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Veteran, Joeseph H. Seall, qualified for Social Security disability benefits. Unfortunately, he did not live long enough to make it past the required 5-month waiting period. Two Congressmen, Chip Pickering (R-MS) and Congressman Earl Pomeroy (D-ND), jointly introduced the Joseph H. Seall Act of 2007 (HR 2713).

Congressman Pickering saw Seall as a man who served his country, worked hard his entire life. When Seall was diagnosed with terminal cancer he was approved for disability benefits, but because of bureaucratic rules his first payment did not arrive until after his death.

The Pickering-Pomeroy legislation will allow a Social Security Commissioner to waive the 5-month waiting period for a terminally ill beneficiary.

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Darlene D. Brideau August 27, 2007, 6:01 am

    My brother is in a similar position in NY. Hi is 53 years old and a veteran. He was diagnosed with terminal cancer on April 28, 2007 and was approved to receive Social Security Disability on November 2007.

    His cancer is too aggressive and it is unlikely that he will make it till then. His circumstances are a little different though.

    Yes, he contributed all his life to social security, but prior to his diagnosis this year he was at a new job 2 days less than the 90 [day qualifying] period to receive any company benefits, such as short term disability which would allow him to get some income pending his receipt of the SSD. Just prior to that he was in Temp positions that provided no benefits. Given he worked without interruptions he cannot now claim an “unsuccessful work attempt” which would start the clock from the previous non-work period. So now he is in a catch-22 and has no income.

    I am VERY ANGRY that our system places these added burdens of financial worries on top of having to deal with the worries of dying and leaving their families fatherless, and who have contributed to a financial system that is supposed to take [care] of them in their time of need. WHERE IS OUR COUNTRY WHEN PEOPLE SUCH AS MY BROTHER NEED IT TO SUPPORT THEMSELVES AND ARE TOO PROUD TO TAKE FROM OTHERS AND WHO HAVE A RIGHT TO GET THE MONEY THEY PUT IN TO THE SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEMS AND WITHOUT A TIME LIMIT GIVEN THE DIAGNOSIS IS TERMINAL. TERMINAL IS TERMINAL. THEY SHOULD NOT HAVE TO WAIT. THEY SHOULD HAVE THE MONEY THE NEXT CYCLE THE SS CHECKS ARE ISSUED. I PLANNED TO FIGHT THIS, BUT SAW THIS BILL ON THE INTERNET. A NOTE TO ALL CONGRESS PEOPLE – THIS SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE WELL BEFORE NOW. WHERE IS THE SUPPORT TO OUR DYING PEOPLE AT HOME?

  • george amoroso January 6, 2009, 12:11 am

    What constitutes termanlly ill? I was just told that my pulminary fibrosis will end me in three to five years. I cant wirk cant walk a flight of stairs… the pain pills im on make me the ealking dead head and i have nothing to support myself on. I have money that will come from ss and more from the VA but how do i start and will it come before i cant even take care of myself?

  • Kim Powell November 25, 2009, 1:26 pm

    I realize that I am posting this comment two years later, but has anything been done with this? My husband has also been diagnosed terminal, is not expected to live more than three months, was just approved for disability and is also stuck under the five month waiting period. This means that it is extremely unlikely that he will ever see a check. He has worked his whole life, and I had to leave my job to provide him with 24 hour care, so disability was our only hope for any type of income until his death. And according to Social Security, because we have not been married for 10 years, that after his death, I will not be entitled to any of his funds. So who gets the money that is rightfully his? Why the government of course. He will never see any of it and neither will his family.

  • Mr K. October 18, 2012, 9:11 am

    I was diagnosed in January with terminal lung cancer I have been given attendance allowance but wondered if I was entitled to any other benefits I was 76 on the 21 may 2012

  • Jan Seall March 18, 2013, 9:45 am

    I am Joseph H. Seall’s widow. Nothing was done. This legislation will never be passed. Many, besides me, have tried. Upon my own research, MANY have tried. I, personally, think a class action lawsuit is what will work. But how to accomplish this, I have not found that out yet. If anyone can answer this question for me? Or, possibly before the Supreme Court. My husband has been gone seven years. I have asked that they provide me with where they moved my late husband into the TIRR program. They will not answer me. TIRR program is in place to move terminally ill persons to “head of the class”, so to speak. I so am not finished with this yet!!!!

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