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View Diary: Woman in debunked Obamacare horror story finally speaks ... to Fox News (232 comments)

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  •  my understanding is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kfunk937

    that disability claims are taking a real long time for processing around here, I don't know about other parts of the country specifically.  And you have to prove you are going to be disabled a year or more going in,  which is a little uncertain with leukemia, you might do well and be able to go back to work, you might encounter severe side effects or failure of treatment, I am no doctor, so I don't know how SS will treat such an uncertain prognosis.

    I am not saying I believe this woman in particular about her issues, but I also think strangers passing judgment on her 'financial mismanagement' or she would have the ability to pay misjudge just how financially draining as well as emotionally and physically draining, this kind of illness is.

    We pride ourselves on not being like redstate or Republicans wingers.  That means we can show empathy to the plight of anyone seriously ill rather than condemning them without facts on a personal behavior.  If we are better than they are, we should act that way.

    •  Even if she were eligible for an SSDI claim* (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jfromga, smileycreek

      which would require both a sufficient accumulated quarters of work credits (varies by age), and a demonstrated total disability that has already lasted 12 months, is expected to last 12 months or  end in death.  End stage renal disease (ESRD) has some slightly different rules & approval rates, as do some other specific disease classes.

      jfromga is correct with respect the long waiting times between application and approval of benefits. Something like 60% of new SSDI claims are rejected immediately; of those, a similar % is rejected on reconsideration; requiring an appeal to continue, with a similar rejection rate, whereafter the claim, to stay alive, must be adjudicated.

      Each stage of application is subject to strict filing deadlines, knocking out even more applicants (who may later choose to reapply, assuming their accumulated recent work credits (one requirement for eligibility) have not expired, in the meantime - although during the four steps of app, recon, appeal hearing, and court appeal, the work credits are preserved for any individual claim. But if they miss a deadline, say, due to illness, they have to start all over, with a new claim.  And if they've timed out on accumulated recent work credits, are left to apply for SSI, which is further subject to income caps, being just for the poor.  So if one's spouse has income, for instance, that may not be an option.  Being disqualified from SSI on income or asset limits makes Medicaid even harder, if not impossible, to get because Medicaid asset/income caps are even lower than SSI's are.

      *A successful, approved claim has a two year waiting period (from the date of disability onset listed on the application, and supported with documentation) before the claimant is eligible for Medicare coverage. I know many folks who get Medicaid immediately, either because they applied "later" or because of the wait while the app is pending.  In some areas, 2 years or more. During that time: no Medicare.

      Three of my friends have died waiting for their SSDI claims to be processed through all these steps; I'm aware of  many others.  

      At the appeal/hearing, over two years into the application process, the widow of one applicant I knew of was told that they now found in favor of the applicant as having demonstrated disability - death would seem to demonstrate his assertion of eligibility, duh - but could not approve the application for benefits (save those dated back to a limit of 12 months) because the applicant was deceased. They informed her that she was welcome to apply for any survivours' benefits for her minor children; I'm not sure if widow's benefits were also an option.

      Had her husband been able to access/continue medical treatment while he was unable to work, he might have survived. Had the ACA been law at that time, he may have survived. He died the week before the hearing.

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