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Author Topic: ssd  (Read 4695 times)

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Offline mitch777

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« on: October 21, 2009, 06:34:05 PM »
hi again,
have a crappy cold so will limit my questions to the basics (some pretty lame but i need help)
i think i may need to go on ssd but have questions that have been nagging me for quite awhile.
i own my own business and have my health insurance because i am a member of the chamber of commerce (required by the insurer wellpoint).
my partner "works for me" and gets his insurance through my business.
here are some of my questions/concerns.
1. do i lose my health insurance on ssd?
2. will my partner lose his too?
3. am i still able to collect ssd and still own the business?
4. are there income limits?
5. does ssd provide any drug coverage to pay for my meds? (currently about 25,00 per year) yikes!
enough for now as i am feeling crappy and my hunt and peck typing skills don't help.
thanks for any help here!
33 years hiv+ with a curtsy.

Offline Snowangel

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Re: ssd
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2009, 10:57:13 PM »
Hi Mitch!
Do you mean SSDI?

If so:
1. I think it depends on what state you are in and what the regulations are.
2. same as 1 and what his situation is
3. if you are talking about disability, most likely not, in order to be eligible, you have to show that you are un-able to full-fill your job requirements(whatever they might be )
4. Yes.
5. There is ADAP and if you get on SSDI after a certain amount of time(years, I think) you can become eligible for medicare.

This link might help answer your questions.  http://www.ssa.gov/

Good luck and I hope that you feel better soon!

Take care,
Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important

The heaviest thing you can carry is a grudge..

One thing you can give and still keep...is your word.

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Offline aztecan

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  • 31 years positive, 59 years a pain in the butt
Re: ssd
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2009, 11:28:29 PM »
Hey Mitch,

Here is a partial answer to your question from the Social Security Administration:

We have special rules called "work incentives" that help you keep your cash benefits and Medicare while you test your ability to work. For example, there is a trial work period during which you can receive full benefits regardless of how much you earn, as long as you report your work activity and continue to have a disabling impairment.

The trial work period continues until you accumulate nine months (not necessarily consecutive) in which you perform what we call  "services" within a rolling 60-month period. We consider your work to be "services" if you earn more than $700 a month in 2009.  For 2008, this amount was $670.

After the trial work period ends, your benefits will stop for months your earnings are at a level we consider "substantial," currently $980 in 2009. For 2008, this amount was $940.  Different amounts apply to people who are disabled because of blindness. The monthly substantial amount for statutorily blind individuals for 2009 is $1,640; for 2008 this amount was $1,570.

For an additional 36 months after completing the trial work period, we can start your benefits again if your earnings fall below the "substantial" level and you continue to have a disabling impairment. For more information about work incentives, we recommend that you read the leaflet, Working While Disabled-How We Can Help (SSA Publication Number 05-10095).

Here are links to more information:




I would like to add something about your meds. If you are declared disabled, the normal routine is to first be awarded SSI (Supplemental Security Income). Here in New Mexico, people automatically qualify for Medicaid if they are awarded SSI. Medicaid in New Mexico covers prescription drugs as well as other medical costs.

At some point, if you are deemed to be disabled, you would be given SSDI (Social Security Disability Income) which usually occurs about five or so months after your start receiving SSI.

Different states may differ, so I would check with your local Income Support Division and Social Security Office, but once you start getting SSDI, you lose Medicaid and must begin using Medicare.  There are three types of Medicare, A, B and D.  I believe A pays for major medical, B pays for outpatient care (or it could be the other way around, I always forget) and D pays for prescription medications.

Medicare Part D is a mess, unless you qualify for extra help through Medicaid (usually someone who is low income) or sign up with a Medicare supplemental plan.

But I may be putting the cart before the horse. You must first qualify for SSDI. You also must have paid into Social Security long enough to qualify. When I asked recently for a friend, I was told a person must have paid a minimum of 10 years of work credit to qualify.

That would mean you would have had to pay into Social Security for at least 10 years. The reason I point that out is the friend who I had inquired for has not paid into Social Security enough to qualify, because he owned his own business and didn't pay into Social Security.

I don't know if any of this helps, but maybe the links I gave you will be of some assistance.



"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline BT65

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Re: ssd
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2009, 05:41:18 AM »
Mitch, check with your state's policies regarding Medicaid.  It's different everywhere.  Here in Hoosierville, they have disability Medicaid, which is actually harder to get than SSDI.  And disability Medicaid pays for a person's Medicare premiums.  I would definitely check with your local offices, which are also probably called different things in different states.  Here they're called Division of Family and Children. 

I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

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Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: ssd
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2009, 09:46:54 AM »
The first thing I would do is sit down with a knowledgeable person at a local ASO to assess your own personal situation vis-a-vis going on disability.  There are so many variables, and we can see this just from the questions you asked.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline mitch777

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Re: ssd
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2009, 05:20:06 PM »
Thanks again and yikes!
This is all so confusing. Guess I need to do more homework on the government sites. ugh.
also will check on state laws. what is the "ASO" ?
Even though I have been self-employed for 22 years, I HAVE been paying into SS.
Another point/question about being able to keep my business and earn an income from it yet still be able to collect would be that while income would still be coming in, I would not be working. The business would generate income because of people working for me to keep it going. Am I crazy to think this or do I have to close it down and hope that I don't earn enough on the proceeds to put me over some limit? boy! I would hate to think we all have to show we are living in poverty to be able to collect dissability income that we have been paying taxes on all these years.
Again, obviously I need to do more research. I didn't even know the difference between SSD and SSDI.
Simple me: Just thought if I would be considered dissabled I would know what to expect from the government. Guess it is easy as they make it to file annual tax reports.
I'm great at retail business, great in the garden, but when it comes to legal this and government that I am lost.
Thank you again for ALL of your comments and suggestions!!!

33 years hiv+ with a curtsy.

Offline mitch777

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Re: ssd
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2009, 05:28:03 PM »
me again.
would also hate to think I need to close down the business and put my employees (including my partner) out of a job to be able to collect SSD.
my computer and typing skills are another one of my challenges as you might have noticed. ha. ugh.
33 years hiv+ with a curtsy.

Offline BT65

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Re: ssd
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2009, 08:56:31 PM »
"ASO"- Aids Service Organization.  Your ID doc should have that information, if you can't find it.  Maybe someone will show up and post the link to find it.  I don't know what the link is, or I'd post it (sorry).
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Condom and Lube Info http://www.aidsmap.com/Condoms/page/1044833/
Please check out our lessons on PEP and PrEP. http://www.poz.com/factsheets/fs_2014_09_prep.pdf


Offline aztecan

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  • 31 years positive, 59 years a pain in the butt
Re: ssd
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2009, 09:36:46 AM »
Hey Mitch,

I agree with Philly, get thee to an ASO. You may not be eligible for services, depending on your income, but they may still advise you about what you might do.

There is an ASO locator at POZ.com. All you have to do is to type in your zip code.

If you can't find one, PM me and I will find one for you.

See ya,


"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline Ann

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Re: ssd
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2009, 10:25:39 AM »

There is an ASO locator at POZ.com. All you have to do is to type in your zip code.


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HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline AlanBama

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Re: ssd
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2009, 02:39:34 PM »
my advice:  don't do it honey, unless you absolutely can't drag yourself in at all.    I went out kicking and screaming, and it has proved to be the life-changing event I feared.   Poverty is no fun; Medicare (after two years of waiting) is no fun either.....

Hope you can get some answers.  If you are genuinely too ill to work, of course you need to know your options.


"Remember my sentimental friend that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others." - The Wizard of Oz

Offline rondrond

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Re: ssd
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2009, 01:05:03 AM »
Hi Mitch,

Welcome. Sorry about your dilemna. I, too had a business, that I could have let my nephew run the routes for me, but,

1) he didn't want to
2) it would still be generating income in my name, and to be classified as disabled, you have to be unable to make any income.

Catch 22 is after you do get classified as disabled, you can work and make a set amount of income and not be penalized.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do. It is a hard thing to have to choose between: keeping your business or letting it go.

"I'm not done yet"....Glen Campbell

"I may not be exactly where I want to be, but I sure as Hell am not where I was"
Wynnona Judd

No Meds for 7 Years

04jul07/DVT-right leg/Bi Lateral PE's     
16oct08/DVT-left leg
Aug09 Diagnosed: COPD

Tcells 700

Offline mewithu

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Re: ssd
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2009, 07:25:47 AM »
OK there are many ways to get medical help. it doesn't matter what state you live in. Firstly you have to have an HIV DR and secondly you have to go or write the SSD department to get information and an appliication for you and your Dr to fill out and turn in working isn't a problem as long as your income meets there criteriaSSD's that is There is spend down because no one can afford all the meds and dr visits alone.You really should not be able to work at first to be eligibile. I know this is going in circles but thats the way it is. You will get medicaid before you will get SSD because there is a waiting period for SSD. ITS tough and you will need help getting throuh the hoops on this but there is help out there you just have to have a good representative to help you get it all. An ASO is an AIDS service Organization and on this site onthe search site wite in aso's and then put your zip code in the proper place and it will tell you which ones and how far they are from your zip code. I hope this helps and bless you, Jerry
1997 is when I found out, being deathly ill. I had to go to the hospital due to extreme headache and fever. I fell coma like,  two months later weighing 95 pounds and in extreme pain and awoke to knowledge of Pancreatis, Cryptococcal Meningitis, Thrush,Severe Diarea,  Wasting, PCP pneumonia. No eating, only through tpn. Very sick, I was lucky I had good insurance with the company I worked for. I was in the hospital for three months that time. 
(2010 Now doing OK cd4=210  VL= < 75)
I have become resistant to many nukes and non nukes, Now on Reyataz, , Combivir. Working well for me not too many side effects.  I have the wasting syndrome, Fatigue  . Hard to deal with but believe it or not I have been through worse. Three Pulmonary Embolism's in my life. 2012 520 t's <20 V load

Offline MWCLTonline

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Re: ssd
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2009, 05:27:59 PM »
Hi Mitch,

As someone experienced with SSI, SSDI, Medicaid, Medicare, ADAP, State HIV Care Coordinators, ASO Case Managers who is remembering the 18th Anniversary of being diagnosed HIV+, I wanted to respond to your dilemna... ???

As I understand it; You own a succesful, thriving business with several employees among which is your partner from which you earn your income and you have been paying into Social Security your entire working life as applicable.  You as well as your partner receive health insurance through the business as part of the local CoC policy group.   I assume you have a nice place to live!  You have a cold and you're feeling crappy... :-\

Other than the current crappy cold, how's your overall health?  Disability status is granted when a persons condition inhibits the performance of Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) for a period of at least 6 months and/or is expected to end in death.  SGA is basically can you work enough to continue earning enough to support yourself.  Even if you couldn't actually go in and work for a salary, owning the business would still provide you with health care and enough income to support yourself I would assume.   ::) 

How old are you?  When I was diagnosed with HIV @ 36, it was still accepted that I'd then get AIDS and would then die so I acted accordingly.  I had a job with no future, no health insurance and unstable housing, so the prospect of getting on SSDI which is what I paid in (since I'd probably not live to retirement) and insuring for the care i'd need was the advice I took.  Of course, having been let go from my job after confiding in a mgr that I had tested positive was also a deciding factor.  My first TCell test registered 606!  It took 2 yrs & an attorney to finally get a decision from SSA.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is awarded when the disabled has not worked and/or not paid enough in (40 Quarters) and is a minimum set amount, currently $674.00 month.  Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) is based, like retirement, on what you've paid in from the employment you've had up to the date of disability.   ;)

There is a 2 year waiting period for Medicare to kick in and a chance that one could get Medicaid thru the gap.  Your AIDS Service organization is your key to what other programs are available to help you. Nationally; the AIDS Drugs Assistance Program (ADAP) -part of the Ryan White Act, is administered by each state thru their network of Case Managers/Care Coordinators.  There are also Patient Assistance Programs thru the majority of  drug companies.   :)

At 54, I'm Living with AIDS -600+ TCells, Undetectable Viral Load; lymphadnopathy, hypertension, lipidemia, depression, 12 scripts, Living Trust, Will, Living Will, a planned Memorial service and paid-up Burial insurance.  My ID Doc says I'm not gonna die from it anytime soon, am fairly certain I couldn't get a job in this market if I had to and it works for me :D  Hope this helps!

"HIV is something you live with every day for the rest of your life. You may never die of It, but you will always die with it..."

Offline AndyArrow

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Re: ssd
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2009, 07:11:12 PM »
Hi Mitch,

You really need to sit down with caseworker in your area and figure out your options.  I just wanted to add a slight correction to MWCLT's great post.  Once you are officially declared disabled the wait for Medicare is actually a little longer than 2 yrs. ... it's 30 months.  So, if you are physically no longer able to go into work everyday you really need to also make sure your ID doc is aware of how things have progressed and don't be surprised if you are denied on your first attempt if you decide to go this route.

It is not the arrival that matters.  It is the journey along the way. -- Michel Montaigne


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