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Financial implications

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:26 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I have been out of work for 20 weeks now (ten before my 2-level acdf and ten weeks after the surgery). Unfortunately, I did not have any disability insurance because I had just started a new job.

How does everyone survive financially while being out of work? We have gone through our emergency savings, cashed out 401ks (bad, I know)and borrowed money to pay our mortgage.

My house is in foreclosure status and we are behind on all our utilities bills. The stress of this financial mess is tearing my family apart. My husband sees I am able to do more now, but doesn't understand that I still cannot work (I have to be able to lift 50lbs).

My next Doctors appointment is in February; even once he releases me to work, I then have to find a new job.

Any suggestions?


  • I have been praying for you for some time now.. I was feeling sorry for myself one night and came accross what you wre and are up against and started praying for you... I so know what you are going through, Im still waiting a miracle to happen with my LTD.. I know what your going trhough as far as your husband too, the same thing here,. I am going to have to find another way to make a living.. I worked up intil the day of surgery but I am still out, its my 17 week and in 3 weeks, Im terminated.. My doctor had deemed me disabled, but that doesnt pay the rent.. I have applied for SSD but that could take years from what I hear and my ex husbands took 2 years..... God had not left me yet and I am trusting that he will make things happen.....
    Good luck and Im so sorry you too have to go throught this.
  • Elle, my heart goes out for you. What a difficult situation you have due to your health that is outside of your control. These are very hard economic times and you are experiencing the worst of it. But it seems to me you are doing all you can. Under normal conditions you would not touch your 401Ks, but these are no ordinary conditions, aren't they? Same goes for loans, if you have any friends or relatives who can help out that way, don't feel badly about accepting it. I am sure, if you would be in their place you would help somebody out too. Is there a social agency, whom you could consult, and explore your options? Even Consumer's Credit Counseling may be helpful sometimes. In my town, the city has emergency funds to aid people who for no fault of their own can't pay their utility bills. Talk to somebody at city hall, see what help is available. And plese, have a heart-to-heart talk with you husband, explain to him that two months after such major surgery, you still have to be very careful, even if you appear to be doing OK.

    I wish I could do something for you, unfortunately I can't, but at least, remember we are here for you to provide support.

    Wishing you all the best,

  • Don't they have unemployment insurance there? While I was living on employment benefits for 15 weeks before my LTD kicked in. I got a second mortgage from a credit union, it's also called a line of credit and had to live on that for awhile but it's only good if you know income is going to come in. I asked the bank also to skip a payment and you're allowed to do that once a year. Can welfare help or going to a foodbank? I'm sad for your situation. I hope you'll be able to find work and your husband. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • so sorry - what a stressful situation. For us, we were able to move last June and in the process, really downsize our life. I've mostly been a SAHM, but now can't work if I had to. It makes us feel better to have traded our cars down, cheaper house payment, etc. Drastic, but we don't know how long this will last.

    I hope you find a peace about your situation,

  • Medical problems can sure put a strain on relationships and finances.

    If hubby is a keeper you may need professional help to strengthen the marriage.

    You may need professional help to save the house.

    You may need professional help to collect disability.

    My restriction on lifting is 30 lbs once or twice per day.

    Good luck with the job search and the downsizing.

  • you need to reach out & see where you can get some aide, call local agencies, etc.

    I have worried about this same situation happening to my family. My husband lost his job 2 weeks before my fusion & we are living on unemployment ( a fraction of his reg salary) and my STD which will be 60% of my income. We also cahed out a 401K and are in survival mode.

    Can you down size your home and other things to get by?

    My prayers are with you & that God will pave a way for you to make ends meet.
  • I cried when I read Cyndi's post and I appreciate everyone's suggestions. Thank you for all your support and ideas.

    Unfortunately, to collect unemployment, you need to be able to work full-time, which I cannot. As far as SSDI, from what I read, you need to be out of work for an entire year.

    I will spend the day looking at Fuel & emergency family assistance.

    We can't downsize the house at this time because the real estate market is so horrible.

    I am kicking myself, because as a Nurse, I always carry STD and LTD, but I has to be at my place of employment for three months before signing up. Since my car accident happened on my THIRD day, I was not able to :|

    I will post anything I find out in case someone is going through the same situation.

    Again, thank you for all your warm thoughts.

  • I understand completely. In 2007 I started a new job and had to wait 3 months for benefits to kick in. Also, as a nurse, I always carried health and life insurance for my family. 2 weeks before my benefits were supposed to kick in, my husband died in a car accident. No life insurance, no health insurance, nothing. Just me and 3 teenagers with not a cent to our names.

    I almost lost the house, etc.. believe me when I say I understand!!

    My prayers are with you, and I know everything will work out for you, It has been a year and a half since my husband passed away and I am still digging myself out of this nightmare.

    I wish I could offer some kind of help.

    You are in my thoughts..

    email me anytime

    --take care

  • You are definately in my prayers. >:D< Even though I have worked for the Federal Government for 11 years, they didn't offer any STD and I didn't get the LTD (all self paid) when I started because I was young and thought I was invincible. :))( So, I have already run out of my leave and I am on leave without pay and I am the primary breadwinner. We do have some savings, but if I don't get back to work soon they will be gone very fast.

    So, see what government state and local programs that you can find to help, and if there is any family that can help. I am so sorry that you are in this situation. >:D<
  • elle37 said:

    I will spend the day looking at Fuel & emergency family assistance.

    Since my car accident happened on my THIRD day, I was not able to :|
    Check into LIHEAP, Low Income Heating Energy Assistance Program. You should find this thru your county assistance office. I think you can apply till March. Since I lost my income we are now eligible for heating fuel assistance. In PA your income be as much as 55K for 5 people to qualify for $1400 assistance. PA has a very high income limit, other states are different.

    Of course, food stamps should be available to you too.

    Since this is automobile related can you file to collect for lost wages? You may have allready mentioned this somewhere, but just thought I would put it out there.

    Some loans and credit cards have disability insurance built into them as well, it at least covers or defers the payments when you are deemed temporarly or permanentaly disabled.

    Many churches have food pantries or assistance programs too, you dont need to me a member either. Just live in the community.

    If you have children in school you can apply for free/reduced luches as well. Even if you said you didnt need it in the beginning of the year, just explain that your situation has changed.

    I will keep thinking! Hopefully I have mentioned something you havent tried yet,lol.
  • I'm sorry that you and your family are in a terrible bind. I know all about it. Years ago, we lost everything and me and the kids had to stay with my mom, while my husband found work out of town. Our family was separated 6 months before we could move into another place and be together again. My husband came to visit us every weekend without fail. Those were difficult time, but it has made us stronger today. Everytime my husband gets frustrated at his job, all he has to do is think about what happened before, then his attitude improves. I am fortunate to have SSDI, although I get very little money. It's fine with me because every dollar helps.
    I really pray that you find a way through this hard time. My heart goes out to you and your family. It always seems that things will get worse before it gets better. The best thing you can do is round up all the help available and apply for everything. Better days WILL come to you all.
  • are really up here in Florida.

    If you don't leave the sheriff comes with an "eviction services" group of men and puts the furniture at the curb.

    I am 64 years old and have been thru some tough times too.

    I plan for the worst and hope for the best.

  • I am so sorry to hear of your financial strain. It certainly doesn't help when dealing with the stress of chronic pain. I too cashed out my 401k this summer. My LTD finally kicked in and I get 60% of my pay but my husband hasn't had any work in over a month. I lost my job while on disability. I've been off work since Feb 08. Now LTD wants me to file for SSDI but I keep putting it off because I am going to try to go back to work in 15 days. I am so nervous and scared because I had to start a whole new career after losing mine that I had for 11 years. I also still deal with chronic pain and wouldn't even consider going to work yet but feel I have no choice due to finances.

    I wish you the best of luck in your quest to find assistance. I am struggling with trying to get my husband to change his career as a carpenter and find a job that is more dependable and full time. He's always on my case about going back to work and he's perfectly healthy and sitting on his butt playing on the computer all day.

    I will pray for you and know that we are here to support you. It really is tough that most of us spiney's not only have to learn to cope with chronic pain, but we also have to struggle with our finances.
  • that you are going through this. I do know what hardship is, and I have been there. Is there a program available for people now that have forclosure on their homes? Is your husband working? I can't believe that you got hurt after only a few days on the job :T .

    Are you able to apply for assistance? Sometimes it is hard to swallow our pride, but there are times you just have to. Thank god my husband got ssd after his surgery or we would be living off of welfare, for real.

    I got hurt at work, and they just appeal my case over and over. I have been paid once by the insurance company. I would have no job because I cant work, and husband it permanetly disabled. It is not easy. I know. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you. >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D<
  • hey, i thought i should write cos im on a waiting list for a fusion, and am working part time at the mo...ive not been in my job long, only just 3 months.

    A year and a half ago i fracture my spine, wasnt working at the time as im a single parent to 4 children, the youngest of which was too young to be left and i have no family to help me...so i hadnt paid any national insurance contributions, so didnt qualify for incapacity benefits. I did get my rent paid for me though. At the time I had fewer outgoings than i have now, as when i started work i started to get more things, a car, the internet, a contract phone etc it was very hard going, just managing to survive and always in debt for something. went to work far too soon but could see no other way to get by.

    Now im waiting for surgery, with far more outgoings than i used to have, ive been trying to find out what benefits i will be entitled to so as not to lose my car etc, but find that because i only work part time (thats all my back will allow) i dont pay enough contributions to be entitled to incapacity so will be on the same money as i was when i fractured my spine...with the struggle i had before and more bills now, im beginning to wonder if i can even afford to get the surgery done...i know i need it or i wouldnt be on the waiting list for it, but do i refuse to get it on the grounds of not being able to afford to live, or do i get it done in the hope that i will be able to work full time once im healed, and improve my family situation in the long term...its a real tough one, and its really worrying me alot.

    When i fractured my spine i had no choice, but it feels now as if im choosing to have a struggle on my hands by saying yes to surgery.

    You are in the situation now, and your only choice is to keep afloat by whatever means you can....I hope you get by and have good luck x
  • Things will get better, we are in a similar situation.

    Even when I was working full time, I had no disability insurance due to their pre-existing condition clause. Disability is not mandatory for employers in Nevada. Even AFLAC would not touch me!

    I cannot drive so it will be difficult to try to go back to work. Instead I sell on Ebay, and also a direct sales skin care line. Send me a message, I will give you some other work at home ideas. I make enough on both to help with the bills. I also work for a former boss doing clerical and research from home.

    My mortgage company put us on a hardship program after I faxed them 30 pages of documentation. They lowered our payment by $600/month and our interest rate to 5.25% for 6 months, to be extended for 18 months.

    We pay our mortgage, utilities, food and gas and the rest of them can just wait!!

    Will pray for your quick physical and financial recovery! Julia
  • Thank you for all you suggestions.

    Of course, yesterday, my phone was shut-off for non-payment. :S I have made a list of all your suggestions and will try to get my phone turned on ASAP.

    Thank you to all.


  • What an awful situation to be in.
    My only advice would be to exhaust all avenues of help, and hopefully there will be organisations who would be able to guide you through. There may be things available to you that aren't common knowledge.
    The old: why didn't you tell me?
    You didn't ask!

    From an Australian perspective I struggle to understand why the US has such an apalling health system. As far as I can tell, it is because medical services are profit centres.
    But I thought there still was some sort of medical help available to all.

    In Australia, everyone is covered by the Medicare system which is paid for entirely by the government but with the assistance of a levy on those who have incomes above a certain level. There are no limits on treatment, but you will have to wait for some services.
    As well, you can then take out private health insurance so that you can choose your doctor and hospital.
    I pay about $A190 a month for this.

    I hope that the new administration will be able to get your health system sorted out and take it out of the hands of profit centres.
    Good luck.
  • So sorry to hear about your situation. Just for information purposes, I only had to be off of work 6 months in order to qualify for SSDI and during that time I was able to draw SSI (not a lot, but something). Unless SS has changed their rules, it might not hurt to give them a call and check it out. Just my input. Hope things get better for you soon!
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