Saturday, August 06, 2005

Big day yesterday.... 

Started with a phone interview conducted by my long-term disability insurance company. Apparently, they don't have you file paperwork anymore. I don't like this policy because it is harder to express myself verbally than in print.

Even though I was covered by this company's short-term policy for the past six months, basically, I had to start my claim over because they don't use any of the information from the prior claim. So I had to answer a lot of the same questions I've answered several times before. Luckily, I had typed out info I'd prepared for Social Security to use as a "cheat" sheet.

There were a lot of very pointed questions, and it seemed like no matter how I answered some of them, I left a way for the company to deny me coverage. But you have to be honest....if you say you can't do any yard work or drive or do your own errands, you can bet they'll be following you with a video camera to make sure you don't. Because I can still drive short distances, do light housework (like putting dishes in the dishwasher and basic cooking) and go to an occasional movie, I suspect the company will be wanting me to do a functional capacity test in the future.

Like most LTD policies, my SSDI will be deducted from the total amount the LTD guys pay. So when I am awarded SSDI, I will owe most or all of my back pay to the LTD company. This is in exchange for them paying benefits while your SS decision is pending.

Found out to my surprise that this policy pays monthly in arrears, so if you qualify for a certain month, you won't receive payment until the following month. The very earliest I will get paid is in October. Yikes.

Another surprise was that they are computing my benefits on my old pay scale. I got a raise before I stopped working, but payroll "forgot" to include it on that week's check and apparently "forgot" to give the revised figures to the insurance company too. I'll have to go to my union rep to see if this discrepancy can be fixed.

They also told me that they have a provision in their policy to cut off benefits after 24 months for "self-reported" symptoms such as fatigue, pain, migraines and cognitive dysfunction. This is news to me. I'd like to get a legal opinion as to whether this policy is actually enforceable.

This grueling interview lasted an hour. It was very disillusioning to realize that my financial future is totally out of my control. I felt useless.

After the interview, my next step was to call my union rep and see when I could get my employer to pay me the vacation time I earned. I am owed 22 shifts, which should get me through the next two months of no LTD benefits. My manager has to have a meeting with HR about it, so it will likely be awhile before anything happens there.

Then I made an even more important phone call: I contacted Social Security to set up an in-person SSDI application. I was surprised to get an appointment for August 17th....I thought the wait would be much longer. Maybe my state isn't horribly backlogged?

Did finally get the month of back pay I was still owed for short-term leave. I'm glad to have it, but am not thrilled about the creative bill paying I've had to do over the past six months because I never know whether or not I'll have money. I guess everyone on disability gets to do this juggling act, which is stressful.

Have been going through my monthly bills trying to figure out what expenses I can forego or reduce. There aren't as many as I'd hoped. Like most people on disability, aside from the usual living and transportation costs, most of my money goes toward my health.

The on-again, off-again migraine of the past few weeks won't completely die. It's almost as frustrating as this disability stuff. Almost.

Sigh. Sigh. Sigh.

Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?