RSS Feed Print
watching for pitfalls .... on disability and meeting with employer....
Posted: Saturday, January 5, 2019 6:34 PM
Joined: 1/4/2019
Posts: 5

Hello Everyone-

I'm new here.  My husband was diagnosed with early onset dementia in November (we are awaiting the results of the spinal tap to rule in or out Alzheimer's).  He is 45 years old.  

He went out on short term disability in June.  Applied for state short term disability- jumped through some hoops (I think some were flaming) and have that all straightened out (for now).  We are currently navigating the long term disability insurance coverage he has through his employer (this has been a giant pain).  

They recently requested that he look at reasonable accommodations to return to work. His doctor completed the requested paperwork indicating that he cannot return to work in any capacity.  They want to meet Thursday this week.  I'm expecting a conversation about termination or resignation. 

I don't want to compromise anything currently available to him- what should we do? 


Posted: Saturday, January 5, 2019 7:13 PM
Joined: 3/25/2015
Posts: 683

Talk with an attorney.
Posted: Saturday, January 5, 2019 7:59 PM
Joined: 12/31/2018
Posts: 454

My husband also has EO dementia. Talk to Social Security asap and consider applying for Social Security Disability. There is a 6 month waiting period once you apply. DH had enough sick leave built up that he stopped working but collected a regular paycheck for about 5 months, therefore we only had one month between his paycheck and his soc. sec. check. He also had long term disability insurance, which was a pain to deal with for us too! They subtract his soc sec and his pension (he officially retired) from what he's eligible for and he gets very little from them each month. But it's something. His HR dept was very helpful to us while we were navigating this, but as Beth said, you may want legal advice as well. Best wishes!
Iris L.
Posted: Saturday, January 5, 2019 9:12 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16563

The purpose of being on short- or long- term disability is to avoid the risk of being fired.  Meaning, disability is protection from being fired due to medical reasons.  This is my non- legal interpretation.  I had to sue my employer in order to resume long term disability benefits.  

DO NOT AGREE TO DISMISSAL OR RESIGNATION!  This could cause him to lose employee benefits!


Continue with the process of obtaining long term benefits.  Remain on short term disability until the long term disability benefits become active.

Consult an attorney for specific advice.

Iris L.

Posted: Sunday, January 6, 2019 9:37 AM
Joined: 3/7/2012
Posts: 2546

I do not believe that I've welcomed you to the message board. I'm glad that you've found us, but sad that you are in a position that you need to be here. There is much information on the site, not just the message board. Make certain to check under the solutions section. Lots of helpful information.

As for your question we were in your exact position several years ago. You are correct, filling out the paperwork for both short and long term disability looks like a mountain. Every person you speak with on the phone keep a record of their name and title. (This helps when you speak with multiple people and the 'advice' each on gives is different.) You stated he was on short  term disability and were trying to get long term disability. It is a bonus that your doctor has deemed him not able to work - that is huge. 

Since the short term was approved it 'should' transition to long term disability. Should being the important word. In my DH's case the company he worked for turned his long term disability over to a 3rd party to handle. What a nightmare, but with perseverance you'll make it through. The third party then becomes your contact, if you will. Again in our case yearly my DH has to re-qualify to his disability. Then send out multiple pages to be filled out and several pages that has to be signed by DH's neurologist. We usually have 3 weeks to accomplish this or DH is automatically disqualified from disability.  It irritated me to no end that yearly I'm the one jumping through the hoops to make this happen, but thrilled we even have this disability. The 3rd party, in our case, can't reject the paperwork - meaning if the physician has signed it and states DH can not go back to work in any capacity - they just have to have the yearly record. Once its signed and faxed to them it is done for another year.

I wonder if the meeting your talking about is to hand your DH's case to a third party. If you can I'd contact an eldercare attorney and ask your questions. Under no circumstances agree or sign anything at this meeting. Just listen, say nothing. Do take a copy for your doctors letter stating your DH can not return to work.

We did this process when DH was 54, young. Your ten years younger. You have to consider your health insurance into this plan. With long term disability through the company I'm assuming you have medical health insurance. Yes my DH could "retire" however at 54 yrs I'd had have no medical insurance then. That is why each year I hop through the hoops to keep the long term disability in place, so I have insurance.

Hopefully I've not confused you. Ask as many questions as you need and I'll make certain to answer to my best ability.


Michael Ellenbogen
Posted: Sunday, January 6, 2019 9:47 AM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 3400

Great advice from others. Especially about attorney. Just make sure you get one that specializes in this type of case. 

Posted: Sunday, January 6, 2019 9:56 AM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 18845

I would consider the meeting to be for fact finding. I would listen. Get info in writing and consult with an attorney. I would offer no information!
Posted: Sunday, January 6, 2019 2:45 PM
Joined: 1/4/2019
Posts: 5

Thanks everyone for your realistic perspective and advice.  I think I will do meeting (via phone) Thursday, not commit to anything, listen, not sign, and then seek qualified legal counsel for next steps. 
Posted: Monday, January 7, 2019 2:59 PM
Joined: 3/7/2012
Posts: 2546

That sounds like a good plan. Listen and offer nothing. Make certain to tell us how the meeting goes.