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Newly Diagnosed With Parkinson's? Share your concerns, questions and anxieties with others who know what you are going through.

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Old January 22nd, 2018, 09:50 AM
Myquest55 Myquest55 is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Gleefully in MAINE
Posts: 28
Default Parkinsons & Disability (SSDI)

My husband was diagnosed with Parkinsons in 2014 - he was 57. He wanted to work as long as he could (he was a chemistry technician) so he had meetings with HR and his supervisors and everyone agreed to help him do just that. Along the way they scaled back his assignments and took him off the Emergency Response Team.

This past August, he finally came home one day and said, "I cannot do this any more." We had plans in place. He had saved up as much sick leave as he could as well as banked vacation time. We knew we wanted to re-locate so we managed to purchase a house before he went on sick leave. (made it easier to obtain a mortgage while he was still actively working).

Being this young, he could apply for Disability. He had been paying for Long Term Disability Insurance and we both made phone calls. His Neurologist was supportive and had advised us that the Federal Gov't. had eased the Disability laws to smooth the way for someone with Parkinsons to actually get SSDI (Soc. Sec. Disability Income) The company was sympathetic and has made this all very easy for us. The insurance company quickly approved his application and began payments - even while he is still, technically, employed - but not working (he is on "sick leave"). They provided another group to hasten the Federal SSDI for him and that is in the works.

We moved to our new home in Dec. and all is going smoothly so far. Our only stumbling block is the overall health insurance. DH has managed to combine sick leave, vacation time and Family Leave (unpaid time off) so that we can extend his "employment" until mid summer. Then he will drop out of the ranks of "gainfully employed" and we will be shopping for health insurance to begin then. Medicare is still a few years away. We did not plan on official "retirement" until Full Retirement Age (FRA) SO - be advised - most of these insurance plans have NOT adjusted their benefits. All of this stops at age 65 but his FRA is 66-1/3. So we may have to begin that pension payment early - we'll see how it pans out.

Our Thrivent and Prudential reps have been helping us sort through the IRAs, pension, savings, etc. to find the best mix for long term planning. If we can do this - YOU can do this!!! Just keep asking questions until you understand it all and good luck!
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Old January 28th, 2018, 05:27 PM
ludiemae ludiemae is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Hawthorne, Florida
Posts: 1,683
Default Re: Parkinsons & Disability (SSDI)

I got a chuckle out of your “gleefully in Maine” a nice switch.
Thanks for the update and we wish you luck. It is a struggle we all face and it is overwhelming to say the least.
Take care, Ludie
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