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Ask Dr. Fiona Chen Your Own Question
Dr. Fiona Chen
Dr. Fiona Chen, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 300
Experience:  Former IRS Revenue Agent
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Story in a nutshell. My son has worked part time since he

Customer Question

Hello, long story in a nutshell. My son has worked part time since he was sixteen, and all the way through college. After graduating college he was accepted into the Peace Corps in a remote part of Panama, while there he became ill and spent many days in a local hospital in Panama, he also broke his foot that was not set and has difficulty walking as well as medical issues as a result of their treatment. At one point the Peace Corps was going to send him home due to the many times he was in the hospital but kept them there instead.
When he came home, his symptoms became more severe, the Peace Corps told him he could only see their Workers Compensation doctors which for one doctor, it took a year to get in to see.
The doctors he had seen would make referrals but told him that workers comp would not pay, and then WC stopped paying. My son was diagnosed with a form of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome that effects a part of the brain due to a bacteria infection he acquired in Panama. Some days he is unable to get out of bed, is very weak, has difficulty sleeping and eating and digesting food. The treatment for his parasites in Panama has ruined his digestive as well as bowel system. Peace Core will no longer pay for any medical treatment and when he applied for SSI, he was told he had not paid into the system and therefore not qualified and denied. My question is... Is there any help out there for him?
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Rick Martin replied 2 months ago.

Hi, I'm happy to help. Are you still online?

Expert:  Rick Martin replied 2 months ago.

For a topic like this, it's best if we can have a little back and forth discussion. I will wait a few more moments for you to return online then will return your question to the que.

Expert:  Dr. Fiona Chen replied 2 months ago.

Dear Customer,

1) If you can afford a health insurance plan premium, you can apply for your son a private insurance plan from any reputable insurance companies or plans. Or go to the federal health care exchange site, all insurance companies, including Medicaid, will have to accept your son. They cannot reject your son because the new law does not allow them to discriminate existing condition. As long as he pays the premium on time, he will be insured. You can get him to go get treatment. Give federal exchange market a call. They are available 24/7.

1-***-***-**** (TTY: 1-***-***-****) If no insurance company accepts, the Medicaid will cover him. This is the law of the land now. Everyone will be covered by a health insurance plan.

2) You are in the U.S. This is a land of rules and regulations. We have to take care of the disabled among us. Your son is a U.S. citizen. According to the latest health insurance law, even if you don't help him, if he has no other income source, he is qualified for Medicaid. Once he is on Medicaid, he may qualified for long-term care, like seniors in senior citizen housing, or he may qualify for other assistance. Or he can receive skilled home care.

"A number of states provide Medicaid to aged or disabled persons with income that is below 100 percent of the federal poverty level ($931 a month for an individual in 2012)."

This service is under U.S. Department of Human and Health Services.

Give them a call.

The Administration for Community Living (ACL) is the Administrator of the National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care Information. For information about the Clearinghouse website, contact ACL here:

Mailing Address:

Administration on Community Living
Washington, DC 20201

Important Numbers:

Phone:(###) ###-####br />Fax:(###) ###-####/p>

3) If you call your local County social services department, i.e., Home and Health Care Services Department, or county medicaid office and find a knowledgeable person, the person can help you find the next step. There are many other services available for him.

4) If you find a local private home health care or home care company, the service providers, or the long-term care facilities, they have much information, too. If you find a Senior Citizen Home and call them, they can help you. Usually, they also take younger disabled patients, too.

5) Peace Corp's action on worker's comp is standard worker's comp insurance actions. They might have declined services and closed the case to expect you to go to court and take legal procedure to get a settlement with them. If your son can qualify for worker's comp and win the case with them, he will have compensation for disability, income, future medical, etc. Worker's comp is a type of insurance. The coverage is standard. Usually, workers comp case is closed to avoid periodic, long-term payments. They would like to have a settlement. It is possible that it was the insurance company which handled the case and closed the case.

Peace Corp is a reputable, large company. You have to have legal help to go after them. Be patient for the process.

6) Even if your son does not qualify for social security disability, he may qualify for social security supplemental income for low income and being disabled. See below citation. To get social security supplemental income, one usually want to retain an attorney, as well. Find an attorney to apply it for you.

"Social Security uses both medical disability criteria and non-medical criteria to determine whether you qualify for Social Security disability (SSDI, the program based on work credits) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI, the low-income program). First, you must be able to prove that you are medically disabled. Second, you must have either earned enough work credits to be considered "insured" under the SSDI program or your income and assets must be low enough to qualify for the SSI program.

7) Keep a good relationship with the girl friend. When your son has steady income, supplemental income and/or later on, worker's comp, and a nice place to live with long-term care skilled nursing home care help, and complete and scheduled rehabilitation health care, her care for him in the future may be paid by the government or the worker's comp insurance. Even if she does not take care of him, their relationship may develop again when the pressure is reduced in the day to day life.

Please continue to read on for the following citation and link, as well.


Fiona Chen, MPA, Ph.D., CPA, ABV, CFF, CITP

Or give the federal health care market place a call. They are available 24/7.

1-***-***-**** (TTY: 1-***-***-****)

  • Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
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