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Author Topic: ANYONE IN MY SHOES?  (Read 1457 times)

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Offline 40hrs

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ANYONE IN MY SHOES?
« on: November 30, 2009, 11:24:07 PM »
POZ FOR 20 YEARS NOW.  ON SOCIAL SECURITY/MEDICARE/ETC FOR SEVERAL YEARS NOW. HELTH OVERALL NOW IS GOOD AND AM CONSIDERIN TRYING TO GO BACK TO WORK. HOW DO I GO ABOUT THIS AND WOULD I BE DOING MYSELF MORE HARM (BENEFITS WISE)???? SHOULD I STAY IN A SAFE ZONE IN THAT MY MEDS ARE BEING PAID FOR AND OTHER BENEFITS EACH MONTH????? SPENT SO MANY YEARS PLANNING TO DIE THAT NOW IVE REALIZED IVE FORGOTTEN TO LIVE AND HAVE BECOME A FAIRLY HEALTHY PERSON LIVING ON DISABILITY. ANYONE ELSE BEEN IN MY SHOES????

Offline leatherman

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Re: ANYONE IN MY SHOES?
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2009, 11:54:50 PM »
yes, you can go back to work and earn a limited amount of money. Social Security not only has the "ticket to work" plan, but allows you to earn a certain amount for a certain amount of time without losing medical benefits, though after a certain amount of time and hrs worked you will begin to lose the monetary benefits.

seven yrs ago I went back to work part time for a few years, and consistently informed SS of my hrs and wages. But after a few years I was sick again and had to stop working.

Three years later, SS sent me a notice listing which months I had actually worked and earned more than the limit. They initially were going to keep my benefit check for a whole year for the "repayment". I spoke to a rep and had it changed so that they cut my check and the repayment was completed in three years.

After a year when my car had major engine troubles I could not afford to repair it and lost my transportation. After a year and a half I could no longer pay my rent and lost my home.

Needless to say, I don't feel that I can put my medicial benefits on the line, and I sure can't risk losing my monthly checking and fighting off homelessness again, so I just stay at home (I still can't afford a car) and enjoy my health even if many of the days are boring and I feel like I should be contributing more back to society.

so my advice is caveat emptor! ;)

ps. please turn off the cap lock! yelling about it isn't going to get you an answer any faster LOL
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Online BT65

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Re: ANYONE IN MY SHOES?
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2009, 05:58:16 AM »
Yes, you can work and earn a certain amount of money without losing your benefits.  I was diagnosed 20 years ago as well, and just recently started to work part-time.  You may want to contact what's called a "benefits counselor," in your area to have the person explain how it works.  I think your ASO (Aids Service Organization) should have that information, of how to get in touch with a benefits counselor.  I got in touch with one, though, through vocational rehabilitation, so you may try that route as well.

Social security has what are called "trial work period" months, where you can earn whatever without losing your benefits.  These last for 6 months.  And they don't have to be 6 months right in a row.  Now, during those months, there is a certain amount that will red flag social security, which is a different amount that you can earn after the trial work months.  I can't recall what it is right now, so you should call social security and talk to a representative there.  After the trial work period months, you're allowed to earn, this year, up to $980 without losing the disability benefits.  Next year, my benefits counselor tells me it's going to be $1000.  If you receive like Medicaid and food stamps, of course those will be effected, but each state has different rules and programs, so you'd want to talk to a caseworker about that. 

I would encourage you to talk to someone at your ASO, get some kind of guidance, and make sure it's really what you want to do.  And good luck!
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline Oceanbeach

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Re: ANYONE IN MY SHOES?
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2009, 03:09:03 PM »
I was a founding member of a task force called Community Reconnect which was to focus on helping people living with HIV return to work, get training for work or volunteer to help our ASO's which are struggling in this economy.  I did years of volunteer work just to help out and see if I could succeed at returning to work.

I am aware of the Ticket to Work program and do not believe it is an effective program as in almost 10 years, they don't offer employment possibilities but are willing to help write your resume and offer counseling.  I have a 13 year gap in employment to hide and Ticket to Work has no answers.  Might I suggest you take a look at the web site for Positive Resource Center in San Francisco.  They are www.positiveresource.org.  There may be something there which will help.  I am meeting with their counselor in 2 weeks but since I do not live in San Francisco, I may not be able to access their services.

I did meet with our Benefits Counselor and found at the time, I could return to work and make up to $800 per month with no loss of benefits.   ;D  Have the best day
Michael

Online BT65

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Re: ANYONE IN MY SHOES?
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2009, 06:00:27 AM »
I did meet with our Benefits Counselor and found at the time, I could return to work and make up to $800 per month with no loss of benefits.   ;D  Have the best day
Michael

Actually, this year, according to social security, the amount is $980, after the trial work period months.  And next year it's $1000.  If anyone has questions about this, I suggest calling social security.

I do agree with Michael about the ticket to work program not helping people like it should be.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline Oceanbeach

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Re: ANYONE IN MY SHOES?
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2009, 06:32:46 PM »
Thank you Betty,

With the reductions in RWCA funding in Sonoma County, my early predictions of cuts in services has sadly come true.  Our ASO has not been able to keep a Benefits Counselor in the past 3 years.  I had planned a meeting with our last new Benefits Counselor but he started the job, then left.

I am depending more heavily than I care to admit on the Benefits Counselor at Positive Resource Center where I will not find out if I can utilize their employment/counseling services until I show up at intake.  There was a time (3 years ago) they would help a limited number of people from out of the San Francisco area.  I live in a different county and may not qualify for assistance. 

My reality is, I have been on my own since disabled in 1996 with little to no employment services available.  I couldn't wait for my Return to Work Ticket to arrive.  Disability creates jobs but not necessarily for the disabled.

Having gone from the Living With HIV/AIDS Committee to the Community Reconnect Task Force, I sincerely thought there was a way to make a difference in the lives of myself and others.  In 3 years they have never offered the opportunity for an employer to meet in their "town hall" meetings.  They had meetings to talk about planning meetings and evolved into a support group where people living with HIV could talk about their dreams of becoming employed.   ;D  Have the best day
Michael

 


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