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Lost/Scared/Soc. Sec./LTDI
Sep 4, 2002

I was diagonosed in 1987 with HIV. I was diasabled in 1998.

I have SSDI and LTDI.

I have lots of depression and getting help with it.

My other health stats are good.

The thought comes up that I miss my career very much. It was a huge part of my life and my identity.

When I think about the possibilities of returning to my career it overwhelms me.

Questions remain and hurdles are not jumped.

I worry about losing everything I have earned in benefits over the 20 years I worked, constantly.

The reason for this remains due to unknown ramifications.

The company has a return to work policy although not in shape for rehires due to downsizing.

I know if I return to work with another employer I lose everything including my current retirement.

I worry if my health continues in the good direction that my yearly reviews with the LTDI, and then later with SSDI, will result in a sudden cut off.

I am greatful for everything I have.

My life feels in shambles. I am trying to keep good mental health.

I made the right choices when I needed to in 1998.

Do I need to be thinking about making new choices reagarding this?

Response from Mr. Shernoff

You are wrestling with an important issue that increasing numbers of people with HIV/AIDS are also struggling with as their health improves and remians good. Yes it does seem appropriate for you to be reevaluating whether it is time for you to try to return to work. I understand all of your fears regarding losing your benefits. Since I am not a benefits expert, you really need to consult with a person who knows the ins and outs of attempts to return to work. Most AIDS service organizations have benefits professionals on staff. It is probably a good idea for you to call and make an appointment to talk with one in order to get all the information you need in order to make the most informed decision.

Michael Shernoff, MSW

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