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Long term disability

Shine OnSShine On Posts: 87
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Health Insurance Issues
I hope that I'm posting this question in the right place? I am going back to work on Monday Feb. 9 and I am so scared because I am still in so much pain. I have been out for 2 1/2 months for a cervical fusion and to have my SCS permanently implanted. Mentally and emotionally I am ready to go back, I enjoy the people I work with and I know it does get my mind off of things a little. I have a desk job for a major corporation, which I am blessed to have in these hard times. I am so nervous because I know sitting at my desk all day is going to cause so much pain. My SCS is working great for my lumbar issues but my cervical issues are horrible. The xrays look good since my C 6/7 fusion but I still have a ton of pain. I am in physical therapy but it seems to be making things worse, my therapist is getting nervous to treat me because it causes me to flare up. I will probably be having an EMG soon to check for nerve damage, my fingers in my right hand are numb 75% of the time. I'm 41 and it's so scary dealing with all of this. Okay, to my question....at what point do we start thinking about long term disability. I have good benefits since I work for a large corporation, which I get a little nervous about because what if they take that benefit away, they are already changing our insurance coverage for the worse, taking raises and promotions away etc. Anyway, if I were to consider that, which of my doctors would I ask about it? I am going to go back to work with a positive attitude and I hope and pray it all works out for me, but if it doesn't I just want to know what my options are. I just don't know how hard it would actually get approved for long term disability, I would get 60% of my pay for about 6 years. I'm rambling now, I hope there is someone out there that may know something about this. Thanks to everyone.


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,848
    When you are post-surgery and still in the recovery process.
    Sometimes that timeframe can be as short as a few months or perhaps as long as 2 to 3 years!
    Returning to work is hard to do. First, you have been out of work for a while with a spinal problem and when you return there are so many unknowns

    - Will the people in my office accept me back or resent me for the time off?
    - Will I be able to continue to perform at my job the way I did before surgery
    - Can I sit at a desk and work without having pain

    Some things are in your control and many others are not. Concentrate on what you can do. For anyone with spinal problems and working at a desk with computers, it is so very important to make sure you get up at least every 45 minutes, stretch, walk around and wait at least 10 minutes before returning to your workstation. Failure to do that can led to discomfort, new pain and potentially losing the ability to continue in that job. As a programmer, I know how fast time can go by while working at a computer. I have a software alarm clock that 'reminds' me.

    It is fortunate you work for a large company. I do also. The benefits have always been great, but in today's environment things are changing so quickly. 401K matches are going away, medical benefits costs are increasing, raises are frozen, etc.

    I've come to a point in my life that I realized that as long as I continue to work in the field I do, I will only continue to have pain. I go weekly for many different treatments, which help me, but then I go back to work and all those benefits are thrown out the window. Its like a seesaw, work - have problems, treatment - helps problems, then back to work and the problems return.
    I am at the end of my tenure, 35 years with the company and I know I can no longer do what I've been doing. As I've aged, the healing process is harder and harder, so I realize that in the long run, I had to decide to stay and work or take the road out.

    I've been on Short Term Disability 3 times in the past 3 years. Each one is good for 13 weeks. Right now, I am also currently on Short Term Disability. The next step will either be Retirement or applying for Long Term Disability.
    To get LTD in the company I work for is very difficult. First you have to fill out all the forms, submit them to the companies insurance provider, then the review starts.
    There are doctor reviews, examinations, etc. Our LTD is good for 1 year at a time at 50% salary with 3 reviews during the year to see if you still should be on LTD.
    My advice, since you are still young is to start preparing
    for LTD.
    Good luck, and I can speak from experience, if you continue to work which will cause more pain in the long run is going to drain you and make recovery very difficult. Yet, I fully understand that an income is needed.
    Wishing you the best

    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • You always have such wonderful advise and information. I'm sure getting LTD will be difficult with the corporation I work for as well, which I completely understand due to the fact that there are so many people out there that abuse the system. I have worked for this company for a total of 11 years (I left for a year in between and then came back, I have been back for 6 years). I just feel so lost right now. I am coming to terms with the fact that I am not ever going to be pain free, and I know I can do this, I'm strong and I have a great attitude. Just not sure what to do...UGG! Ron, is there any suggestions you would give me on what I should do as far as "preparing for LTD"?
    Once again, thank you, you rock!!!
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,848
    for the kind words. I sent you a PM instead of writing that info about LTD.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
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