The Renaissance: Understanding the Developmentally Disabled

Between the 14th and the 17th centuries, the Renaissance, a period that symbolized rebirth and renewal, saw a significant change in people’s perspective towards the developmentally and intellectually disabled. The ill-treatment and disregard towards such individuals by no means ended completely. The disabled were still subjected to forms of abuse, mockery and mental harassment. However, the world was slowly but surely beginning to understand and empathize with the conditions of the developmentally disabled.

The first settlers in American Colonies would prohibit disabled individuals from entering the country, afraid that they would require financial support and would be unable to care for themselves. Even as American colonies shunned the disabled, they could not avoid having disabled babies being born in the colonies. Children who had already settled the colonies would at times to display some form of developmental disability. Ultimately a law was passed that allowed families to provide care and treatment for the disabled within their houses. While a step forward, the individuals were not allowed to be part or interact with their community. The Renaissance was the first time in history that disabled individuals were considered as capable of thinking and learning. Schools and institutions for the disabled were set up throughout America and Europe, and attempts were made to educate and treat them. Laws were passed that allowed disabled individuals to be educated, but in segregated schools, far from the main cities and towns. Almshouses were created to provide shelter and care for beggars, most of whom suffered from some form of disability and the institutionalization of the developmentally disabled, especially those who suffered mental retardation, was encouraged. Most people suffering from intellectual disabilities were sent to such institutes or “correction houses” either for education, treatment or to live their entire lives. The first hospital with a separate section for intellectual disabilities and mental retardation was founded in Philadelphia in the year 1771.

Even as the world was slowly awakening to the plight of the developmentally disabled; an attitude of ignorance, disregard and disrespect was still widely prevalent among the population. Disabled individuals were still not allowed to be a part of the society and the institutions where they were being treated inevitably turned into a place where people could go to stare at them and mock their oddities. At such asylums, institutions and hospitals; the developmentally disabled were kept in cellars and displayed to the public; a shameful act that showcased a blatant disregard towards the plight of such individuals and violated their freedom. During these years, the world was beginning to show compassion towards the developmentally and intellectually disabled, yet there was still a long way to go before such individuals were treated with respect instead of mockery and revulsion.

Under 65 Disabled Medicare

Many questions come up with it comes to Medicare, let alone when you are under 65 and disabled. The steps of the things you need to do or the things you know are not quite as clear as you would like it to be. If you do not register everything within a window that the government provides, you could be penalized. The penalty will be costing you more money than you had expected. Someone who qualifies for SS Disability income has a waiting period of two years before eligible for Medicare A and B. This could be a long time to wait if you need insurance.

If you were gainfully employed, you would be offered coverage through your job. If you had to take a leave of absence as a result of the qualifying disability, you would be provided COBRA to extend the coverage you had from your previous employer. The COBRA option could let you pay for the health insurance for up to 18 months, and in some cases you can get 24 or 36 months, depending on the situation. That will buy you some time to transition to Medicare Disability.

If you fall short of the premiums due to cash flow for COBRA, there might be a chance you could qualify for Medicaid. Medicaid is a health program available through the state. They do have their own set of requirements to qualify. Refer to your state guidelines to apply. Then your health care will be a nominal cost to you, paid by the state.

Once you have met your two-year waiting period for disability to be eligible for Medicare coverage, you have a window to do other things to stay compliant. The government requires to have a Part D coverage; D is for Drugs. Original Medicare does not supply this except for inpatient medication. They give you a window of about three to four months to purchase a Part D. Typically it’s the month of the start of Part B (supplied by Original Medicare), and then 90 days after that month. If you do not sign up for a Part D, or equivalent, during this time frame, you will be penalized when you finally do sign up for it. Medicare requires this to allow more people to pay in to control the cost for everyone.

If your state requires insurers to offer Medicare Supplemental insurance for the under 65 disabled, then you are allowed to apply with no underwriting involved during the same time frame. You will notice that the premium are much higher for those under 65 years of age than if you were 65 and older. Part of it is that you are on Medicare early because you have a disability, it means you are more likely to have more claims. Either way, you have an opportunity to apply for a plan that has to underwrite and take advantage of the lower rates without being screened for the health condition. However, in some states, like Indiana, does not require the insurance companies to participate in the under 65 disability market.

If you remain working and can maintain the insurance through the workplace, becoming eligible for Medicare A and B does not change anything. You can keep that coverage if you choose to. You will have to provide proof of qualifying coverage either then, or when you apply to gain Part D or qualifying coverages in the future if you ever did lose that health care coverage. Retain any supporting documents as necessary.

Some programs combine both Medicare Supplements and Part D in a program called part C, or Medicare Advantage. There are pluses and minuses to these. You need to do your homework before jumping into the program. Many can be restrictive and possibly more out-of-pocket for the year. However, it can be a good fit and save you money.

Transitioning to Medicare A and B and all the other items that attached to it can be confusing, but can become clear in the end. Taking the right steps and getting the right help can make all the difference in the world and save you money and time.

Disabled Veterans Unable to Work Can Get A 100 Percent VA Rating and Full Benefits

If you are a disabled veteran who can't work, you could be entitled to full disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) even if your current VA rating is below 100 percent. You could get Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU).

What Does It Mean To Be Unemployable?

Veterans are unemployable if the disabilities they have that are tied to their military service are preventing them from working. The most extreme situation is that a veteran is unable to work at all. Additionally, unemployability can also be claimed if the veteran is unable to keep a job, or to earn enough money to live above the annual poverty level, which is currently set at $ 11,170.

Unemployability can also apply to a disabled veteran who works on a farm or for a family business, even if their income exceeds the annual poverty level. This is referred to as "sheltered employment,"

If any of these situations describe what's happening in your life, you should look into getting full benefits based on individual unemployability, especially if the VA rating you currently have makes you eligible for TDIU.

What is the VA Rating Criteria for Individual Unemployability?

In most cases, your current VA rating must meet the VA's criteria for TDIU. For example, if you have a disability rated at 60 percent or higher, you are eligible. You can also have a combined VA rating of 70 percent or higher for two or more disabilities as long as one disability is rated at 40 percent.

There are Exceptions to the VA's Rules

Eligibility is not always that cut and dry. Believe it or not, you don't have to necessarily meet one of these VA ratings to qualify. The VA understands that each and every disability case is different. Yours may be linked to a specific situation that supports why you can't work. So, if you feel your service-connected disability is interfering with your ability to work, you may be entitled to more money from the VA.

Can TDIU Benefits Stop?

There are a couple of scenarios that could affect the continuation of your TDIU benefits.

Even, if you are awarded a 100 percent rating based on unemployability , the VA could still discontinue TDIU if they decide that you are fit to work. That decision would be based upon a requested medical examination. Your TDIU status will end and you will go back to getting compensated based on your actual VA rating.

If you do starting working again, you'll lose TDIU after a year and you will simply go back to getting disability compensation based on your actual VA rating in addition to a good steady salary.