Closing the Books on LTD and TWP

Recently, I reviewed the nearly 40 articles I have penned for others suffering from the same vile disease of prostate cancer. During this review I discovered I never completed a series of articles concerning LTD and TWP: LTD being Long-Term Disability and TWP being the program offered by SSD called Trial Work Period. Both have served as great frustration over the course of my treatment path.

A difficult experience

Through my personal experiences, I cannot recommend SSD’s Trial Work Period. I think the program is not as carefree as the SSD promotes it to be. As I reported earlier, I had a go at the 9-Month TWP and it ended badly. I encourage fellow cancer warriors to study the program carefully before deciding upon attempting it.

All my efforts with long-term disability came to a dismal end. My LTD was never reinstated, despite my stage IV cancer status. In fact, I feel I was punished for making an attempt to reenter the work force. Reapplying several times to LTD only produced more denials of my disability.

Although I am reporting my failures with these programs, I am in no way touting that one should not ever attempt these avenues. I simply encourage one to carefully assess your situation and all rules governing the program. Read the small print, as they say. And above all, consult and listen to your doctors.

Trusting my doctor

Every cancer doctor and my private physician implored me to avoid the 9-Month Trial Work Period. I can honestly report this is the first and only time I did not fully listen to my medical professionals. Each was correct in their assessment stating my body was not and will not ever be conducive with a return to employment.

Being a hard-head, I challenged that assessment by gaining permission from SSD to take on a high school men's soccer head coaching position. The position paid little, and I was mostly concerned with just helping out the soccer program. This attempt ended poorly with me struggling just to attend practice over the last month of the season and actually missing a contest. My body just could not hold up to the constant physical requirements necessary for the position.

I believe I have finally came to the realization that my doctors know best.

Coming to accept the truth

A disability retirement has proved very hard to accept after working over 30 years as a teacher and a coach. However, I feel this recent attempt has thoroughly convinced me to accept the medical truth. I will certainly miss that portion of my former life, but I must do what is right with regards to my health.

In closing, let me once again state, I do not claim to have all the facts and knowledge concerning the programs I write about here. However, I strongly encourage my fellow cancer warriors to study and make an educated decision regarding the attempting of said programs. I would love to hear any comments or stories concerning anyone who has lived a positive outcome of these ventures.

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