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#193935 02-27-2017 08:08 PM
Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 34
Murphy Offline OP
Contributing Member (25+ posts)
OP Offline
Contributing Member (25+ posts)

Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 34
Hello all,
I don't know how to approach my radiologist about SSdisability, my ENT is out of the picture for now, I have 35 rad treatments starting in March and I will file short term disability through my work. The treatments will last 7 weeks and plan to file short term for about 12 of those weeks. I was told by a social worker that if my doctor did not think that my treatments were that serious that I could return to work after treatments so that there was no reason even to file! Do I just ask him to help me with SSdisability or what, it is weird to work with doctors that are 20 years younger than I am. I am 60 years old and work as a Master Certified Auto Technician, everyday I smell gasoline fumes, exhaust fumes, in contact with solvents, work on brakes and accidently inhale brake dust though I wear a mask and other things. I am tired of it and am in need of some suggestions.
Please help!
My ENT says that my tongue cancer did not mastecize from there to my throat and that I am just unfortunate, so I am not terminal? Sort of confused right now and probably will be more confused in a few weeks after treatments have started!

5/31/16 Partial Glossectomy
Right neck dissection
22 teeth extracted
Six weeks of radiation Ended 8/19/16
2/8/17 Biopsy of epiglottis-cancerous
35 radiation treatments to the throat, End 11/17/17
8/23/19 Tongue reconstruction, left radical neck dissection
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 10,507
Likes: 7
Administrator, Director of Patient Support Services
Patient Advocate (old timer, 2000 posts)
Administrator, Director of Patient Support Services
Patient Advocate (old timer, 2000 posts)

Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 10,507
Likes: 7
You do not have to be diagnosed terminal to receive SS disability. If you are unable to work (long term, not just a couple weeks) due to your illness then you should apply. To qualify, I think you must be out sick from work for at least 6 months (maybe its a year?). It doesnt hurt to try applying. The worst that can happen is you get denied (seems many get denied then appeal and are approved). I think you can fill out the paperwork and list your physicians then SS contacts them for your records and makes a determination. Heres the link to SSD.

Good luck!!!

SS Disability

PS... Read thru some of the posts in this section. Im pretty sure over the years a few tips have been shared to help make the disability process easier.

SCC 6/15/07 L chk & by L molar both Stag I, age44
2x cispltn-35 IMRT end 9/27/07
-65 lbs in 2 mo, no caregvr
Clear PET 1/08
4/4/08 recur L chk Stag I
surg 4/16/08 clr marg
215 HBO dives
3/09 teeth out, trismus
7/2/09 recur, Stg IV
8/24/09 trach, ND, mandiblctmy
3wks medicly inducd coma
2 mo xtended hospital stay, ICU & burn unit
PICC line IV antibx 8 mo
10/4/10, 2/14/11 reconst surg
OC 3x in 3 years
very happy to be alive smile
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 3,267
Likes: 1
Patient Advocate (old timer, 2000 posts)
Patient Advocate (old timer, 2000 posts)

Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 3,267
Likes: 1

It's been a while for me dealing with this, but when I was initially going through in hospital chemo treatment in 2009, I was already under short term disability, which I believe was 26 weeks, depending on your minimum hours worked, and number of employees they have, all which were met. The hospital social worker who came to visit my room said to file SS then, but I laughed to myself thinking I'd be up and running soon, maybe even during treatment. Well, that didn't work out as i expected, and was out for the long term.

Besides short term disability, my employer met my weekly salary, so I had one less worry about paying my bills being I lived alone. After the short term disability, 6 months, I was still in the hospital, so I had to file long term disability. My employment ended with my employer at that point, being I was out if work for 6 months.

At some point, I don't even know who filed SS for me, maybe the nursing home social worker, but they filed the wrong type. Instead of SSDI, which I qualify for, they filed for SSI and Medicaid, so I was denied that based on my income, which I didn't care about.

When I was back home, 8 months later, I had to file for SSDI as part of the long term disability program, if I was denied, LTD would stop too. Such SS filing was done over the telephone, and forms to fill out by mail. I don't know if any of the doctors were cooperative as SS said they got no responses, and had to see the SS doctor for a physical. He even suggested I go back for long term nursing care. Two months later, I was awarded SSDI, which went back to my first disability date in 2009, about a year before, but with that I had to give back the money I was paid for short term and long term disability from the award money.

I had good health insurance, and continued with that under COBRA being Medicare doesn't kick in until your 29th month from your disability date, but you have to pay the total premium, plus an administrative fee. Luckily at that time, Obama had a 60% reduction with that.

I had a disability lawyer from the long term disability insurer, so there was no charge for that, as I believe they can get up to 30% of the award money.

In essence, you have to be totally disabled for a year or expected to be unable to perform your job for a year or longer or any similar type of work, I believe.

I heard of people who filed in person at their local SS office, and were helped.

I hope this helps.

10/09 T1N2bM0 Tonsil
11/09 Taxo Cisp 5-FU, 6 Months Hosp
01/11 35 IMRT 70Gy 7 Wks
06/11 30 HBO
08/11 RND PNI
08/12 RND Pec Flap IORT 12 Gy
10/12 25 IMRT 50Gy 6 Wks Taxo Erbitux
10/13 SND
10/13 TBO/Angiograph
10/13 RND Carotid Remove IORT 10Gy PNI
12/13 25 Protons 50Gy 6 Wks Carbo
11/14 All Teeth Extract 30 HBO
03/15 Sequestromy Buccal Flap ORN
09/16 Mandibulectomy Fib Flap Sternotomy
04/17 Regraft hypergranulation Donor Site
06/17 Heart Attack Stent
02/19 Finally Cancer Free Took 10 yrs

Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 61
Supporting Member (50+ posts)
Supporting Member (50+ posts)

Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 61
I know this is an old post, but I do not have any insurance whatsoever. I suspected I might have cancer, so I purchased some lump sum cancer policies...small 2 ($25000) policies, I knew this would not cover the Cancer but might help my family with some expenses while I was being taken care of. Anyway...After confirming that I, indeed, did have tongue cancer...Everything has progressed quite quickly...within a week and a half, I have been diagnosed, had a CT scan, having preop in 2 days and surgery the next day. So, no time to plan ahead. This past Thursday (04-27-17) my CT scan was scheduled but before I could do so, I was told it was $1655.00 out of pocket. I could not handle it, so, I broke down crying. I managed to pay 655.00 and billed the rest. I was so upset, that I decided to try my luck with Medicaid, (I have no technical job as I have worked in our family business with no pay check for the past 30 years, still live with the folks and take care of them as well), The Social Security office was my last hope really. I went there --no appointment--just waited in line...Once I sat down and explained my situation he said I should qualify for SSI with I don't make very much money and have very limited I gave him tax returns, my pathology report, and all the other pertinent info. He filed it for me and said that since I am about to be out of commission for a while (which I told him --could be weeks, months or a year or more) and the diagnosis is Cancer, coupled with the "no money"...I would get pushed to the front of the line so to speak with the SS administration, as it is considered an emergency. I just checked last night on the SS website...he said, that I would be denied regular Social Security, but I would be approved for SSI with Medicaid. Well, true to his word, it said I was denied SS, but the status for SSI with Medicaid is in the Pending stage. **Long Story short....finances are a big part of stress with this Cancer thing...don't be afraid to seek the help, no matter from what source. You might be surprised at the support you will receive.

04/21/17 Biopsy at ENT
04/25/17 Biopsy result SCC on left side tongue
04/27/17 CT Scans--shows shallow tumor
05/02/17 Pre-op
05/03/17 Surgery to remove tumor
05/08/17 Cancer still present
05/10/17 2nd surgery-
06/05/17 PET on 6th, RADS start on 06/20/17
07/11/17 Halfway point!
08/01/17 Last treatment
11/1/17 Cancer is back
11/15/17 Emory University surgery. neck dissection, left lymph nodes removed, tongue free flap from left arm with skin graft.

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