I might be on my own soon.....could use some support and tips

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by goodkamra, Jun 30, 2003.

  1. goodkamra

    goodkamra New Member

    hi all,

    i'm in my 40's and i have fibromyalgia, really bad allergies, sinus problems, and other maladies. i have not worked for about 6 years due to these problems. my partner makes good money and has willingly supported me during this time, without question.

    my situation may change quite soon. my partner and i have been together for about 20 years. we've had a lot of problems the past 4 to 5 years, and it's looking less and less hopeful that we will be able to work things out. if we split up, i will have to figure out a way to support myself. we are not married, so i will not have any rights under law, such as alimony etc.. i could be starting over without a penny to my name.

    my parents are elderly and would not be able to help me. i have no other relatives. i do not want to impose on my friends. if we split up, what am i going to do? i don't even think i could get disabiltiy because i have avoided going to the doctor for my problems, so there is no recent record of my being ill and having problems. i avoided doctor visits because i feared losing my current insurance provider (the company is not doing well) in the future, and did not want all kinds of recent health problems on my record...knowing it would make it hard to get accepted by a new insurance provider someday.

    working FOR somebody is not really an option (unless they are very flexible with hours, or i could work from home), because of poor sleep, repetive motion strain and all the other reasons i had to quit my job 6 years ago. i have some good hours most days, but i don't think i'm employable in the general market. i'm scared! what will happen to me?



  2. Iggy_RN

    Iggy_RN New Member

    I am so sorry to hear about your situation, its hard enough just to have this DD. Can you find support from your church? I have always found alot of support from church. I work the graveyard shift for an Alzheimers residence. THere is no pressure or hard work involved because all the residents are usually sleeping.. I work with alot of older women who need the insurance and money. Maybe something like that could be possible for you. Just a thought. YOu will be in my prayers. Iggy
  3. elaine_p

    elaine_p New Member

    Nerv, I don't know if Vocational Rehabilitation (or whatever they call themselves these days) is open for "walk-ins"--you may have to be referred by, say Social Security, if you apply for disability.

    Oh, hey, applying for Social Security is an option. I don't know if you qualify for SSDI anymore since you haven't worked for 6 years, but you could apply for SSI.

    Anyway, you could see if Voc Rehab will help someone in your situation, at least for giving you job options. They weren't much help for me, except to finally suggest medical transcription (I was trying to do computer consulting, so I haven't taken them up on it yet), which you can do at home and was going to be my suggestion to you. They might pay for training. What I didn't pin the woman down on was how *few* hours I could work a day. I mean, do they even want someone who can work as few hours as I could?

    Or you might be able to ask a local college job placement office if they can be any help....
    ---
    As for how to get help for living expenses or whatever, there was a recent post with some excellent ideas. Do a message search for "tightwad", then click on j-bearmama's post. The entire thread might be kinda long-ish, but there are lots of good suggestions from several people.[This Message was Edited on 06/30/2003]
  4. goodkamra

    goodkamra New Member

    ....for your support, kind words, and tips. This whole thing is scaring me to death...and the stress is not good for my health! I'll look into your suggestions. Thanks again. :)
  5. Kathryn

    Kathryn New Member

    divorce lawyer in town and discuss the possibility of receiving "palimony". It is awarded quite frequently when relationships of long duration end, especially when one partner is disabled. If you should be fortunate enough to live in a community property state, your chances are even better. Good luck!
    Kate
  6. Jen F

    Jen F New Member

    I would think you might have a case for common law or palimony as someone suggested.

    Your lack of doctor visits is a real problem...

    gosh i don't know what you are going to do...

    you need to be able to survive, but you are not able to work.

    I think no matter what - you NEED a good FM doctor and maybe lawyer.

    You might have to sit down and make some really difficult decisions. Write down on paper the pro's and con's of 'going public' with your illness. the problems you would have with medical insurance, how much you need that medical insurance, what it DOES for you vs. your need for survival money that disability benefits might provide.

    Can you move in with your parents?

    someone on this board mentioned housesitting as a way someone with health problems could make money.

    yOU may HAVE to impose on your friends and if they have a truly compassionate heart, they may be happy to help you.

    Your problem is a long term one and you have to start working it out now, but it will take time. You may have to ask your partner for that time, if it comes down to it.

    Here in Canada I would suggest you contact a Community Access Care Centre and speak to a social worker, but I don't know what you do in the US. Consider seeing a good and kind pyschiatrist who can set up some emotional and physical supports for you {i was lucky to have a really kind one who got me my homemaking help, social worker, mental health nurse when I was on welfare awaiting a disability hearing and not getting enough money to pay my rent, but had no energy to pack and move --talk about fear and stress! yet your situation might be even worse, i think}

    Also, I strongly suggest you consider contacting your local government rep to see what supports you would be eligible for and some advice.

    find out what food banks are available in your area.

    If you are affiliated with a church, ask for their help. Or if necessary, go to a church of your choice with your dilemma and ask them for help! What can it hurt, but maybe your pride/ego a little and some time?

    Try not to despair. This can work out, it did for me, but the getting through it is tough. What i can tell you is that the more support you can summon, the easier it will be and the less time it will take for you to get to a smooth place with a new life of your own.

    Time to start planning. You can do this.

    Maybe you and Hiriskrn should get together and share a place! and she might have some ideas for you, having gone through real financial challenges and what sounds like a jerk of an ex.

    Good luck. I wish you the best.

    P.S. Would it be so terrible to start salting some small amounts of your partner's money away into a secret fund to help you out?
  7. Dara

    Dara New Member

    any of the Community College's? They usually have a program for what they call displaced workers, or another program - can't remember what they call it, for people who are entering the work force after being out of it for a long time. Also, if you are unable to work how about the Department of Aging and Disability through the State? I do know that Vocational Rehab should be able to help, they are a state agency and are available to everyone. I don't think you need a referral.

    I would start with a doctor first, someone who can document your inability to work. Then file for SSD or SSI, also most States have offices who help with financial assistance.

    If you've been together for 20 years, then you have an established relationship. This would count in your favor as far as receiving some type of support or alimony. As someone else said, especially since you are unable to work and your partner has supported you this long, it shows this as an established relationship.

    Also, remember that if there is a break-up you will qualify for COBRA if your partner takes you off of the medical insurance. I just thought of something else, the fact that your partner has you on their medical insurance also helps to show that this has been an established relationship.

    Good luck to you.

    Dara
  8. Ettie

    Ettie New Member

    Nerve I to have been feeling that im being let down and will have no place to go but i do have disability. I believe if you get to rhematologist there your surest way of applying for disabity concerning your diagnosis give it a try cant help. I also agree you could qualify for palamoneyor comon law can't hurt. Good Luck
  9. tulip922s

    tulip922s New Member

    Hi Nerv,

    Even though things don't sound good for you right now, you will be o.k. I read the responses to your posts and there were many good suggestions.

    I went through a similiar experience,,,,I'm in my 40's and when I became sick, my husband didn't want to be with an "invalid". Not only did I lose my job I loved, my home and marriage also followed.

    Now, I have met a wonderful man who is totally supportive of me and my illness and finally have some peace of mind. It was a very rough road, though.

    My suggestion to you is to explore your options, NOW. Not knowing and worrying only causes extra stress. Get to the doctor,,,,forget the insurance company. If they go under or drop you, then apply for Medicaid.

    Get a lawyer and find out what your legal rights are,,especially where SSD and SSI are concerned. Start this process NOW,,,it can be long. Also, find out if your state honors what others have said about support from you ex to be.

    Apply for housing assistance,,,this too can be a lengthy process and best to start now.

    Check with Social Services and see what benefits are available to you there. But, I urge you to start now,,,be prepared and stop worrying how and where you will be at, find out. Best of luck and please keep us posted. Tulip
  10. franners

    franners New Member

    Since you two have invested 20 years of your lives together why don't you try counseling? It wouldn't hurt to try and you could file for ssd in the mean time.
    JUST A THOUGHT
    Best wishes
    Fran
  11. goodkamra

    goodkamra New Member

    ...I really do appreciate it. It helps to know there is a place where one can feel understood and supported. What a wonderful gift. I will take your suggestions to heart and look into them all. Thanks so much.

    Here's a bit more info, in response to some of your questions and suggestions:

    The insurance policy of which I have spoken, is my own personal individual plan. I'm not on any plan with my partner. I have a POS plan currently, but they are discontinuing this plan, and will drop me into their HMO plan :-( automatically in the fall (it's the only option they provide, without having to do the whole underwriting procedure all over again...and I'm sure I wouldn't be accepted to their PPO!)

    When I said the doctor has no record of my ailments, I would like to emphasize again, that this is true only for the past 5 years or so. And even then, I would at least tell him that I'm status quo, so there is a record of that. Prior to that, there's lots of records indicating my problems with FM etc...many many records!

    My partner and I have indeed been going to counseling, at first together, and then individually. It is a very complicated situation and we are both very uncertain as to what we want for ourselves. I've grown a lot and am uncertain that I can be happy and thrive in this relationship. I worry for my future though, considering my health and all.

    Again, thank you all for your input. many blessings.