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Crohn's Disease Forum » General IBD Discussion » Disability benefits versus Unemployment? Please help!


01-24-2013, 03:25 PM   #1
nogutsnoglory
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Disability benefits versus Unemployment? Please help!

I wanted to hear from other Americans on the issue of pay and sick leave versus unemployment. I am very sick but also in a strange boat since I am currently employed but my division is going under. In a few months I will be unemployed and would be eligible for unemployment pay, COBRA, etc.

Right now I could go on disability and I am trying to see if this makes sense for me. I think the disability pay is considerably less than unemployment but the upside is I could theoretically say I was still employed rather than have an unemployment gap that I would need to explain. I also would be able to keep my health insurance and not have to pay the exorbitant COBRA fees.

I don't know much about the benefits or the procedure involved.

What are the pros and cons of each and do you have a suggestion for what I should do?
01-26-2013, 05:25 PM   #2
Jennifer
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Sorry about the late reply nogutsnoglory.

So you're talking about disability through your work rather than say SSI or SSDI through Social Security right?

Having to explain why you went on Unemployment is a non issue because the company went under rather than there being any fault on your end. I've never been on it but my husband and apparently the rest of my family has and none of them have found it difficult getting another job due to having to explain their unemployment, in fact as far as I know their unemployment never came up.

For me I'd go with whichever gave the most income (have to include the insurance cost as well) yet that's assuming you can't do both (can't you do both?). I don't know much about either as well so try contacting your local unemployement office (here in California is called Employment Development Department (EDD) but it's different from state to state).

I've been trying to think of someone to tag who might have some info but, I'm at a loss. David do you know anyone in the US who might have more info?
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01-26-2013, 05:31 PM   #3
nogutsnoglory
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Hi Crabby thanks for your reply. It would be disability through work although they may just go through the state. I would get to keep my insurance though.

I'm not sure if I can still do it though since I know I will be laid off.
01-26-2013, 09:35 PM   #4
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It's not something I know much about This wiki entry may help a bit.
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01-26-2013, 09:50 PM   #5
nogutsnoglory
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Thanks David I don't think I have worked enough in past 10 yrs to be eligible for SSI. it's all very confusing I may just need to speak with a lawyer.
01-26-2013, 10:29 PM   #6
Susan2
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In the current economic climate I would suspect that in the US, as here in Australia, there is no stigma attached to being unemployed because your job has ceased to exist. There are far too many people in the same boat. Would you be eligible for redundancy pay?
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01-26-2013, 10:50 PM   #7
nogutsnoglory
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Disability followed by unemployment gives me more time in case I need it. I don't think I will get any severance pay and if I do very little.
01-26-2013, 11:26 PM   #8
afidz
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Employment is only 70% of your pay if that means anything. Also, if you have not contributed enough into ssi then you apply for a different but very similar program. I am not to sure about that program though. I am going through binder and binder right now and I am in my first appeal. I would definitely consider talking to a lawyer so you can make An informed decision. If you do decide to apply got social security, hire a lawyer off the bat. It will cost you the same amount if you were to hire one later. The government restricts hour much they can charge you (up to 6k) hope this helps!
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01-27-2013, 06:12 PM   #9
nogutsnoglory
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Do you know if I will need a doctors letter to qualify for disability? I'm seeing this new doctor so I hope he doesn't think I just came to him simply for this. Can he decline to write this letter?
01-27-2013, 06:14 PM   #10
afidz
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I don't think you have to have a letter to apply for disability, but I did have to have a letter from my doctor in order for Binder&Binder to take me on as a client. Doctors are not obligated to write letters for us.
01-27-2013, 06:42 PM   #11
nogutsnoglory
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I think for my work they will require a letter.
01-27-2013, 06:50 PM   #12
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Nogutsnoglory,

Spend an hour with an attorney in your state; it will be money well spent. It sounds as though you are talking about being down-sized at work and you have private (as opposed to government) disability insurance through work. Many disability insurance policies require you be out of work a certain period of time before benefits begin - check your policy. You want to speak with an attorney that handles social security and private insurance disability claims.
Good luck.
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01-27-2013, 06:54 PM   #13
nogutsnoglory
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I may just need to speak with a lawyer. the insurance is through the government. The only difference I get to keep my health insurance at the lower rate. It's all so confusing but I need to make some decisions and quick.
01-27-2013, 10:15 PM   #14
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Are you sure you get to keep your insurance at a lower rate with disability through your work? Did HR confirm that with you? My understanding is that once you are terminated, only COBRA is an option.

If you claim disability through your work (not government) before they let you go, then maybe you can keep your insurance at a lower rate? Even so, whether you apply for disability through your work or the state, you will have to have medical documentation from a Dr for the application process. The Dr will state whether or not your disease prevents you from working in your line of work. If you do not have a Dr. with the state application, then they will provide one for you with their Dr's recommendation.

Do you have any more specific questions? I might be able to help you?
01-27-2013, 10:29 PM   #15
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One more quick piece of info. COBRA is only 18 months. If you are awarded disability through the state, you would need to send your approval letter to your HR department, and you can have insurance for an additional 11 months through COBRA. If you do not have enough in savings, then you can apply for Medicaid trough the state. All of these applications take time though. Also worthy to note, Obama care begins in Jan 2014. I am assuming the rates will be less? I personally love private insurance. I am in a similar predicament, but I would rather spend every last dime I had to keep COBRA before getting public health care. I may eventually need public health care, but I hope to stay away from it if I can. Not that public is bad, but I personally think private is much better. My health means too much to me. If only I was married to someone with good benefits
01-28-2013, 10:23 AM   #16
nogutsnoglory
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I didn't speak to HR yet but since I'm still employed I should be entitled to the same rate. I can easily have a doctor verify the pain, inflammation and diarrhea but not sure if they would write about the enormous amount of weakness since its hard to pinpoint the cause. It's probably a manifestation of the overall illness.

Do you know when the Obamacare portion prohibiting insurance companies from denying based on pre-existing condition kicks in?
01-28-2013, 01:26 PM   #17
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If you get disability through your employer, then yes, you should get the same rate for your health care. You cannot get state disability if you are employed.

Side note to my previous comment: The additional 11 months of COBRA is added when you get approved for disability through the state as it can take upwards of 2 years to get Medicare. That provision was put in so people that are disabled can still be insured until Medicare was available.

To answer your questions about Obamacare and preexisting conditions... That part of the law will not be enacted until Jan 2014. Honestly, I don't think the government even knows exactly how it is all going to work once January 2014 rolls around.

Most, but not all states, have a high risk pools set up (with Blue Cross/Blue Shield for example) for people like us should we lose insurance. The rates are still fairly high though but typically not as high as COBRA and each state has different rates. For example, MD rates for their high risk pool are much lower than TX high risk pool. They legally cannot insure you during the 18 month COBRA time frame. If you choose to forego health insurance for over 60 days (COBRA included), I think you can then apply for the high risk pools. I am not 100% on the 60 days, and I would verify that if you want to research further. I personally could not go without insurance for a full 60 days. The high risk pools will be around until at least the end of this year. There is a possibility they won't exist anymore once Obamacare is enacted in Jan 2014 as there won't be a need for it anymore.

I hope I have helped some. If you have any questions still, don't hesitate to ask
01-28-2013, 03:56 PM   #18
nogutsnoglory
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Really appreciate all your help!
01-28-2013, 07:19 PM   #19
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My pleasure!

Btw, I read on another post that you can work and still get disability as long as you don't go over a certain monetary threshold. I don't know anything about that, but I thought I should communicate what I saw. It is on another thread in here.
01-28-2013, 09:34 PM   #20
nogutsnoglory
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That's good to know but I'm in no condition to even pick up a menial job now.
01-28-2013, 09:51 PM   #21
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I hope you feel better soon!
01-30-2013, 11:52 AM   #22
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Does New York have state disability like Calif? It's funded by your state income tax?

I think for any type of disability or "medical leave" you will need a letter from our DR.

Your employer may also have a benefit where you can speak to a lawyer for an hour or two free of charge. Also talk to a therapist who can help with disability.

I used to file disability claims for a Drs office, if I can be of any more help I will all I can.

Good luck

Lauren
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