Saturday, December 26, 2009

Advice for a Couple with Two Ill Partners?

This comment came in on a previous post. The writer is asking for advice. Might any of you have some suggestions for her?

Here is her comment:

For many years I have lived with a husband with chronic pain, due to injuries to his back, several surgeries that didn't 'fix' him and it's been a struggle, especially emotionally. Fortunately, through my job I have health insurance and a good salary, and we have been able to survive. Now, I have been thrown a curve ball, have an injury that causes chronic pain, hasn't been diagnosed, nor have I gotten a plan on how to fix or live without an income or insurance. Do any of you have a similar issue? I am trying to get time-loss, the injury happened at work, but am being fought the whole way. Please, any suggestions would be helpful.


FridaWrites said...

I'm sorry you're going through this. While we aren't both disabled in our family, I'm disabled and my husband is also unemployed, putting us in similar economic circumstances for now.

One of my first suggestions is to contact a vocational rehab counselor for your state--all states receive funding for this program. Even if neither of you can work, this counselor should be able to direct you to quite a number of resources tailored to your individual circumstances. If you are able to, she or she can also help you find employment you can do from home or help provide funding to retrain for another field.

For medical care, see type in your zip code. There are free federal medical clinics that will accept anyone. If it's not too late for you to sign up for COBRA, please do so--2/3 of it is being subsidized by the Obama plan right now.

It's difficult for me to provide some details I'd like because I don't know individual circumstances (like whether you're in a house or apartment or whether you'd qualify for food stamps), but *anyone* can order from Angel Food ministries and you can also use a local food pantry. This may save you some of the physical work of shopping as well.

If you're in a house, can you take in boarders--grad students, mature undergrads, a single mom, or another disabled individual--to split the rent/utilities or who could help with chores in exchange for cheap housing? Lots of people need affordable housing these days. If you're in an apartment, you can apply for Section 8 housing certificates at a certain point (a lot of apartment complexes accept these vouchers).

I have some additional ideas on my blog--
and welcome them in return.

If you have some kind of employment/income at some point, you can refinance a house to lower payments under the Obama mortgage plan--

I highly suggest contacting an attorney if you haven't for help with worker's comp; it's routine for that to be denied. Many attorneys will make fees contingent on winning and it will be more than worth your time, even though it may not seem like you have the money. Call your local bar association for help for someone who specializes in this.

Feel free to email me if you want--fridawrites at

Put your husband to work on the computer and phone if he can to help with some of this (borrow a laptop if you have a desktop).

Good luck!

Barbara K. said...

Thank you FridaWrites. You have a richness of knowledge about resources I think many can benefit from.