Saturday, May 4, 2013
Is 2013 the year Social Security Disability recipients finally fail ?
I have written before about the pitfalls that Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) recipients face daily, but, 2013 looks like the year we may slip away into the darkness that simply not having enough income to survive. In fall of 1994, I was forced by U-Haul/Oxford Life to apply for SSDI. My last day at work was 10/31/1993. I drew a check for 1 year from a disability policy I had chose to enroll in, with continued encouragement from my Marketing Co President/Boss, Rusty Sparks. I was 30 or so and could not imagine a situation where I could use that, My goodness, I was at my peak, bulletproof, Assistant to the President and in line for my own Marketing Company. Well, I had numbness develop in my right fingertips, weird. My Dad had a history of Bone Spurs in his neck and I assumed (Never do that) I had something like that. It kept spreading up my arm and eventually to the left side of my face. I went to a great local country Doctor in Loudon Tennessee, Dr. Sam Harrison. He was familiar with my entire family and was affectionaly know as Dr. Sam. He examined me and had a very troubled look on his face. During my exam, I had a hour of Vertigo set in and he put me in a private room in his office and called a Dr. he thought could help. Me, The man was a Neurosurgeon, unknown to me. I went to the man and his first fear was a Brain Tumor, that was bad and I did not tell Deanna yet. He referred me to Dr. Thomas Higgins, a very well respected Neurologist in Knoxville. As I getting worse, he put ne in Fort Sanders Hospital in downtown Knoxville. They put me thru the drill. Finally after being discharged a couple days earlier, I was called to come see Dr. Higgins. He started with the good news, "You do not have a Brain Tumor" Yeah, it's all good from here. Then he told me I had MS. I was sent home and had to tell Deanna. After seeing commercials about MS, she thought I had a Death Sentence and collapsed in the floor. I remember sitting in the floor, holding her while she bawled, thinking I was dying. Eventually I convinced her that MS would not kill me (usually See Annette Funicelo). After improved symptom's, I went back to work. With limited use of m left arm, I had real problems trying to do my job in he Inventory management area, know as traffic. My Assistance to the President job went away and I was made manager of the Traffic Department. Even for a fully able person, it is the Job from HELL. I eventually asked to be sent back to a moving center un Chattanooga. A salary position at U-Haul requires a 60 hour work week, As I worsened, I could not pull the 60 hrs. My Boss would not help me with less hours, as the ADA law was 2-3 years out. I was forced into the U-Haul Short Term disability system and as I said earlier, walked out the door for the last time 10/31/1993. I rested at home and then I received a letter from U-Haul stating I MUST file for SSDI. Well, this was new to me. I made an apt and took all the requested forms to the Cleveland, TN office. May I sat, those folks are so nice, not like trying to talk to a National number. He went over my medical records, my last 5 year income at U-Haul and politely told me he would get back with me. one month later, I walked to the Mailbox and there is a check for over $1200 from the US Treasury. I was confused and I went in the house and called the Cleveland TN office. They informed me that was my first SSDI check. You could have pushed me over with a feather I was in shock. The only negative they overlapped the U-Haul checks and I had to go 2 months with no U-Haul because of something out of my hands. I get a letter every 7 years for me to ask a few questions, no problem. There was a form that my Dr.Anthony Aviatabile had to fill out, much to his complaint. The last request cam 2 months ago but they advised me after 10 years, a Doctor form is no longer needed. Thank God, He raised Hell every time I handed him one of these forms. Now, Let's review the situation. Years ago, my pay, as meager as it is, enabled Deanna and I to have dinner sometimes, or buy some gas to go visit someone say 100 miles away. But now, The cost of living has run away. We cannot have a moment of relaxation for our entertainment. We have free food some churches deliver. It takes some of the edge of. Yesterday, I paid $444.15 for one months script expense/co-pays with our Humana Gold HMO. I paid the Drug Bill yesterday, pay day. I paid a $ 400 house payment, and the [payments I have set up for 8 different hospital visits this year will have to wait here comes the collection calls. That is all I have left in m right now, This flares my MS.. More to come. Someone find the money tree for me, SSDI is not going to make it anymore. Mitch