ABF Need Help

Discussion in 'ABF Freight System' started by trucker1979, Jun 4, 2019.

  1. trucker1979

    trucker1979 Member

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    hello, I have worked for abf for 14 years and I’m in a not so good situation. I have been on short term disability for about 5 months and it’s running out in a month. I just got diagnosed with avascular necrosis of both hips. I won’t have any insurance or income in a month. I’m not scheduled for surgery for the first hip until mid July. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on what I could do that I haven’t thought of.

    I could apply for disability but that takes time and 2 years to get Medicare. I know I could start a new std but you must return to work for 30 days and I can’t pass a physical.

    Cobra insurance is very expensive, but might be my only option.

    It took doctors 5 months 2 finally figure out what the problem was and now I feel lost. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks
     
  2. slopway

    slopway Active Member

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    Seems you better doctor shop and find a doctor who is all about money and will schedule you surgery next week. I had a bad doctor before told me i didn't need surgery my arm after that doctor admitted he messed up. I went another doctor and had surgery scheduled two days later.
     
  3. Steward of the Rock

    Steward of the Rock Active Member

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    I would do what Slopway said and see if you can find a doctor to schedule the operation ASAP. Also, get with your local and see if there is anything they can do.
     
  4. canaryinthemine

    canaryinthemine Retirement....The Job I Was Born To Have!

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    If you went to Healthcare.gov,.......the Obamacare marketplace,......and filed a claim based on your losing income, they should be able to line you up with a health insurance plan.
    Don’t forget that the provisions of the Affordable Care Act requires insurance companies accepting your pre-existing conditions.
    And........since you will have no income,.....your healthcare will probably be 100% government subsidized. The cutoff for subsidies in Obamacare is 400% above the Federal guidelines for poverty level......or roughly about $66,000 . Below that income level, they subsidize your health insurance......at a pro-rated basis all the way to 100%....

    Your case was exactly why the Affordable Care Act was passed.......to prevent insurance companies from.....”ridding” ......themselves of potentially expensive “clients”.....

    Depending on what state you’re in,.....the Affordable Care Act qualified health insurers may be the same ones who are carrying your company insurance for ABF.

    Your company health insurance plan through the Union should have a way to switch to.....long-term disability payments....with little gap in payments.....
    We have that in W. Pa........Not knowing which state or Conference you’re in......has me generalizing here a bit.....

    But,....your best advice is what Bro. Steward of the Rock gave you. Contact your Local and have them advise you. All Local Unions have attorneys on retainer who usually specialize with H & W and compensation claims......
    And since you’re a dues-paying member.....or were for 14years.....( I’m assuming you’re on withdrawal card now....).......the legal advice is free.

    Good luck, Brother. We’re all praying for you.......
     
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  5. Homesick

    Homesick Do I really exist if you've never seen me?

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    Talking to the union is the best advice and most important thing you can do! Here in the southern conference there are provisions in our union contract for situations exactly like yours. There is short term disability and long term disability. If I understand your situation correctly, you are about to transition from short term to long term disability. The monetary payment will decrease slightly but the insurance benefits will stay the same for up to 12 months. Ask. Ask. Ask.
     
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  6. trucker1979

    trucker1979 Member

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    I appreciate all of the advice. I’m in central states. I have Teamcare healthcare which from what I see, I only have short term disability. If I could get long term disability that would be great! Thanks again
     
  7. canaryinthemine

    canaryinthemine Retirement....The Job I Was Born To Have!

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    You should have Long Term disability, too. All H & W plans are negotiated with LTD. I'm very sure Central States has that covered. All you have to do is ask the right people.
    Here in our Local,....an attorney from the Law firm on retainer came to the Hall once a month, usually on a Tuesday,...for several hours...to answer questions from any member.....retired, on withdrawal, Fair Share, ....whatever......on Worker's Comp issues, Disability issues, and even other mundane legal issues.

    I'm sure you can contact an attorney on retainer.......without costing you a cent,......through your Union Hall.

    Union contracts are negotiated with Short-term AND Long-term Disability in mind. You shouldn't have to go without insurance or a small income of some sort. Here in W. Penna,...JC# 40,.....the Long-term disability weekly payment is roughly $415 a week.....AND there is some sort of conversion with your health insurance at the 6 month interval so you retain health care.

    The Family Medical Leave Act will provide for your Health Care paid through the company for 12 weeks in a calendar year. Have you inquired about that?

    COBRA insurance should only be an option if you are separating employment.......retirement/firing/quit.........NOT disability. There should be a contractual answer. Call that Hall today, brother!
     
  8. iam4us

    iam4us Well-Known Member

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    I sent your question to Central States, first response was, No Longterm. When I pressed more, I got transferred to someone else who has to get back to me. I was off 6 months and when i thought i needed longer was under the impression we had no longterm. We do have Disability, total disability. Thats my question.. Temporary vs perm dis..
     
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  9. trucker1979

    trucker1979 Member

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    Thanks for all the help. I see the same thing with central states. I see nothing about long term disability. Total disability, yes but not long term.

    I see nothing contractual about long term disability also. I looked through the Nmfa and the over the road supplements.
     
  10. canaryinthemine

    canaryinthemine Retirement....The Job I Was Born To Have!

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    I guess it's all in how you frame the question... There is no "long-term" disability, similar to continuing Short-term disability,.....
    But, there is "permanent" disability,......as opposed to "temporary" disability?

    I still think his Local can put him in touch with an attorney that could recommend something. Heck,...as a steward, I was able to get one of my guys who had shattered his heel at home,...off on FMLA and long-term disability,...for more than a year.

    It would boggle my mind if there was....no long-term form of disability with TeamCare....
     
  11. trucker1979

    trucker1979 Member

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    I have called Teamcare many times. U have 26 weeks on short term disability. U can get a new 26 weeks, but you must return to work for 30 days if it’s the same disability or 1 day if it’s a different disability. I can’t go back at all, because no doctor will pass me with 2 dead hips
     
  12. iam4us

    iam4us Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for contacting TeamCare.

    Hello, TeamCare does not have/handle long term disability, you have to check with your employer to verify if they offer it.

    Thank you,
    Patricia S.
    TeamCare Benefits Specialist
     
  13. canaryinthemine

    canaryinthemine Retirement....The Job I Was Born To Have!

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    I see. Article 48 of the JC# 40 Western Pennsylvania Teamsters Supplement sets up the payment schedule of the H & W plan. The LTD should be part of your plan......as it us with our health insurance.
    It is spelled out in the Plan 9F booklet from Highmark BC/BS about what LTD is and how to get on it.......and what your disability benefit pay schedule is.
    Now......this is our area, and our H & W.
    Are you telling me that Central States has .....no provisions for LTD?

    If that is the case, brother.......I think you'd better apply for Obamacare pretty soon.
     
  14. iam4us

    iam4us Well-Known Member

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    That is correct, Central States does not have or handle Long Term Disablity. Also ABF does not offer anything, as we know..
     
  15. trucker1979

    trucker1979 Member

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    That’s what I thought, I just couldn’t believe it. I will probably go on cobra because my wife needs great insurance. I know it is expensive, but I’m out of short term disability in a month, so I really have no choice.
     
  16. Steward of the Rock

    Steward of the Rock Active Member

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    It is probably a long shot, but try applying for FMLA like Canary has stated. You will need to get the paper work from ABF to have filled out by your doctor. I don't know if you are allowed to get FMLA while on STD, but if you can, that would cover your insurance for another 12 weeks and get you thru the two surgeries at least. I would apply ASAP as the contract requires you to have 1250 hours worked in the last 12 month period. If you have already been off on STD for 5 months you will be pushing it close for the 1250 hours required by Article 38.
     
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  17. trucker1979

    trucker1979 Member

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    I went to the healthcare.gov website and answered all the questions and it said I might be eligible for Medicade, so I will see what the state sends me. Thanks for all the help.
     
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  18. canaryinthemine

    canaryinthemine Retirement....The Job I Was Born To Have!

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    Definitely apply through Healthcare.gov. If your income is pretty low, they wil subsidize your health insurance costs all the way to 100%.
    SSI disability may be the way to get some sort of income. You seem like you’re doing quite a bit of research on this , so you’ve probably already explored that avenue.

    I would imagine you’re on a withdrawal card. With ABF and Central States not having provisions for LTD,.....how are you maintaining your position on the seniority list while being off?

    One way or another,.....apply for FMLA. Contract provides for continuance of company health care benefits,.....although there’s no pay involved. You can be on FMLA for 12 weeks in a calendar year. The company has the forms for FMLA.....

    Keep us informed, Brother.......I am sure there are other Teamsters out there in the same situation you are,.....and if you can share your solution, it would help them too.
     
  19. trucker1979

    trucker1979 Member

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    Thanks canary for all of the suggestions. I had been on intermittent fmla leading up 2 std. I might have some time left, I would need to figure out how much since it’s on a rolling calendar year.

    I have explored SSDI but even if I could get approved pretty quickly it takes 2 years from when u are deemed disabled to get Medicare. As much as that doesn’t make sense that’s how it is.

    I guess it boils down to the working people get screwed in this country, while the lazy people get it all.

    I guess what I keep telling myself is there are people worse of then I am, so I will keep doing what I need to do. Thanks again for the suggestions
     
  20. Grumpy

    Grumpy Active Member

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    2 years ago I had an Accident and was off for 7 months, my std ran out at 6 months and I had to pay a couple weeks of cobra, just the weeks I needed insurance. The local was very helpful. That's in central states.
     
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