Toni, the position that Will is in right now is exactly why I think he should get a lawyer who is versed in Social Security Disability/SSI. They do not charge unless he wins...then it's a set amount...I believe it was 25% of what I got. Medicare, not Medicaid, has a 2-year waiting period. Since they took over 2 yrs. to approve me, I got it right away after approval...and it was actually retroactive by a couple of months.
When I was approved for SSD (not SSI...that is for minors or adults without enough work credits), I had gone back to work after 18 mos. of not working...just waiting for their decision. My aunt helped with my expenses that year-and-a-half. Since I had little income, my rent was very low. This housing has been a blessing for me. Finally, my aunt said that she didn't feel that I was going to be approved, and couldn't continue to help me financially. So that is when I went back to work...but only about 15 hours a week. It became more and more difficult for me, and by the time I was finally approved I was down to about 8 hours a week. The money I made in that 7-month period was not considered enough to live on by SS, which is why it didn't hurt my case. I had been working P/T since '93, when I was diagnosed with hep C. That is one reason my payments are so low. However, there are many who get much less than that.
As for Medicaid, I didn't qualify for that until I had been approved for SSD...and it's only Medically Needy. However, the fact that they pay my Part B premium and drug premium helps tremendously. Medicare covers most of my medical care at Mayo/St. Luke's. What isn't covered is picked up by Mayo's charity foundation.
I do believe that I would have had a much harder time getting approved for SSD if I had been younger. In fact, I had started drawing Soc. Sec. at a reduced rate at 62, and worked for a couple of months. It was at that point that I applied for SSD and stopped working. I continued to receive the SS payments during that time. When it was switched to SSD, it just converted to the higher amount.
I can appreciate your difficulty in raising 3 kids essentially alone. I only had one--but I separated from my husband when she was 2. He paid $35/wk. (child care cost) for 3 wks., and then drank his way into the hospital. I never pursued support after that. I just didn't want to go through the hassle for such a small amount, though I certainly could have used it, but he was never involved in her life.
My heart goes out to you and Will. There's an answer out there somewhere. I do believe that persistence pays off. They try to make it hard for people to be approved, and are banking on them just giving up. Please do give consideration and thought to my suggestion of obtaining legal help. It won't cost a thing up front. It's best to get a recommendation through friends or family, though--not one of those lawyers who advertise on TV.
It's still freezing here! It was 28 when I left this morning for my appt. with the surgery P.A. The wind is making it feel even colder. The office is in St. Luke's and it was cold in there, too, on the first floor where I go. It's supposed to start warming up tomorrow. I had the Steri-Strips removed and got a new Rx for Miralax. Don't go back for about 6 wks. I had lost 3 more pounds, and I'm being told I need to gain weight. However, I'm not purposely losing the weight--just can't eat as much anymore, or anything rich. I was overweight when this whole ordeal began and now only need to lose another 4 or 5 lbs. to be at the right weight for my height (5 feet) and age. When I was in my teens and 20s, I weighed around 100, but I think it's best to be a little "fluffy" in older years...otherwise, I'd just look scrawny.
Post Edited (hep93) : 1/3/2008 1:11:47 PM (GMT-7)
Toni, happy belated B-D. I'm glad you got out of town for a little R&R. I wish I was going on a trip somewhere.:) I read the posts about retaining an attorney. I have not had any personal experience but I have friends that have. They too had to wait for over a year but were paid retroactively. They too recieved a lump sum. I'm glad that you are getting a lawyer. It takes the burden off of Will and you.
Post Edited (hep93) : 1/5/2008 12:33:08 AM (GMT-7)
Toni, I know how frustrating gov't agencies can be You just want to scream right? Well, they think that you will give up trying after being turned down so often. Once you retain an attorney they realize that you are quite serious. As for worrying that Will may not be alive???? I want to spank your butt!!!!!!!!!!!NEVER think those negative thoughts. I had a professor once who said to me "Don't bring on a plague by thinking about the possibilty of one coming all the time" As I've gotten older I realize he was exactly right. Those negative thoughts hurt us more than help us. You can only Cross a bridge when you get to it, so just take one day at a time. ( I am not trying to be harsh with you at all, I just want to emphasize the importance of thinking positively).
I know how you feel with the pre-menopausal stuff. Yucky isn't it? I went thru it for 4 years. I felt like I was crazy (who knows maybe I was ). I opted for no hormonal treatment. I am too scared of the side effects of hormones although I have alot of friends that take them and have done very well. I guess I figured that zillions of women didn't take them and survived it all just fine so I could to. It is a very personal decision for sure. Anyway honey, keep your chin up and know that you are doing everything right.
Butterflythree---OH MY do I know how you feel. Some days I just want to sit down and cry. I want my best friend back!!!! Just for a while longer!! I miss him so much. The only thing that keeps me going some days is I still have some hope!!! And BOY do I hang on to that!!! In my stronger monents I count my blessings. I'm lucky I don't have to work. I don't know how you all do that. Jerry still hasn't lost his sense of humor. He can be so sick but still makes jokes. Then I feel guilty because I get so tired I snap at him. Guilt sucks!!! Nothing productive about that. I hope you all had a good Christmas and this next year will be the best for all of us.
Connie, 10 years?????????????? I think I would have slit my own throat..(just kidding) My worst complaint was the hot flashes and crying jags. I would cry for no reason at all and that mad me even more whimpy. It was like a tortorously long pregnancy. Those darn hormones were screaming at me all the time. Ha ha! Anyway it all resolved itself last year and now I suffer only occasional hot flashes.
On another note, let me say that I know first hand how suffering and sadness can overwhelm us. There is no way that someone can endure all the hardships of the devasting effects of liver disease and not be depressed and sad. And realistically we can't overcome these fearful negative thoughts without help. I try to do something to divert my depressive thoughts. Everyone has their own methods of doing it. I took a class once on diversive methods. One big study they did in California showed some positive results when they initiated comedy. When people laughed they were able to cope better later. Relieving the stress of day to day care and illness is important but finding what works for each person is hard. I long to talk to my mom and have things the way they were. I still cry over the loss I feel and my dad still cries fairly often. I know in my head that death is a natural eventuality to life but that doesn't mean I like it. My heart aches for what was! I know what Joann means about the guilt. I would get frustrated with my mom and snap at her then guilt would just crush me. I have to admit that I almost let the guilt and frustration overwhelm me but I couldn't let it. I figured out that guilt was like keeping a heavy blanket on me when it was 80 degrees out. I had to take it off to survive. I'm a hanger-on-er. I hate to let go of people but knew I had to for her and for me. God Bless every one of you wonderful people. I feel your hurt.
Butterflythree, that was a sweet post but let me reassure you I am just an average person with average thoughts. Nothing really deep about me. I wish I had some profound statements to make to everyone but I just have my own experiences in life to base my statements on. As a nurse I have had an opportunity to work almost every unit so I was fortunate to have learned a lot of diverse things about medicine. However; I am no expert on anything except life itself. My biggest love in medicine is the human mind and behavior. I worked in a psych/medical unit for a number of years and loved every minute of it. I am so intrigued by behavioral patterns I do a little research even now. That is one of the reasons I comment so frequently on caregivers taking care of themselves. I am acutely aware of the effects of NOT caring for oneself. Did you ever see the movie Matrix? If you did than note what abilities the mind had in the movie. At some level I believe we are capable to do some of the feats that were done in the movie. Not the Hollywooded stuff but the possibilties are endless. I truly believe that. So little is known about the capabilities of the brain that I am convinced that we hold the ability to do so much more than we do. I'm going on and on about something most people are not interested in, sorry. Have a good day honey and know that you are loved.
Hi Toni, I'm glad you are home safe and sound. I am not surprised that Will was turned down for SSI etc. That seems to be common practice for our gov't. On the other hand he now has a lawyer that will be fighting for him so that is the good news. Is the lawyer a Disability lawyer? Please tell Will that we are all pulling for him and I pray that he prevails. He has been thru a lot and I hurt for you both. I am glad that Will has the mental strength to continue his battle for monetary help. It sounds like he is more determined than ever and I say "Good for him". Is he on medicaid? Give that son of yours a big ole smooch from me!!
Toni, since he is going to contact the governor maybe he should consider writing to his congressman and senator too. Never hurts to try. I'm with him...........fight fight fight!!!!!! Squeaky wheel gets the grease and all that jazz.
Sorry you aren't feeling well. Sinusitis is miserable. Are you on antibiotics? Treat the symptoms as much as possible, hot tea, chicken soup, tylenol, rest, etc. It sounds so corny but it does help.