HELP, How long did it take you to get approved for disability?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by TerriM, Mar 28, 2003.

  1. TerriM

    TerriM New Member

    Hi everyone . . . just curious about this. I have an attorney and I had paid for long term disability through the company I worked for for 15 years. When I got sick, I received short term disability for a little under 6 months and then was let go with NO payments for long term . . . the insurance company said I don't have a "firm" diagnosis with test results showing the bottom-line of what is wrong with me. For over a year now I haven't had any pay at all and my attorney is working on it but I have no idea how long this could take. I am still very sick and my health insurance (thru COBRA) runs out this summer. Does anyone have advice either on the disability issue or the health insurance . . . maybe I should post about the health insurance in a separate post . . . Anyway, was curious how long it took others to get disability . . . I understand that because this is through a company this is different from Social Security Disability . . . Thanks for any advice you can offer! Love, Terri
  2. pamj

    pamj New Member

    I was covered by LTD through my company. I paid $9 out of every paycheck for this. When I got sick, my Short-term disability paid me for 6 months. This was just like regular sick pay, since my benefits stayed the same as when I was working full-time. I received full-time pay, and my health insurance deductions remained the same.

    After the 6 months, I had to apply for Long-term disability. My Human Resources department told me that I qualified to remain in the group health insurance (I would have to pay the monthly premiums out-of-pocket at a group rate, around 200 for family health & dental coverage - much more affordable than COBRA rates), as long as I applied and was covered by LTD. When I asked what happens if they denied me at first, they said I could remain under group coverage as long as I was in the appeal process. Only a final denial would mean I would have to stop the group coverage. They said that if they dropped my coverage in the meantime, I would have grounds to sue them for canceling coverage while I was receiving medical treatment.

    The LTD company did actually deny me at first, within 2 months of applying. After submitting more info from 4 doctors, they approved me within 3 more months without needing a lawyer. This now means that I am considered a "disability retiree" from my company, and I am still part of the group benefits for as long as my illness lasts. I know I am very lucky to have worked for a company with such great benefits

    Did you discontinue working completely due to illness? or were you fired? I'm wondering why they are making you pay for COBRA coverage if you were on sick leave when you were terminated. I'm sure your lawyer is on top of all of this, but it sounds like your company is getting away with something terribly wrong.

    Please let me know if you have any other questions.

    take care,
    Pam J
  3. TerriM

    TerriM New Member

    Thanks for the great responses. I worked full-time for the company for just under 15 years and was an excellent employee. I went out for surgery, was supposed to be gone for a week for laparoscopy . . . the surgery ended up being abdominal surgery and then I came down with the flu-like illness that I continue to have today 19 months later. During my 6 month short term disability they paid me full pay just like sick leave as you mentioned (actually a little under 6 months they paid me) . . . I was on Elavil back then (had no idea I had CFS, was given it inadvertently because I said I was having problems sleeping. I felt somewhat better and tried to return to work. I worked part-time for a couple of weeks and they kept pushing me for more and I had a bad relapse. I then received a letter saying that I was terminated because I could not have reliable attendance and I was welcome to reapply when I could. At that point I was so distraught from the insurance company (short term disability) calling me almost every day, my company sending work home to me and calling all the time . . . it was a relief, but of course we lost 2/3 of our income because I made more working for a large corp. vs my husband and his small business. Now of course the only dr. that is helping me doesn't take insurance (and BCBS pays very little of his charges) . . . what a nightmare! I have an attorney, but things don't seem to be moving at all . . . I still don't have a "firm" diagnosis . . . my dr. says I have CFS, but he wants to find the "underlying cause" for mine (which I certainly agree with) . . . he has written a letter confirming how ill I am to my attorney. When I mentioned CFS to my attorney, he said that is the worst thing to bring up because people don't believe it exists. His partner is fully aware of the 1999 Social Security info. and they are working on my case . . . I feel terrible much of the time and the whole lawyer thing is the worst stressor for me these days . . . Thanks again . . . Love, Terri