Frank is a 55 year old contractor who forced himself to work nearly all of 2016 in spite of feeling lethargic, weak, and inexplicably losing 50 pounds. Suffering from A-Fib in December of that year, his world came screeching to a halt.
During his hospitalization, Frank received another blow. He had cancer. Frank continued to waste away, becoming emaciated and skeletal by the time he was transferred to Magee Rehabilitation Hospital. Frank was now wheelchair dependent and at times, needed a ventilator.
When Staff Attorney Niki Ludt met with Frank in September, he had been hospitalized for ten months without any income to help support his two young children. Additionally, Frank’s doctors suspected that he also had ALS. Niki immediately helped Frank to apply for Social Security disability online so that he could start receiving income. She communicated with the adjudicator handling the claim, pushing for an expedited decision.
If Frank was found disabled with ALS he would be eligible to receive Medicare immediately, rather than being required to wait two years as is usually required of SSDI recipients. Niki informed Frank’s neurologist of this fact. Upon learning this, Frank’s doctor wrote a report for the SSA stating that Frank’s symptoms and test results were consistent with ALS.
Frank was awarded disability benefits for himself and auxiliary benefits for his children. They now benefited from a monthly income of $2250, and received a retroactive benefit of nearly $17,000. Equally important to Frank was his immediate eligibility to receive Medicare, enabling him to transfer to a skilled nursing facility that was close to his family home. He can now fight his cancer without worrying about his finances.