Jul 2, 2001
I have been on LTD since 1994. MetLife was my disability carrier and that was switched to CIGNA in 1999. This year, as every year, I complete a form showing that I do still have the virus and so does my doctor. I have had PCP twice during these years most recently I have been experiencing eye sight problems-"dimming" vision like the lights are being dimmed. I went to the dr for that, but was told to return if problems continues. I continue to experience dermatological issues where sores break out in my mouth and on my body. They bleed and drain. Other problems that I have been having for about two years is problems with bone mass density loss. I was referred to specialist for this. CIGNA however, because my t-cell are 271 and the viral load is undectable believe that I can return to work. I struggle with fatigue and the last test results show that I am developing anemia. My t-cells do flutuate from 170 to 300. They have now cut off my disability check while we wait for their determination of my disability. I am still on Social Security disability. I don't know where to go with this. The wait is financially hard and now my medical and life benefits are also in jeopardy. Any advice?
Response from Ms. Franzoi
This is a very difficult question to answer. In the beginning of the AIDS epidemic and until recently, merely having an AIDS diagnosis qualified someone for long term disability benefits and Social Security disability benefits. However, as new treatments have been developed and people with AIDS have been able to stay in the work force or return to it, insurance companies have started to challenge whether or not a person is truly incapable of working. Unfortunately, the insurance companies have probably not developed adequate guidelines for determining whether or not a person is still disabled. My suggestion to you would be to have all of your treating physicians provide medical details explaining why you are unable to work. You should have them provide all medical evidence that supports your inability to work. The more information you can provide to CIGNA the better your chances will be to get them to reinstate your benefits.
Disability income and paying for housing
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