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back to work+buy medicare
Jun 1, 2001

I have been classified as total permeant disabled with AIDS/CMV since 1996. I have SSDI and Medicare. I have had no health complications in four years, except the initial substantial (70) permeant peripheral vision loss. It does not limit normal activity. I have undergone immune "reconstitution." I look and feel like I could pull a plow. Knowing a redetermination is likely, I am considering the back to work trial. There are no tickets for work in this area. When I enter the trial era, it most likely will spark a redetermination. If they determine at the beginning of the work trial, I can do substantial work, will I still have the option to buy the Medicare or will that be all she wrote? I would hate to lost that safety net. Every time I want to ask them a question, they request my SS#, I don't want to call attention to myself, so I don't ask them.

Response from Mr. Berg

I am not the public/governmental benefits expert, but here is my take on your situation. There are 2 different types of SS reviews. The medical review, which is preset and independent of your participation in the return to work program and the earnings review, which is conducted at the end of the 9 month trial period. It is unusual, but not impossible for your medical review to coinside with your trial work period. If you are found to no longer be medically disabled, then your income benefits stop as well as you Medicare entitlement. End of story unless you appeal the decision. If the earnings review determines you are no longer eligible for monthly income, then your SSDI checks stop but Medicare continues for about 7 years with the option to buy. My contacts at the SSA asure me that the medical review is not triggered by the work trial.

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