If The Attempted Return To Work Is Not Successful
Notify Social Security Immediately
Notify Social Security immediately to continue or reinstate your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) if your attempt to return to work is not successful because your medical condition prevents you from continuing.
We recommend that you go to the Social Security office personally so there are no slip ups.
- Take with you a letter from your physician explaining exactly what symptom or condition is preventing you from doing what part of your job.
- Let your doctor know that Social Security may contact her for additional medical information.
As always, it is advisable to get a receipt confirming your reporting as well as the receipt of your letter. If finances are especially tight, you may ask for an advance payment on your SSDI benefits. Keep in mind, however, such payments seem to be more the exception than the rule.
Consider Continuing Health Insurance Under COBRA Even If You Have Medicare
If you returned to work after being off work because of a health condition, and find that you have to stop work again because of your health condition or for any other non-disciplinary reason: Consider keeping the employer health insurance in force through COBRA for the full 29 months allowed to disabled persons. You have the right to keep health insurance in force under COBRA, just as you did when you first left employment. Be aware that the COBRA rules do say that COBRA health insurance rights are ended by becoming enrolled in Medicare. However, the COBRA rules do not prevent new COBRA rights for people who are already on Medicare who then later leave employment. Therefore, you're entitled to another 29 months on the last employer's health plan through COBRA all over again!
If your employer or its health insurer object, refer them to:
- The following court cases:
- John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company v. King, 500 N.W.2d 619 (S.D. 1993).
- Geissal v. Moore Medical Corporation 118 S. Ct. 1869 (1998).
- The IRS regulations on COBRA, 64 Federal Register 5160, 5168, which explicitly grant people already on Medicare a new COBRA right when they leave a new employer.
Keep in mind that, as with any COBRA situation:
- You will have to provide the employer or its health insurer with written proof that you are considered disabled by the Social Security Administration as of the date of your leaving employment in order to get the "extra" 11 disability months under COBRA.
- You will have to pay your premiums on time. â€¢ If you can't afford the COBRA payments, you will have to arrange for Medicaid (if you're eligible for it) or another program which you can find through your disease specific nonprofit organization. (For example, through ADAP if you are HIV positive).
Information for this section was provided by: Thomas McCormack Author of: AIDS Benefits Handbook (Yale University Press)