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Working with Early Onset...
Posted: Wednesday, November 27, 2013 12:07 PM
Joined: 11/27/2013
Posts: 2

I'm new to this group and not yet diagnosed (waiting for an appointment for the testing). I posted this on another thread but then realized I should probably start a separate thread on this subject.  I'm wondering what people do when you are not yet of retirement age (I'm 62-1/2) and need to keep working. Have been letting things slip in the cracks at work and am afraid I will ultimately lose my job. Someone mentioned disability (short-term, long-term, both of which I have through work), but I just don't know.  Thoughts?
Paul Hornback
Posted: Wednesday, November 27, 2013 2:00 PM
Joined: 8/9/2013
Posts: 584

btc1951, welcome to the boards. Sorry to hear about your condition but you find many that have been in the same boat you are in. I suppose the first thing to do is to continue to work until you get a diagnosis. But begin preparing to get things in order in case you have to retire.

If you employer offers early retirement because of disability, start to research what requirements need to be met. Look over the application process because this could take a while to fill out depending on what is required. Talk with your doctor after you get a diagnosis to see what he thinks. My neurologist really recommended that I retire to reduce stress after my diagnosis. I worked for another 8 months but should have retired sooner.

Don't forget about SSDI once you are diagnosed. I'm sure others can fill you in on this process but it does take a while to get approved even though they have fast tracked the process.

If you know of someone else that retired from your employer on disability, it wouldn't hurt to touch base with them as well. The more information you have, the easier the process becomes and it will help you in making an informed decision.

Regarding your upcoming testing/Dr visit. Try to make a list of all the things that are going wrong with regard to your memory (missed appts, memory lapses, errors your making at work, etc) so you can discuss with your Dr or Neurologist.

I'm sure others will give you more advice. I struggled with the decision to retire but after talking with my Neurologist, reviewing my performance at work, finally talking with my boss, reviewing my financial situation, and determining what future I wanted, I decided to retire early.

Good luck and may God give you wisdom for this huge decision you have to make. God Bless, Paul

Iris L.
Posted: Thursday, November 28, 2013 10:34 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16574

Welcome to our online support group, btc.  Since you are still undergoing the diagnostic process, you probably know that there are many conditions that can mimic dementia that may be reversible if caught in time. 

Since you asked about disability, I'll try my best to answer your questions. 

I had noticed some issues at my place of employment and had been seeking medical care, which turned out to be useless.  I was threatened with probation on December 22, 1987.  I left work on short term medical leave, fully expecting to be out for no more than thirty days.  I never was able to return to work because of my medical conditions.

Initially, my diagnosis was depression/anxiety.  I received short term disability for whatever time it was allowed (I can't remember exactly how long now).  I also had about three months of sick leave saved up, which helped. 

After the short term disabilty was used up, I applied for long term disability, which was a benefit of my company.  As part of the benefit, I had to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.


After twenty-four months, the long term disability benefits from my company was terminated because my diagnosis was a mental health diagnosis.  The Americans with Disabilities Act was passed sometime during this time.  I was also diagnosed as having systemic lupus.  The company still refused to reinstate my long term disability benefits..    


I had to sue my company with an employment attorney in order to reinstate my disability benefits.  I was able to get past due benefits, but I had to give almost half to the attorney.  This was a rip-off, IMO, because we did not have to go to court and they did not have to file any briefs, but I was too ill to fight it.  I was just happy to have some income to live on again.

Hopefully, things won't be this bad for you to receive your benefits. 

In most states employees can be fired at will.  So you must try to protect yourself by requesting short term disability while you are undergoing your  evaluation.  Impress upon your medical team the necessity for a diagnosis and prognosis as soon as possible.  You need to know from the doctor if you can continue to work, and if you would need accommodations. 

If the decision is that it would not be advisable for you to continue to work, you can make plans for long term disability/retirement.  At your age, you might be eligible for retirement.  You need to check to see what the difference in benefits would be.   Long term disability benefits run out at age 65, the usual retirement age.  Also, you need to provide a lot of documentation in order to obtain LT benefits.

You have the right to review your employee file to see if any negative reports have been written about you.  If there are, it will be easier to terminate your employment.  If you are terminated, you will lose all your benefits.  Be sure to inquire as to what health care benefits you will have.

Please keep us informed as to your progress.  Post whenever you have questions.

Best wishes.

Iris L.

Posted: Thursday, November 28, 2013 7:21 PM
Joined: 11/15/2013
Posts: 92


im v I just started on this board too ..a weekor two ago. I finally have an appt for my eval..I have symptoms but no diagnois.., just know something is wrong. Im 50 -just.. but ive been on disability for a long time for other issuses. just wanted to say hi..and that your not alone.



Posted: Thursday, November 28, 2013 8:38 PM
Joined: 1/30/2013
Posts: 66

hi, i just applied for Disability through a new Att.. but, i got turned down from Social Security Disability a few months ago. i am not working,, have not been for about  12 years or so. so, i a stay at home mom now and have been for over 36 years now. But, i have been diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment about last January. So, now i am scheduled for a Pet Scan to See if i Now have Early Onset Alzheimer's Disease or not.. so, time will tell. Hope U get  a Real diagnosis too.. Lisa Culp