Tuesday 14th of August 2018 07:59:40 AM
It is really hard for me to know where to begin, and I was not even given a name of who I needed to respond to. This is my appeal to the letter sent from Tonya **, dated October 31, 2014, saying I would not be receiving benefits after October 31, 2014. The envelope is dated November 5, which is the day I received the letter, and I have been trying to respond ever since. It is a long and hard process for me write a letter that is legible that you can understand. My son will have to help me print and send this letter to you. Forgive me if I repeat things, because I get up and down and lose my train of thoughts.Before I had my stroke, In October 2012, I was very active, my work day starting at 8:30 am to anywhere from 8:30 to 9:30 pm. Most days, I was the only employee in the store, behind an inch of bullet proof glass, and we were not allowed to leave throughout the work day. There were no lunch breaks, or even breaks at all. We had to be physically fit to be on our feet all day long. Although my family has a history of arthritis, I kept the aches and swelling under control with Ibuprofen.After my stroke, it was as if nothing in my body worked correctly anymore. My whole body seems to hurt all over all the time. My doctor was Kathryn ** before my stroke. She referred me to an internist, Dr. Monica **. Dr. ** was concerned about all the pain and swelling, and she referred me to a Rheumatologist, Dr, **. He initially diagnosed me with Psoriatic Arthritis, then AS (Ankylosing Spondylitis). Both are progressive forms of arthritis, especially if not treated. Insurance companies require the doctor to start with the least expensive treatment. In my case, Dr. ** put me on Methotrexate (a cancer drug), folic acid, and prednisone. I was already taking my blood pressure meds, symvastatin, pills to help me control my pee, and an aspirin in the morning. Here I am in constant pain, and nothing is working. My hair is coming out by the handfuls, and the Methotrexate triggered my psoriasis to come back, although I had it under control since my 20's, and now I'm 59 and have one more inconvenience.Health insurance has been a huge problem and a huge issue when I went to LTD. ACE was no longer paying for my health insurance, and had me go to Conexis to sign up for COBRA. Somehow I was lost in the system and went months without any coverage. ACE is telling me to contact Conexis, and Conexis is telling me to contact ACE. Unfortunately, one of my effects from my stroke is uncontrollable crying. No one wanted to deal with me, until I finally got a nice man at Conexis, who understood my crying was a symptom from my stroke. He made calls for me, and we found out that HR at ACE did not complete sending my information to Conexis. I had been going round and round with it from April to July. I had no coverage in June and July of 2013, everything coming out of pocket. After paying rent each month, I had about $340 left from the money The Hartford was sending me. In 2012, before my stroke, I had taken the money from my retirement to have surgery done on my mouth. I had been advised to have all my teeth pulled, because all the inflammation made me susceptible to having a heart attack or stroke. My blood pressure was too high to do the surgery, and Dr. ** was working with me to get my blood pressure lowered. But before I could have the surgery done, I had my stroke.That money, meant for my surgery, was my only buffer for me to pay bills and rent. My rent is $1200, my COBRA was $433.10. Although I had no insurance coverage for June and July, in August, Conexis took out payments for June, July, and August of 2013. It overdrew my account, and I tried to get reimbursed for either all my out of pocket costs or the premiums they charged me for the months they didn't give me any coverage. For just the pills, that helped me with the inconstancy with my urination, the cost per month WITH insurance cost over $100 a month. It was costing me more money to pay for my prescriptions than the monthly premium. The amount I was receiving from the Hartford was not even covering just the rent and my COBRA. I was in a negative before even attempting to pay for electricity, water, gas, garbage, groceries, etc. There was so much stress because I had no money, not even for necessities. Although I started my application for Social Security disability, just the Hartford was my only income. I always felt they were hounding me even though I had sent them all the information.Another sore spot was the Hartford recommending ALSUP. After not hearing anything from ALSUP about the progress with SS, I finally called SS last January. They had put my case on hold because of ALSUP. I spent many days and many hours on the phone with SS trying to straighten my claim out. Again, these poor people trying to understand me with my uncontrollable crying. It seems ALSUP told them to send all communication to Illinois. When SS needed information and clarification from them, ALSUP never responded back to them. When I finally got my case going again, they thought I had moved to Illinois, so they tried to get it transferred back to Oregon to restart my claim, only... somehow it ended up being transferred to Idaho, and I had to go round and round with them to convince them I had never moved anywhere. I had to have my son take me into the SS office to sign the forms needed to request information from my doctors, something ALSUP was supposed to do already, but didn't. SS was sending everything to me now, and a month after the forms were returned to SS, ALSUP would send me the exact same forms asking me to complete them again. It's hard enough for me to do it once, let alone twice, just so ALSUP could have a copy. That is when I finally told ALSUP that I didn't need their kind of help. Then the Hartford accuses me of not applying for SSD. I had to send proof that I have been trying. It would still be sitting on hold if it were left to ALSUP.With the Affordable Care Act coming to fruition, last Fall, in 2013, I kept trying to enroll. I knew I could not afford to pay $433.10 each month, just for my premium. ACA was having problems all by itself. We call the ACA, in Oregon, Cover Oregon. Well, Cover Oregon was having problems, because the programmers never got the program done. The Federal government finally gave extensions until April 2014 to get signed up through certain representatives. In the meantime, my bank closed my account because Conexis kept over drawing my account. When I covered the negative balance from my December premium, and Conexis refusing to reimburse me for anything, I decided that I would get my health insurance through the ACA. Unfortunately, I couldn't get an appointment with a rep until March 17, 2014. It was going to cost me $55 a month for the Silver Package. Cover Oregon was, and still is a mess. I have had no insurance since last December, I am lost somewhere in the Cover Oregon mess, which the State of Oregon has scrapped, and the State is now suing the company that the took millions from Oregon and produced no program... leaving many, many thousands, like me, without health insurance, and paying for everything out of pocket. I was trying to hold out for November 15th, when we can now enroll on the Federal web site, in Oregon.My only income is the $1,540 the Hartford has been sending me. I am waiting for my hearing to be scheduled with SS. I have had to face the choices between paying for my rent, food, and bills or try to pay for doctors, meds, and living on the street, homeless. Now the Hardford is going to make me homeless anyway. My doctor completed the form, you sent to me, last August, when I paid for my appointment out of pocket. You have all my records, yet you seem to feel you need more information. Nothing has improved since my stroke, and in fact, I have progressed backwards in my health.What I am constantly battling is the side affects of my stroke, which has affected my immune system. There are so many things. Aside from the AS and Psoriactic Arthritis, and the chronic pain, I forget things. I cry for no reason and especially when trying to communicate with people. I even cry when I hear sad things on the news. I have bathroom problems, often not knowing I need to go until I have already started. I feel so embarrassed and ashamed when that happens. Sometimes my right side, all of a sudden stops working... some examples was when I was putting bowls into the cupboard, my hand couldn't hold them, and they all dropped and broke, even though they weren't heavy. I drained hamburger grease into a tin can, and when it had cooled, I picked it up to throw it away, but my hand just quit working and it spilled the grease all over the kitchen floor. I have fallen so many times because my right leg just gives way all of a sudden, One time that I remember it was Valentines Day, in the store, standing in line, my right leg just stopped working and I fell on my left knee and left arm. I have fallen so many times on my left knee, it is in constant pain. It is so embarrassing when it happens in front of people.If I stand for 15 minutes, I get excruciating pain in my lower back. I cannot walk very far, so my son has arranged for me to have a cane and a walker with a seat. I cannot sit for very long, and I have to have my feet elevated so that my feet, ankles, and knees don't swell so much. And it is always hard to get up because my knees get so stiff and sore... my knees always clicking bone on bone. I don't sleep much because my neck, shoulders, and back hurt so much, I get snatches of sleep in half hour to one hour intervals, because I have to constantly move and constantly have to pee. Often I doze when I shouldn't be. My neck, shoulders, right elbow, hands, wrists, lower back between hips, hips, knees, ankles, and feet are always swelling and in pain. Dr. ** says I need to be put on enbrel, but we can't do that until I have my insurance back again. In the meantime, he recommended 4 ibuprofen three times a day, kind of like putting a band-aid on a broken leg.I don't know how to prove to you that I am still disabled, except for you to exam my body. The Hartford has been sent all my medical records. The only changes since my stroke is that my AS and arthritis has progressively gotten worse, and I have a hard time coping with the pain. I'm so tired all the time. When SS sent me to a neurologist a while back, he kept saying over and over that's normal for a stroke victim. I kept crying, and he says that's normal. He even yelled at me because I couldn't answer his questions fast enough. Sometimes it's so hard for me put the right words together in my mind, and then it's hard to get the words out. Sometimes, my words come out backwards and non-words.Then SS sent me to a psychologist, He seemed to be convinced that I'm depressed, and he says that's treatable with medication. I don't think I'm depressed. I have been so worried about money and not being able to pay my rent and bills, and to be able to pay my doctors and for my medications. There hasn't been enough money. I had to cancel Comcast a long time ago... that was my TV, internet, and home phone. I haven't gotten to do anything fun because I can't afford it. I'm in so much pain that I can't sleep. I haven't been able to buy any clothes since before my stroke, in 2012. I cannot go anywhere without catching a cold or some illness, because my body cannot resist the bugs other people have. I guess maybe I am depressed. I get told that there are programs to help me, but they are always out of money. The Catholic church did help me pay a past due bill so that my water didn't get shut off.Dr. ** sent a report to SS, saying I could do a sedentary job, but I would have to have the freedom to get up often since I cannot sit very long. I cannot sit in front of a computer for a long stretches of time because I have to constantly move my neck because of the AS, and the problem of my neck fusing the vertebrates together. So SS denied my claim, saying I didn't have to go back to banking, that I had plenty of other experience, such as a Census Enumerator... showing their pure ignorance. A Census Enumerator is driving and walking and pounding on doors, talking to people for a good strenuous 10-12 hours a day, and the Census is done once every ten years. Ha-ha, maybe I can apply for work for the 2020 Census... by then I would be eligible for regular Social Security. There is a shortage of jobs as it is, no one would hire me in my condition, and I don't know of any jobs that I could work with where I don't have to talk to people. It would be a little old explaining to people that I am crying because it is normal for a stroke victim. Not to mention, I get dizzy spells all the time and my right limbs quit working from time to time, so I fall a lot. I did get a letter from SS saying they will be scheduling a hearing for me... It's only been over a year and a half since we started the application process. The people at the SS office can see I disabled, but someone sitting at a desk somewhere decides that I am not, just what Tonya ** and the Hartford did. I don't have health insurance because it failed to work in Oregon, I don't have money to pay my doctors, yet Tonya ** expects me to schedule regular visits that I can't pay for... so she concludes that my disability has gone away. I would give anything to make it go away. If you could could continue with benefits until I can get my health insurance and get through my SS hearing, I would be so grateful. I will be homeless next month if you do not send me any money.All my life I have worked hard and obeyed all the rules. Now I am 59, have been stressed out constantly since my stroke... feel like I've been badgered by The Hartford, just a number with SS to be tossed aside, fighting the insurance companies to pay the bills, ripped off by the insurance companies, too much income to collect food stamps (although my only income was the Hartford}, being referred to programs that have no money to help, and more bills than I have money to pay. If you can find me a job I am capable of doing, I will take it. If you can talk my doctors into treating me for free, I will go. I can understand now why people lose all hope to go on living.