Sunday, June 26, 2011

Some Good News . . . But With a Catch

I received a letter yesterday from Social Security. I have already been approved for social security disability.

Yes. That's right. Three (or was it four?) weeks after I applied.

The catch is that I need to be "disabled" for five months before I start receiving disability benefits. That means I will be eligible for benefits beginning November 2011 and will get the payments the month afterwards. For me, that'll be around Christmas.

That leaves some questions about insurance. Even though I am currently disabled, does this mean that I have to wait until November to apply for something like the Oregon Health Plan? If so, my current coverage ends at the end of September, so I will either need to have something else in place and/or pay COBRA out of pocket for October/November/December.

There's also a relatively new Oregon insurance program, too, that I need to look into.

So, tomorrow, in addition to starting radiation, I will have to make phone calls about what insurance I am eligible for. I'll call the state, maybe my own human resources department, and the social security office.

I also need to verify that my private disability insurance (which I pay for but which is offered by the state) benefits won't be deducted from social security.

Speaking of private disability insurance, I called my analyst (or tried to) last Monday and Tuesday. I tried three times on Monday; twice I decided to try to wait on hold, but after about 15 minutes each time, I gave up. I called again on Tuesday and had to press so many buttons to get to a real human voice. That person tried to get hold of my analyst and also looked up my disability claim. My old claim (from April) was closed and there wasn't any evidence in the computer of a new claim. The "real voice" tried may analyst and got her voice mail (which I also got several times) and said she'd leave a message for her to call me back. I didn't get a call on Wednesday, and then, of couse, I was in the hospital Thursday and Friday. So, I need to try again tomorrow. My analyst, Sokunthea at the Standard INsurance Company, told me on June 7th that I did not have to do anything and that she would send my paperwork in for a new claim. If, by god, she hasn't done that, someone at the Standard will have hell to pay.

Standard was so fast with the April claim, so the fact that I haven't heard anything by now is disturbing. In the meantime, I will only get a couple of hundred dollars on this check, which is not enough to pay the monthly bills. Luckily, I have some in savings and can use other sources to cover things until I do get a real person on the line to put in the claim and if they work as fast as they did in April, I should get my four weeks of disability payments within a couple of weeks.

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