I recently had the occasion to make a house call to meet with a client who had stopped working about 4 years ago in his early 50’s. He became gravely, permanently ill and eventually needed to apply for Social Security Disability benefits, which were approved. He had to endure the two-year wait until he could receive Medicare. As he got caught up in the throes of his illness, with repeated hospitalizations and ongoing difficult treatments, there were things that he overlooked that could have been very beneficial. However he was usually so ill that he couldn’t see his way clear to realize what needed to be done.
For instance, it turned out that he could have applied to receive his pension early once he was approved for disability by the Social Security Administration. Since the pension can’t start paying until the application is made, several years of benefits were lost. Also, once the Affordable Care Act went online in 2013, perhaps he could have gotten himself some health insurance through an Exchange while he waited for his Medicare to begin. It was all just tragic.
The start of a period of debilitating illness is the time to make sure you have someone lined up as your power of attorney and paper-work helper, who can start investigating what you may be eligible for, make sure your bills are paid ontime, and help you get everything prepared and filed on time. Phone a friend – create a lifeline.
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