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Mar 13, 2001


I have been on SSDI and receive LTD benefits from a large company based in the United States since '96. I also sold my life insurance policy because my diagnosis at the time was not good. I am now residing in Puerto Rico and I'm looking into going back to work for a different company. I pretty much now what's going to happen with my SSDI benefits, however, do I need to notify my previous employer so they stop my LTD benefits along with my health benefits?

Also when they perform the drugs and health test do I need to disclouse my HIV status? In a way I'm concerned about loosing my current benefits and then not being able to return to work.

Please help. Any suggestions as of where can I find more information about this issues?

Thank you!

Response from Ms. Breuer

On the benefits question, I'll defer to Lynn Franzoi, who knows that material far better than I, except to say that when you return to work you do need to inform your former employer so that you're not committing insurance fraud by drawing LTD and salary at the same time.

On the disclosure question, I encourage you to take these steps: 1. Complete the health questionnaire they give you as honestly as you can. Fraud is not a great idea in employment either! But as you complete the questionnaire, please know that you are not required to disclose your HIV status to a new employer unless HIV or the medications you take for it would prevent you from fulfilling the essential functions of your job. 2. If you get to a question that asks directly what meds you take, or whether you have ever been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, smile at the person who gave you the form to complete and explain that you'll need to consult with your health care provider to fill it in accurately. You and your doc can find ways to complete the form that are honest but do not needlessly disclose your status.

3. You probably already know this, but any physical exam they ask you to undergo should be done after your offer of employment has already been extended.

Congratulations! Have a great time in your new life!

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