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Author Topic: When to determine to go on Disability  (Read 3844 times)

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Offline Doughboyjbird

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  • Posts: 11
  • Just Me...
When to determine to go on Disability
« on: August 18, 2006, 11:00:48 AM »
I have been positive for 20 years.  I have taken meds for 12 of those years.  Although I have never been seriously sick,  I have continued to work full time.  I have gone through a Heart attack in 2000 and a double hip replacement in 2003.  All of which were the results of long turn Pro tease Inhibitors. ( My spelling sucks!).

The virus I have has become resistant to most all drugs.  I just started with Prizista with Norvir, truvada and Fuzeon.  We are hoping this will help.  My latest counts were Viral load 260,000 and T-Cells 72.  I work in the printing industry which is very high stress.  I am sure that contributes.

My concern is when and how does one say enough is enough and get on disability.

Any comments are welcomed.


Offline stevevaboy

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Re: When to determine to go on Disability
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2006, 12:48:35 PM »
Doughboy, as I'd stated in another thread, I had been living my life like a non-infected person and took on all of the challenges most people face without regard to my status ( made a big move, new job, living situation - basically everything changed for me).  I've only been Poz for a couple of years and was not on meds prior to my relocation/move, however I think all of the stress brought on by all of these changes affected my immune system and low-and-behold I'm now taking my second course of meds (the first failed to suppress the virus).  My point is that you certainly DON'T need to be working in a high-stress environment - it will kick your immune system's ass and, in MY OPINION, in turn not allow your meds to work as well as they could.  I think that's why my first meds weren't as effective.  Stress, anxiety and depression are immune system killers.

On the other hand, not working at all and having some purpose to get out of bed in the morning is probably not the best alternative either - find your balance!

Good luck!  Steve

Offline allanq

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  • still life with pills
Re: When to determine to go on Disability
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2006, 01:16:54 PM »
I think the most important questions are whether you are physically able to work and whether continued working is endangering your health. It sounds like you are emotionally ready to go on disability. You need to discuss these issues with your doctor, for you will need his full support in order to go on disability. If he does not give you this support, then it might be time to look for another doctor.

Document all the problems you've been having and how they impact your ability to work. If you are suffering from fatigue and depression, it is important to include those conditions in your application. Get a copy of the form for Social Security Disability and read it carefully. If you do decide to apply for disability, give a lot of thought to presenting your case in the most effective way on the application. If possible, have it reviewed by an AIDS benefit couselor before you submit the form.

Good luck to you, and I hope you new drug regimen will be effective.

Here's a link to some good info on applying for Social Security Disability Insurance: SSDI Info

Top (Breakfast): Prezista, Norvir, Isentress, Zoloft (2), Glyburide (2), Aspirin
Bottom right (Dinner): Prezista, Norvir, Isentress
Bottom left (Bedtime): Sustiva, Trazodone (2), Lipitor, Septra (no longer taking this)
Center: Alprazolam (Xanax)
Not shown: various vitamins & supplements

Offline Doughboyjbird

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Re: When to determine to go on Disability
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2006, 02:57:36 PM »
Thanks for the comments. I will be 40 this year.  Up until now, I have never considered going on disability.  However, I think my health and being around longer is much more important than any amount of wealth.


Offline Christine

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Re: When to determine to go on Disability
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2006, 09:09:39 PM »
I think when you reach a point that you can no longer care for health, and that your job is taking away from your health, it might be time to consider your options.

If your current job is high stress, perhaps a change in job to a lower stress job might be an option for you.

I think it is a really good idea that you are thinking about this now, rather than in a crises situation. Perhaps talking to someone at the ASO or SS about disability will also help you make your future decisions.
Poz since '93. Currently on Procrit, Azithromax, Pentamidine, Valcyte, Levothyroxine, Zoloft, Epzicom, Prezista, Viread, Norvir, and GS-9137 study drug. As needed: Trazodone, Atavan, Diflucan, Zofran, Hydrocodone, Octreotide

5/30/07 t-cells 9; vl 275,000

Offline randym431

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Re: When to determine to go on Disability
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2006, 09:21:13 PM »
I dont know if this is related, but I have a friend out in CA that was a teacher. He was on meds since 1995 or 96 and still taught. He was sick a lot and had little energy. Then he went on disab 2000 and his cd4 is now 800 and VL <50. His health is excellent and he bikes 5 miles a day, reads, writes letters to friends and has a reitred-like life. He loved teaching but he also loves being retired on disab.

My self, I am convinced that not working improves your health, at least in his case. Some would go nutz not working, some would love to quit working. But his cd4 was in the 80's when he was working, and sick alot with colds and the like. Now he's way up to cd4 of 800 and doing great.

He does have a very limited income, being on disability, but thats fine for him since he never was a spender. Living within your means on disability might be hard going for some.

You, if possible, might try taking an extended leave to see if your counts improve but i dont know about going on disability in that case, unless you have some disability program thru work that you could use for 3 - 6 months $ paid.

I know here we (I) have both short term and long term disability insurance. I've thought about looking into it but my counts are very good, after my first year on meds now, and not much stress. My only gripe is I work these 12 hour shifts and nights to boot. Thats a killer sometimes.
But, do what you need to to keep your health. All the best...

Offline clarke

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Re: When to determine to go on Disability
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2006, 12:53:34 PM »
Attempting to go on disability can take a huge toll for stress.  The applications themselves are mind-boggling and redundant (in their attempt to trick you).  Then there is going to "their" doctor to determine if you do "qualify".  There's also a 5-month waiting period from when you were last employed.

It's a real hassle to get on, and should you decide to do it, get some help.

Offline Life

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  • Member 2005
Re: When to determine to go on Disability
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2006, 01:04:11 PM »
Have you considered changing to a NON-STRESSFUL JOB and continue working as long as your virus reacts possitively to the lesser stress job???  I will never go back to managment... Clock in clock out,  no long fucking meetings, no finger pointing, no compitition... Ive been there and I am glad I got out even prior to diagnosis...


Offline bear60

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Re: When to determine to go on Disability
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2006, 02:15:40 PM »
My life partner fits in the catagory of someone whose health was deteriorating at an alarming rate and after he went on disability has improved measurably....in all ways.  He is happier, not stressed and is content with his life as it is. He is taking German language classes (something he always wanted to do) and went to Germany last year with his class for a week tour.  I am sort of jealous of him because he has all this free time to do things.
He does not want to go back to work. His doctor is the one who helped him get on disability and is the one who is going to keep him on it.
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline Eldon

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Re: When to determine to go on Disability
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2006, 05:16:21 PM »
Hello Doughboy, it is Eldon. First of all I wish to extend a warm welcome to the forums to you. Here you will find the love, encouragement, support, fun, and answers to many of your questions relating to HIV/AIDS.

When going on disability, there is a lot to take into consideration. Do you want a cut in your present income? Will you be ok with time on your hands? and other things. Your health is the most important thing right now for you to consider when making your decision.

If you do not want to go out on disability, then as our Eric has stated, you can get a less stressful job that is not going to take a toll on your health. Ultimately this significant change depends on you and your circumstances.

If you do file for disability, be prepared when you go with answers to many of their questions which the main one is: What limits your ability to work?

Please feel free to come back and post your responses.


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