allows me to work part-time and still keep my health ins. This will not last forever, though. They are in the process of looking for someone full time to replace me. What will I do for health insurance then? I cannot afford the $420/month for Cobra ($800 if I keep my daughter on my plan). I can't believe you have to wait 2 yrs for Medicare...what do they expect us do...we need our health insurance!

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Sep 23, 2006 12:15PM LuAnnH wrote:

If your daughter is in college they usually offer an affordable option for the kids who don't have health insurance. I would check into that.

LuAnn -- Dx 7/2/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Sep 24, 2006 07:24AM donnabres wrote:

I have decided to keep working as long as I can. It gives me something to keep my mind busy. I am not one of those women who would stay home, and cook, and clean. For me, I am afraid that I would wallow in self pity.
As long as I am physically, mentally, and emotionally able to work, I will continue.

It is good to know that when and if the time comes, I would not have trouble getting on disability. I am not covered through my job, so I would only qualify for SSDI.

I think that we all have to do what is right for us. Maybe if I could afford to travel the way I would like to, I would use that instead of working to keep me busy. maybe I'll hit the lottery!!!!!!!!!!! YEAH, RIGHT.

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Sep 24, 2006 09:05AM Roza wrote:

Donna, I think the same:).
Just I need to begin playing the lottery, the rest will be easy:).
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Sep 24, 2006 01:49PM Betsey wrote:

If you can still work, I think that's great. The sad thing is that some of us do not have the energy to work on a consistant basis. I wish I could, but between widespread bone mets and the effects of my meds I simply can't do it. My goal is to be well enough to work part time, as it stands right now I've had to take a leave of absence from my volunteer work while I adjust to Xeloda (and pray it works). I'm really not "one of those women who stay home and cook and clean". I worked all the while my son was growing up and wish I could have been home with him more. Seems to me that many of the women on this board, especially those with small children, have made the choice to go on SSDI to have time with family and take better care of themselves. I've been forced by bc to make this change and I'm trying to make the best of it.
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Sep 25, 2006 01:21PM catgirl wrote:

Well, I got all excited when I saw a big envelope from SSA today. I was hoping it was an approval letter but it was a packet of questionaires for me to fill out. It took me over 2hrs to answer all of the questions. I thought that if you are dx stage IV that it was automatic aproval for disability! I don't understand what is taking so long and why they needed to ask me all the additional questions.

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Sep 25, 2006 01:51PM shelliks wrote:

I just started the application process. My long term disability carrier is paying my claim (thank God) and they require me to apply for SS. I spent about an hour online with the initial application and will spend some more time tomorrow with the health portion.

I've been in the insurance business for 16 years, working for the same brokerage. Got married and had 3 children but kept working there because I love it. Life was a lot more fun and interesting when I was a working mother but I sure am learning about being a stay at home mother and those of you that have always done it, it's a big job. But it's the most rewarding job I've ever had. My illness is a day-to-day job also. Some days are perfectly fine, others suck. Today was great. Praying for a great Tuesday too!

Shelli K. S.
Vice President of Beautiful Children/Great Husband
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Oct 10, 2006 12:06PM roseg wrote:

bumping up. hope it's helpful.

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Oct 11, 2006 04:01AM Shepgirl wrote:

bump again......... this one important for stage 4 people- it gives you options you might not think you had!!!!

Dx 12/23/2004, IDC, 2cm, Stage IV, Grade 2, 2/22 nodes, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Oct 11, 2006 04:38AM catgirl wrote:

Still waiting to hear from SS. I applied at the beginning of Aug. Thought it wouldn't take so long being dxd with terminal disease.
Damn if I were a single pregnant mom they would be giving me the world, though!
I am only trying to get what I paid into here not asking for a handout!
Sorry for the ranting....bills are piling up and cancer is spreading!
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Oct 12, 2006 04:17AM JeanOneal wrote:


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