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Private Disability, DC Govt and Social Security Payments
Jan 31, 2006

hi there-

I was diagnosed with HIV in 1988 and have not had any serious OIs (although i do have neuropathy,lypodystrophy, balance and some cognitive dysfunction). I have become resistant to almost all drugs and my T-cells are now 8 and i have a viral load of 345,000. I just entered a salvage therapy trial with Tibotec for a year. My dr recently broached the subject of disability and I will pursue this with him and my employer -- which has a FMLA 3 month plan, short-term and then long term disability insurance program. My question is: if i receive private disability insurance can i apply for SS benefits and what about DC govt? i am confused about how they mesh with each other. thanks in advance!

Response from Ms. Franzoi

Even if you are receiving disability benefits through an employer-sponsored group plan or your own indvidiiual disability policy, you are still eligible to apply for Social Security disability benefits. If you are insured under Social Security and are disabled (as defined by the SSA), you would be eligible after a 5 calendar month waiting period. Also, once you have received SS disability benefits for 29 months, you would be eligible for Medicare. If you decide to go on disability, yous should also immediately apply for SS disability. One fact you should be aware of is that most disability plans (employer-sponsored) include an offset for SS disability benefits.



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