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i have been living with AIDS now for over two ...
      #464 - 03/30/00 05:26 PM

I've been living with AIDS for over two years now and have had 2
major AIDS-defining illnesses (Lymphoma and PCP) along with other
infections common in hiv+ people. My long term disability
benefits kicked in in Oct 95 and is now being reviewed. "Change
in the definition of disability" - this is what they term it. My
doctor had recommended that I remain off work for the time being.
My CD4 count is over 600 and my viral load is undetectable. I've
been on cocktail for less than a year. I continue to experience
nausea, muscle aches and pains, upset stomach, chronic fatigue
and i feel generally unwell. I do have a lot of anxiety,
depression and other stress and I have irregular sleep pattern.
All of these on top of a high percentage that my lymphoma will
come back as a result of my weakened immune system. The insurance
company made a decision to put me back to work noting that my
lymphoma and HIV are now in remission and that my health has
stabilized and I am enjoying an excellent functional state. They
are currently doing an assessment of my functioning in terms of
ability to return to work or do other kinds of work. I am not
ready to go back to work because of my disability. I am trying my
best to make the insurance company understand my situation but
it's very challenging because they have totally ignored my
doctor's recommendation that I be given more time. I need
help/words of encouragement or suggestions on this. I can be
reached at I would love to hear from those
experiencing the same challenges with their insurance companies
especially those living in Canada. Thank you.

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Re: i have been living with AIDS now for over two ... new
      #467 - 03/30/00 05:28 PM

Hi, what's happening in your case I think is stupid. With the two OI you've had you need to be on disability. I think they are not giving it to you as of yet because the CDC defines that you must have 500 T-cells or less to qualify for disability and your T-cells you mentioned are 600. Still your opportunistic infections should cound as a reason to go on disability. Your insurance is wrong and I would strongly suggest you contact a lawyer and let him spell out the law to your insurance company. Don't let the insurance company intimidate you, they will say and delay anything as much as possible so they won't have to pay you, just remember they are doing something against the law, please consult with a lawyer immediately.
I went on disability when my T-cells were a little less than 500 with no opportunistic infections. Now my T-cells are 30 and my health much worse, and continue being on disability, but I had to fight with my insurance till they granted me my life insurance which I sold eventually, they didn't want to give in. You need to fight them, they are wrong, and a lawyer can set things straight.
Good luck

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