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April 22, 2009
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  • Mood: Depressed
Just got back from a cruise.  Spent the trip to Mobile and back reclined in the van. The cruise people were great with wheeling me and my wheelchair onto the boat and off again.  Even though it is the smallest boat in the Carnival fleet, getting around the boat with my cane really wore me out.  I usually was in bed right after dinner.  So ultimately, while I missed all those shows and shore excursions, I really enjoyed a view different from that of my recliner.  

On the way home from the cruise on Monday, I received word that my dad had a stroke.  He's been in ICU ever since.  Went down yesterday to visit him for a few minutes, but was too worn out to stay more than a little bit.  Hope to see him again tomorrow or Friday.  His communication is really messed up.  He's mis-identifying family members, having problems with numbers, can't read, and so forth.  There is evidence of further bleeding in the brain as well.  So if you can keep him and the family in prayer, I'd appreciate it.

I also just heard back from AT&T on the appeal of the cancellation of my long-term disability benefits.  After two years on LTD, they canceled my claim back in August saying that I was able to work.  Totally ignored the Social Security Administration and six doctors that have all said I can't.  Their rationale for denying my appeal is that there is only my word for most of my symptoms.  Ignoring all the doctors that have actually seen me and evaluated me, they listened to their hired folks to basically suggest that I wasn't "better", but that my condition isn't disabling to begin with.  Ignores the fact that the LTD plan doesn't allow them to do that, but when you are the big guy in the room and the only recourse is to sue some of the deepest pockets around, they do whatever they want.  Ultimately, AT&T paid one group to prove to Social Security that I cannot work, successfully did so, and once I paid them back a couple of years worth of previously paid benefits, they have this other group paid to say that in fact I *can* work so that they don't have to pay me any more.  It's a scam, and my lawyer wants to sue their pants off (although he put it in stronger terms).  

The biggest problem is that the ERISA laws that govern these things are stacked against the disabled in favor of the employer.  They can cancel a claim for whatever reason they want (in my case shopping around until they found a claims manager that could look at all the same evidence and disagree with all the prior findings), your only recourse is to appeal the decision to the same people that denied you to begin with, and if they still deny your claim (as they do 80% of the time), you can sue them....but not for any punitive damages, only for the back payments that they should have paid you to begin with.   In other words, there is no down side for them.  In very, very rare cases, you may get some attorney fees out of it, but if that is granted, they can appeal it so that it costs you as much as you would get back in another suit. And even if the court forces them to reinstate your benefits, they can then use the ability of a plaintiff to assist in their own case as proof that they can work and turn around and deny your claim because you have proven that you can do something.  In their twisted logic, the very fact that you can prove you are disabled shows that you aren't.  It is maddening and immoral that in the worst of economic times, corporations can shore up their weak profits at the expense of loyal but disabled employees that paid for those benefits for years and now, when they need them, have them denied by those that worship at the alter of corporate profits. I'm all for rewarding entrepreneurship and innovation, and am generally pro-corporation and anti-union, but when the cards are stacked so obviously against the people that need the most help, something needs to be done.  

Anyway, between recovering from the "relaxing" cruise and the stress of dealing with the family issues and the corporate crooks, I'm pretty wiped out.  If you don't see a lot of activity from me, that is why.
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:icongolubaja:
Golubaja Featured By Owner May 28, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:hug: :hug: :hug:
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:iconaereol:
aereol Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Yo guy, Don't give up and don't give in! I went through a similar difficult period in my life some time ago. I retained the services of a good lawyer and eventualy prevailed. Hang in there.
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:iconza4em9:
za4em9 Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
dang... didn't know things were this bad with the world. So what are you thinking of doing? Because from what you've said, it doesn't seem like you have any choice other than going to work as a tour guide in some federal museum. By the way, thank you for pointing out the Ripoff Report... probably a site to keep an eye on.

Nonetheless, I know you'll pull through somehow. You have no other option. Wishes of healing for you and your father.
~jenny
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:icondjeaton3162:
djeaton3162 Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Don't know what I can do. A suit *is* an option, but that just ticks them off and even if they are forced to reinstate my benefits, they can just turn around and cancel them again for some other made-up reason. I'll have to talk it over with the lawyer.
D.
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:iconza4em9:
za4em9 Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
aw, yes, you're right. I hope you figure something out. I'll be keeping you in my thoughts.
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:iconhypnogoddess:
hypnogoddess Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2009
Sending love, prayers and healing energies
your way, my friend. I've watched many
folks try to deal with the governments
rather twisted benefits path...
Reply
:iconlive2b:
live2b Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2009
My prayers are with you and your family. As soon as you mentioned AT&T, I thought............that explains everything!!!
Reply
:icondjeaton3162:
djeaton3162 Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The irony is that I really enjoyed working there and did a great job in a role that no one else wanted. It is a real shame that they outsourced the care of their employees to a group of thugs (just search for "Sedgwick CMS" on RipoffReport.com). It's so short-sighted though. In the long run, this kind of policy will chase away the devoted employees.
Reply
:iconspamkiller:
Spamkiller Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Positive vibes to you and your dad, man! Hang on! :hug: :hug: :hug:
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:iconjenndixonphotography:
What a way to come back from vacation! I hope that things improve for you, Daniel. I can't believe a company would do something like this to an ailing person. Well, in today's twisted corporate scheme, yes, I could.
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