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Terminated employment- Is long term disability and option?
May 2, 2004

I appreciate the forum. A few weeks ago, I was terminated from my job involuntarily. The reasons stated were that I was difficult to get along with and was too vocally critical of management. I live in Georgia which is an 'at will' employment state. I was diagnosed with AIDS 18 months ago and have been responding reasonably well to HAART therapy and have continued to work. (t-cells from 64 to 550) My question is this: upon the termination of my employment, is it now too late to apply for long term disability with my previous employer even though I paid the premiums for this coverage? One of the drugs I take is Sustiva which has nervous system side effects on top of the ongoing depression of dealing with HIV. If I apply for disability now, do I have a leg to stand on with the LTD carrier for income benefits even though I have been terminated? I did not disclose my status to my former employer but feel that the drug side effects contributed to the grounds for dismissal.

Response from Ms. Franzoi

Since you terminated a few weeks ago and presumably your LTD premiums ceased, you probably no longer have coverage. If you could prove that you were disabled at the time of termination and termination of your LTD coverage, you might have a chance. Is there a conversion right available? If so, you should consider converting the coverage as this might help. However, the critical factors will be whether or not you are considered to be disabled and if so, as of what date, and whether or not you had coverage on that date.

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