Ask The Get Out of Debt Experts Bankruptcy Related Benefit Programs

I’m on SSDI. Can you guess what 99.999% of my bills are from? – B

54 yrs. old
Health: Poor
Bill Collectors: Yes, yes, and more yes.

In 1994 I was diagnosed with Hepatitis C. Now before everybody jumps the gun and immediatly, even some doctors do, I did not experiment with intraveinous drugs coming up the ranks. I will admit that like a high percentage of people my age (54) I did smoke pot and yes I did inhale.

However, I shared straight pins with india ink on them and have a wonderful tattoo on my left shoulder (a rose) ohhh! special….! Four (4) others got a tattoo that night until the tat artist got tired, yes the same ink, the same straight pin, the same towel, the same everything!

Contacting my other friends after I was diagnosed, I found that the two (2) guys that were still living both have Hep-C. So, you don’t need to be a junkie to get Hep-c, but in my case I feel fortunate that I did not contract the virus that causes aids.

FYI nor did my other friends. I have had a shitpot of other health problems since then, including 5 heart ablations, CHF, Gurd, DDD, resulting in a discectomy, still need the discs next to those fused, $$$,

While in the hospital the last time to take care of a hernia (belly button) I just happened to aquire MRSA, which I believe caused the Staph infection, that lead to Bacteremia, Mylites, Candidas. Candidas! I couldn’t believe it. I think that is a yeast type infection, isn’t that for women? Needless to say much about it, after spending 11 days in the hospital (that time), they sent me home with several thousands of dollars worth of Zyvox, Vacomyicin, Agatroban, Amphatericin, sp?, and Fluconazole.

I am also fortunate to have a wife that is an RN. otherwise they would not have sent me home with my own med drip pole etc. The last bill I remember seeing was over $65000.00. That was the hospital, for that one time.

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I think since I moved back to Utah (grew up here) I’ve been in the hosp. 4 or 5 times. I made a bad mistake on my 2008 tax return (I recieved my disability back pay that year from 1994 to present. It was $45000.00 and the way I read the instructions I didn’t have to claim it. Whoops.

They are now garnishing my disability insurance of a little over $200.00 a month. Of course Utah State got wind and are also taking their $100.00 worth per month. I only get $1415.00 per month, $300.00 is gone before I get to my regular bills. With my regular bills, (gasoline, propane, electricity, water, groceries, etc,etc,etc I have very little to pay all the bill collectors that are constantly calling.

I used to answer and tell them the truth, you know the way it really is, and asked them what they wanted me to do? I can’t pay them anything untill IRS or Utah State is took care of but what do I do until then?

My wife is all but out of the house and doesn’t contribute much. She stay in the city where she works, with our daughter, one week and comes home a week. Then does it all over again.

In other words she works two weeks out of the month and we are all but divorced. Do they have bankruptcy for just medical bills? Thats all I have for bills except utilities etc. No mortgage or anything, Just Doctor and Hospital Bills! out the Gazoo. Where do I go from here? I have thought about a bullet but I’m the first to admit, I don’t have the guts.


Dear B,

No need for a bullet. But it will be prudent to meet with something else that begins with a ‘b’, a local bankruptcy attorney.

If you have no assets and your income is only from benefits like SSDI then creditors can sue you but will most likely not be able to collect from your income or assets. It is what is commonly called being “judgment proof.”

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But it might be still worth it to click here to find a local bankruptcy attorney. You see the taxes you owe may actually be able to be discharged in a bankruptcy. Between the medical bills and the tax due that might just take a huge load off your financial back. It is certainly worth investigating further.

Just remember, there is no need for suicide here, just an implemented solution.

As additional homework I’d suggest you first read How to Get Out of Debt. The Honest and Unvarnished Truth. It will give you a great overview of what we need to deal with to get you moving in the right direction.

Then use the free How to Get Out of Debt Calculator to review your options.

After that, come back here and comment about what seems to make the most sense and let’s discuss that.

Does that sound like a reasonable approach?

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.


You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.

About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

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