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New Disability Section on Phoenix Rising


Decennial ME/CFS patient
Portland, OR
I know it's not a Phoenix Rising site, but when it comes to disability issues, I'd also plug the DISINISSUES group at Yahoo. The moderator -- or one of them -- used to work for Social Security and has ME/CFS. The files section there is a wealth of very specific information about how the gauntlet that is the disability application process works, and also includes detailed info about the zillions of rules that come with being on SSI or SSDI, as well as information and advice about private long-term disability. The members of the group are super helpful. They also have a homepage here.


Cancellation of private disability benefits

After being paid for 10 years, my Long Term Disability benefits were cancelled by Aetna in 2001. White I was working hard to get better, the lawyer I hired to do my appeal decided I didn't really have a case and let my time for appeal run out. Is there any way I can still do an appeal? Is there any class action lawsuit against Aetna for canceling disability benefits without cause?


Senior Member
If 2001 is not a typo, then I'm pretty sure you're long past being able to do an internal appeal (usually 60 days or so). However, maybe you could still do something with a lawsuit. I would use a different lawyer for sure.

I would ask the Disinissues group about this. Do a google search to find it.


Senior Member
cancelation of private disability

I just got a letter this morning from my private disability insurance telling me that I'm denied further coverage (after 2 years of paying me).

The basis of their conclusion is that I'm suffering from a mental illness not physical.

Mental illnesses are only covered for two years.

My doctor filled out all the review forms and told them that I suffer from disabling cfs and am basically bed bound. (which is the truth)

They write that there is no significant findings on physical exam were documented.therefore they disagree with my doctor's and my own "self proclaimed" data.

From their assessment, I am capable to work as a bookkeeper full time.


This news is sending me into an emotional crisis state and I know it will spiral down into a major crash.

I know I can appeal this decision, but just the thought of the fight makes me

I cannot handle this!


Senior Member

Wow that is bad news to get out of the blue. You must be spinning. Literally.

I am so sorry to hear this. I don't qualify for disability but it has always given me a weird sense of comfort knowing that some of us are getting some assistance.

I am not familiar with the world of appeals so I can't give you any advice or anything on that. But I am familiar with having to be able to make it without nearly enough money coming in, been doing it for many years.

Try to get out of sympathetic Fight or Flight that's consuming you right now. I know it's really hard, especially now. But make that your goal for today.

Try not to let yourself stew about the situation. Again, really hard to do. But unless there is something you must do or can do today, try to put it on the shelf. And get into your parasympathetic nervous system.

That's where the healing chemicals are, that's where the ability to breathe is, that's where any peace of mind you might get hold of will come from.

It will perhaps keep your body from getting too pulled apart by this news, and maybe help you mentally (from head fog, or frightened thoughts) and emotionally (situations look even more bleak when we are frightened and depressed, solutions seem impossible.)

So, so sorry this is happening to you.

There will be a way out of this situation for you. I don't know what it is, wish I did. But, breathe, try to relax as much as you can, put it aside for now ... so when you come back to it later you will be better prepared for it.

Keep us posted, okay?


Senior Member
Thanks Jody and Wildaisy,

It's great to have people who understand and empathize with my experience.

Jodie - You have such a talent in comforting people. You should be a life coach. As I'm reading your message I can feel the calmness come over me. -
Thank you!!

Wildaisy - Thanks for the advice and the knowledge that you have gone through this many times and won, is great comfort. I'll call my doctor after the week-end. I'm sure he'll do whatever he can for me. Thanks for caring.



Senior Member
Neil - sorry your LTD insurance is being so terrible. It is very common to get bumped off after two years. I hope you have already filed for SSDI and are close to getting that. If you haven't, you should get started on that right away.

Your doctor has already filled out the forms, and they are disagreeing with that, so I don't see what else he can do.

At this point I would get an ERISA disability lawyer to handle the appeal. The reason is that if the appeal gets denied, then you will have to sue them in Federal court. Unfortunately at that point, you can no longer add new evidence to your file, so you need a lawyer right now getting your file into shape for an eventual lawsuit.

If you're lucky, the LTD will back down knowing that you are serious and already have a lawyer.

In my case, it cost me about $2000 for the appeal, then after that, when I had to sue my LTD, it went on contingency. (My LTD never paid me from day one, so it's a slightly different situation.)

You can also ask about what to do at the Disinissues group.