CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - 21

"Disability case managers who haven't had personal experience with a
vocation-ending disability may find it challenging to see and understand the
post-disability worldview of patients we assist. When disability happens to you,
it is equally important to inform yourself about disability benefits."

B

WHEN YOU BECOME A CLIENT
eing a case manager, you are experienced
in guiding your clients through difficult
circumstances to connect them with the
resources and benefits they need. If you
personally become disabled, the idea
that you can no longer do your usual job is alarming
and downright frightening.
Just like for your clients, your job is your fundamental security, if not elemental security in life.
Western culture places a premium on working,
earning an income and participating in consumerism. Thus, your job is your independence and your
main social network outside of your immediate
family. Most importantly, your job is your identity.
Your work is how you define yourself and, in many
respects, your relative value in the world.
In your experience, you have witnessed how disability has affected your clients. Income-limiting
disability, and the poverty-level existence that often
accompanies it, marginalizes people with disabilities
and chronic illness from being able to participate to
the same degree in society.
The onset of your personal disability then becomes
a slippery slope of negative repercussions. The
impact is more than just the physical and mental
effects of one's impairments. A disability that leads
to loss of work also conveys a loss of identity and
a slide into financial dependence. Being the case
manager who has shepherded clients through challenges also makes you uniquely qualified to recognize
what you can do on your own, and when you need
expert help.
Disability case managers who haven't had personal experience with a vocation-ending disability
may find it challenging to see and understand the
post-disability worldview of patients we assist. When
disability happens to you, it is equally important to
inform yourself about disability benefits. The Social
Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program and the

affiliated Ticket to Work program offer opportunities
for a better future, even if, at first, you are limited
to just a few hours of activity per week.
WORKERS' COMPENSATION &
JOURNEY TO SOCIAL SECURITY
DISABILITY BENEFITS
It's important to remember that you may experience any number of conditions that might make
you eligible for SSDI benefits. The primary value is
monthly income, which is based on the person's
work history and earnings. There is no limit to the
range of conditions that might cause a person to
lose his or her ability to work. In the case of SSDI,
it must be a long-term disruption of 12 months or
longer, or a terminal condition. Examples include
degenerative conditions such as multiple sclerosis or
Parkinson's disease, chronic diseases such as diabetes
or cardiovascular problems, or a severe injury such
as those resulting from a fall or vehicle collision.
The Social Security Administration (SSA), which
administers the federal disability insurance program,
maintains a list of adult medical impairments covering 14 health systems, including hematological
disorders, endocrine disorders, neurological, cancer
and immune system disorders. The average age of
SSDI recipients was 53.9 in 2015. Most recipients
are in their 50s and 60s, although disabled workers
may qualify from age 18 to full retirement age (6567). So there is a broad cross-section of the working
population who can qualify for SSDI when they've
experienced a severe, work-disrupting disability.
Typically, Social Security disability is thought of as
"the program of last resort" for people with impairments that prevent either their usual employment,
or any employment. Applying for benefits may feel
like a personal defeat, but it is instead a life-affirming
step toward the next chapter in your life.
People experiencing the onset of disability from
work-related accidents, injuries or illness have as a
Issue 4 * 2017

CMSA TODAY

21



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017

President’s Letter
Association News
CMSA Conference Supporters
CMSA Corporate Partners
Case Management at the Helm of Diverse America
Community Health Workers: A Key Role on the Collaborative Care Team
Ticket to Work: Strategies for Case Managers Who Face Work-Disrupting Disabilities
For Case Managers, Success Requires Mastering Today’s Challenges
Using a Patient Engagement Strategy to Help Care Managers Educate Patients at the Right Time—Before It’s Too Late
Index of Advertisers
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - Intro
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - cover1
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - cover2
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - 3
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - 4
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - 5
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - President’s Letter
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - 7
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - Association News
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - 9
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - CMSA Conference Supporters
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - CMSA Corporate Partners
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - Case Management at the Helm of Diverse America
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - 13
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - 14
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - 15
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - Community Health Workers: A Key Role on the Collaborative Care Team
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - 17
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - 18
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - 19
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - Ticket to Work: Strategies for Case Managers Who Face Work-Disrupting Disabilities
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - 21
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - 22
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - 23
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - 24
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - For Case Managers, Success Requires Mastering Today’s Challenges
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - 26
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - 27
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - Using a Patient Engagement Strategy to Help Care Managers Educate Patients at the Right Time—Before It’s Too Late
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - 29
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - Index of Advertisers
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - cover3
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - cover4
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