The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society - Fighting Blood Cancers
5 Replies Latest reply: Mar 9, 2012 9:26 AM by Missouri RSS

Social security disability and medicare

Missouri Registered Users
Currently Being Moderated

My husband was diagnosed with acute lympocytic leukemia in November of 2009. He began receiving Social Security disability in May of 2010. We have health insurance through his former employer. His medical leave ran out in November of 2011, and he had to take early retirement in order to keep his benefits, and not have to go on COBRA. Today we got a notice from Social Security that he will be enrolled in Medicare as of May 2012. They are going to send a packet of information, but I have a couple of questions I hope you can help us with. If he has to take Medicare, what will happen when his chemotherapy ends in 2013? Will he lose both his disability payments, and Medicare, and be left without anything? No insurance and no income? No one is going to hire a 57 year old cancer patient who has been out of the workplace since 2009 with memory loss, brain damage, and neuropathy in his hands and feet so bad, that he now has to use a wheelchair. My take home pay handles our mortgage, car payment, all bills, and food. His social security disability helps with the medical bills that his insurance doesn't cover, and pays the health insurance premiums. What should we do? I feel fairly certain that his current health insurance will insist that we take the Medicare and they will provide the supplemental insurance, although I haven't contacted them yet with this new development.

  • Re: Social security disability and medicare
    Lottie Registered Users
    Currently Being Moderated

    When medicare becomes in affect, it will be the "secondary" insurance. Your regular insurance will pay first, then medicare, and then whatever is left will be your responsibility. This way, your out of pocket amounts should be less.

    Since he is disabled, even when he stops the chemo, he most definately should be able to remain on disability. As long as he is physically unable to work, he will be disabled. My husband finished his treatment a year ago (a SCT) and is unable to work because of the side effects and is on disability.

    I hope this helps!

    • Re: Social security disability and medicare
      Missouri Registered Users
      Currently Being Moderated

      How were you able to keep his disability if he was finished with chemo? Did the doctor tell them he was still disabled? I can't imagine my husband ever being able to go back to work is the problem. He doesn't remember where he even is, half the time, and he can't walk more than a few feet at a time. I know he is permanently disabled from this, but I don't know how that works with social security.

      • Re: Social security disability and medicare
        Lottie Registered Users
        Currently Being Moderated

        Yep, the doctor is in charge of telling SS that he is disabled. He is physically unable to work, regardless of being off chemo. If Social Security has any questions about whether your husband is disabled, they will send paper work for his doctor to complete, and the doctor will answer them and SS will determine he is disabled. If they are unsure if they agree with your doc, they can order a second consultation, and which point your husband will be evaluated. But, considering your husband's health problems, I strongly doubt any doctor would deem him able to work.

  • Re: Social security disability and medicare
    susantheresa Registered Users
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi there,

    I became disbled by social security rules the date of my diagnosis, as I'm sure your Husband did.  I had to wait the two years for Medicare, of course by the time I got Medicare my transplant journey was wynding down. Anyhow what I know is that when I became eligble for Medicare all of my Doctors took that first and then my supplement.  Remember though that you do not have to take Medicare part b because that is what he will pay for.  Medicare Part A is Hospitals, and comes without a premium, Pat b is Doctors and will come with a 98? 100 per month payment.  Out of his social Security check.

    Social security rules are once you are eligable for SSD, they consider you permanantly diabled and check back with you and your Doctors around 7 years. this past October(2011)they had me and ALL of my treating physcians fill out paperworkas to where I was with all of my treatments.  It wasn't JUST my oncologist because throgh the years, I have seen other Doctors. I was considered still disabled and was issuedanother 7 years of disability. through 2018.  It was a task but it worked out. I hope this helps, anymore questions feel free to ask. Navigating the systemin mind altering.  Susan M

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