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Monday, February 28, 2011

A Socialist Insurance Thing

So I was really lucky that through my employer I had long term disability insurance, which was automatic.  I did not have short term disability and paid the price for that.  But long term disability is an interesting thing.  I am now a socialist.  My income is set at a flat rate until age 65.  If I somehow manage to make money on my own, I must reimburse the insurance company for my income.
 
I've got no problem with this arrangement.  I know the expectation is that given a flat income and all the painkillers a person could want they would become lazy- I actually spend most of my time every day trying to figure out how to contribute something in the condition I'm in.  The only problem is that now, if any money is involved, for it to be worth doing the bar is set very high.  It's not so much that the money has to be returned, but the fact that if you make money they may take your long-term disability away.  This is a precarious place to be when your health is iffy.

I do qualify for and do receive Federal disability money also.  My disability check from the feds goes right back to the insurance company-it's income.  The long-term insurance company handled everything with the feds, did the paperwork, made the calls-it was in their best interest to do so.  Again, no problem-though I wonder if the American taxpayer might have a problem with this.

(important part) Here's the thing I did not expect- my children also qualify for disability benefits from the Feds, and my long-term disability insurance company is, and has been, taking all of that money too.  They call it "reimbursement of income."  Now, I don't receive extra money from the long-term folks for having kids.  The amount of money they give me is calculated on my last year's salary.  If I were single or childless, there'd be no money for them. We were required to apply for these benefits.

Clearly this money was intended for the children of the disabled, and I'm sure that's where congress and most taxpayers think it goes.  I shot off a letter to my local dude, but this only resulted in a complete review of my SSDI situation.  There are a few folks on the web making noise about this, but not many.  The insurance companies are standing firm on this one.

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