Stephen Contonikolas Medical Fund

$26,939 of $26,750 goal

Raised by 307 people in 39 months
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To all my family and friends...
Here is a page I set up for my friend Contos. Please help if you can.
 
The Stephen “Contos” Contonikolas Recovery Fund

 Hi, I’m reaching out to Dear Friends, Family and anyone concerned…

 I’ve been a close personal friend of Stephen “Contos” Contonikolas for 20 plus years and as many of you know, on March 25th, 2014 Stephen “Contos” Contonikolas suffered a heart attack and underwent an emergency procedure placing 3 drug eluting stents in his heart to keep the blood flowing. At the time he had no medical insurance and was financially ruined by daunting medical, pharmaceutical and other unexpected expenses while going months without any income during the initial recovery process. Contos was recently able to access insurance through the ACA during open enrollment but is still facing ongoing medical, insurance and other unexpected out of pocket living expenses just to keep moving forward with life’s most basic necessities.

 Stephen is a single father with shared custody of an adopted little nine year old boy named Gabriel. His biggest concern moving forward is for the well being of his son and staying alive long enough to enjoy him growing up.

Following his emergency cardiologist’s advice, he immediately gave up smoking and began a strict heart-healthy organic diet and exercise regimen.

Although he is doing the best he can to rebuild his life in every way he can, we all come across times when we need a little help from friends, family and even the kindness of strangers… This is that time for Contos. Coming up on the one year anniversary of his heart attack Contos is under tremendous stress and is not doing well financially at all and is in serious jeopardy of losing what little he has left. The hope and purpose for this page and fund raiser would be to help buy a little more time for him as he rebuilds his life in positive ways for him and his son. Even though he is back to work at being a self employed video producer, web designer and graphic artist, paying work has been slow as he recovers.

Anyone who knows this man knows he is a man of integrity and good positive spirit toward all. He has shared his past successes with many a charity and he is always the first to offer his assistance in any way he can when asked for any good cause. To know him, you know he is very humble and would never ask for help. I had to talk him into this approach. All monies donated go directly to Contos and that's why the account was set up in his name.

I’m sending my plea to get him help that he actually desperately needs right now. If you can help, please do help in any way you can either by making whatever donation you can and or at least passing this cause forward though your email, facebook, social media of your choice or any other way you can.

Thank you all in advance for any random act of kindness you may be able to offer.

May God Bless you all and peace be with you.

Sincerely,

Sherry Means Newbold
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Dearest Friends and Family,

As of March 23, 2018 this page is no longer accepting donations. My son and I are eternally moved and changed and forever thankful and grateful to each of you here in this circle of campassion that have donated. The great news I shared for my birthday weekend was short lived. On March 2, 2018 I received a fully favorable decision letter from the judge explaining that the Social Security Administration (SSA) now recognizes me as fully and permanently disabled and suffering from severe and permanent peripheral neuropathy of the right femoral nerve and lateral cutaneous femoral nerve and coronary artery disease and dates my disability back to 2015. I already obviously knew I was disabled. I assumed it meant I was approved for full back and forward benefits. I assumed wrong. There was and is an ongoing process to be approved for payment and how much.

I’ve had my interview and handed in all of my paperwork to the SSA this week. I’ve been told I will not be getting the back pay I was expecting under the Supplimental Security Income (SSI) program which is a welfare based program and is different than the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) which is a workers based program which I do not qualify for because I hadn’t paid into that fund since 1999 and they only go back 15 years so yes folks I am on a welfare based program. I was given several reasons for no back pay under the welfare based program. The first reason is because what money came in through this GoFundMe page is counted as income and therefore deducted from what would have been back pay under this program. I did not find this out until this month. Had the money been paid directly to my landlord it would have been better but practically logistically impossible. The second reason I was given is because my rent has been higher than the maximum allowed under the SSI program (Supplimental Security Income) which is a welfare based program. The monthly difference is also deducted from the monthly amount of back pay and also from the monthly amount moving forward until I move out of my apartment and into something more affordable which I have been told needs to happen immediately. In short, I’ve been told by my interviewer that I can expect approximately $400 moving forward per month until I can reduce my rent and living expenses to $750 or less and then at which time I can possibly collect up to $750 per month from SSI after a 60 day processing period. This would also be contingent on providing proof that there is no longer any income coming from the GoFundMe page which I emailed on March 23, 2018 and received an email right back stating it will be looked at by April 4, 2018. One of the options I was given from the SSA is that since I am now receiving Medicaid In-Home Long Term Health Care that I now also qualify for residency in a nursing home. Anyone that’s been following along knows why that is not an option for me or my son. For anyone not following, I still live and breathe to be my son’s father and it’s not open for debate. The next 30 to 90 days or so, I will be looking for a suitable home for my son and I that falls within the financial confines of the SSI program that I am enrolled in. Any local to gentrification is aware of the challenges of this as well as the added challenges I face personally. As of today, Saturday, March 24, 2018, the mail has come and gone and there has been lots of paperwork back and forth the last few weeks but I have not received a penny nor any written confirmation that I will be getting a penny from the SSI program. I have exactly $52.87 left in my only account and I have not received one penny from SSI yet and nor have I received a statement yet of any kind stating actual numbers in writing. I was told I might hear something maybe by April 1st or May 1st of this year as they have 60 days from the date of the judge’s letter to process my paperwork. I will try to post here and facebook when I do receive a statement of numbers and or any monies from SSA if it differs from what I’ve posted here. Although this page is ending, my Facebook page is not and I will continue to post public future updates for all my friends, family, followers and foes there..

My son and I both thank each and every one of you for each and every prayer, word of encouragement and every dollar contributed to us over the past few years and we will truly forever and always be thankful and grateful to you all for the love, compassion and generosity that you have all shown us through our ordeal and we will always do our best to pay it all forward whenever and wherever possible. If anyone would like to keep in touch, please reach out to me on Facebook or call me or text me and thank you again. May our merciful God continue to bless and protect us all as he does.

Love, Stephen “Contos” Contonikolas and son.
Lots of SSI paper, but no money so far.
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Thank you everyone for your patience with my mental state as I figure this all out. Please read all the way through to the end where all of the good news is and/or skip to the end and I cannot even begin to tell you about how grateful and thankful I am for all of the good news that I have received in the past week along with the confusion . After my update last night I did more reading online at the Social Security administration‘s website and I read a bunch more this morning and then I called my attorney’s office that handled my case and insisted on speaking with an actual attorney which I did this morning. Apparently I received some Incorrect information over the telephone from Both the Social Security administration and from the attorneys office in the last couple of days. And so just like my experiences with so many doctors and surgeons in the past, I find it is better and more comprehensive to do the research myself than to rely on professionals. I am blessed to have been able to do what I am able to do from my bed with a smart phone. I did get confirmation today from one of their junior attorneys that there might have been some miscommunication. It is now my understanding that I will get backpay but I may or may not have to give up a small portion of it since the go fund me does count as income but it is not so much income that it would wipe out my backpay and so I am feeling very relieved and much better moving forward. I still need to do some paperwork and complete an interview at the Social Security office before I can be approved but apparently this is just procedural and even if I don’t get all the backpay I might have expected, it would certainly still be enough to sustain myself moving forward and so I will keep my faith in God and the system that it will work out.

Now the good news that I thought I would be releasing over the weekend... In addition to the fully favorable decision that I am indeed disabled, It is as if the judge went through everything with me and he wrote a very detailed report that Chronicles everything wrong with me As well as why it is wrong with me including all the nerve damage caused by the surgery in 2015 And how many different ways I qualify medically for the program as well as I am permanently and fully disabled and so for all of the haters and doubters , there is a detailed proof Now from a judge, three neurologists, actual neurology testing, an MRI, two physical therapy facilities, Countless evaluations, my primary care physician who has seen me every four weeks for the past two years And will continue to do so for this foreseeable future and possibly the rest of my life, I could go on but do I really need to anymore and or ever again?

In keeping with tradition of keeping the best news for last... I am happy to also announce that I have finally been approved with the state of Florida Medicaid long-term care program for long-term-care in-home health care services. This will include someone coming to my home three times per week for three hours per day to help me with day to day living operations and in-home support. This will include things like changing linens, laundry, light housekeeping, food gathering and preparation, local errands and more. More would include things like when all the essentials are covered they can help me to get into the ocean on the Calm days for physical therapy. I cannot begin to describe how much this will greatly improve the quality of my life and existence and will reflect incredibly favorably with my son as well and how incredibly thankful and grateful I am.

The best news that I can offer here at the end is that all of my Financial needs are met to the penny as of this moment in time and I am covered until the end of the month of March. I truly do not know at this point how long it will take to get money from Social Security but I can say that I know in my heart that God moved all of your hearts to get me this far and it feels like he has got it from here so I am not going to stress anymore and I’m just going to rest for the first moment in three years and take the help that I am suddenly receiving from the state and just go back to being grateful and thankful to be alive and to Exist and to Breath.

Thank you again to everyone who have contributed to help to get me my son through it all to this point. I have never felt more inspired in my life to pay it or forward then I feel lately and God is giving me vision to advocate the disabled. Perhaps a new direction will be born from this at all. Thank you again everyone for all the contributions, help and prayers and I will continue to keep praying also that God blesses us all the way that he does. I promise to keep you all updated as soon as I know what is happening from here I will let you all know. Thank you again and I will never tire of saying that I will forever and always be thankful and grateful.
Final phase for SSI help hopefully.
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So apparently the words fully favorable only pertained to the decision as to whether or not I am disabled which they have decided that I am definitely fully and permanently disabled… They have not however decided to give me my SSI benefits yet at this time. Apparently that decision is made by another office within the Social Security administration and from the information I can gather from their website and over the telephone I have many more hoops to jump through much more paperwork to complete and turn in and I may or may not qualify for my back pay and or a portion of it because I’ve been able to maintain my apartment through the go fund me account which they consider income. I’m really not sure how this will all play out yet but I will certainly let you all know when I know. In the meantime is there anyone that understands this stuff with SSI and Social Security that can explain it to me any better than I understand it??? Please reach out to me and let me know if you know anything that can help. Thank you and sorry to be a bummer; this is not the letter I thought I would be writing.
Fully favorable but not approved
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The two words that I’ve waited three years for came in today’s mail. Fully Favorable. I will write a much more detailed update before the weekend is over but I did not want to keep anyone waiting any longer than I had to wait. From the core of my heart, I am grateful and thankful to each and every one of you, who have literally supported me through my entire ordeal to this point. Please accept my apologies for my brevity but I promise to write more when I can properly collect and process my thoughts and emotions. Please know that I will find a way to thank each of you in my own personal way over time and I will always and forever for the rest of my life be doing everything I can to pay it forward. I am literally in tears as I think of what each of you have done to give me a leg up literally to help my son and I survive and now hopefully to live. More to follow sooner than later. Thank you again one and all and may God continue to bless us as he does.
Fully Favorable
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Read a Previous Update
Jody Marshall Swett
10 months ago

So many people struggling like Contos. It's so sad that our society has come to this. Bless you my friend Contos!!❤️

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$26,939 of $26,750 goal

Raised by 307 people in 39 months
No Longer Accepting Donations
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Created February 26, 2015
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$20
gregg christie
2 months ago

I know you are staying positive and how hard that is when the system that is supposed to help strings the process out as long as possible. Stay strong.

$500
YaVaun and Herb Swanson
2 months ago

Dearest friend Stephen, Easter is near and the meaning of the ultimate act of sacrifice of giving. May the blessings of Easter be showered upon you and your young Son , Gabe. John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him wouldn’t perish, but would have eternal life."

$150
Anonymous
2 months ago
$10
Jacqueline Collins
3 months ago

My precious friend were it in my power I would give you the world full of health and joy and above all no more suffering.All blessings and prayers to you always...it is hard at times(others much harder) to get through the minute forget hour or day...and you do incredibly well at encouraging those who physically suffer...My great granddaughter suffers Type 1 early onset juvenile diabetes. at 6 being plagued by the average is far in age suffering things years before they should...i am disabled and my daughter is disabled(without insurance)....sometimes plagued by the medical rather than help....I post this so you will know your messages (like the one today and the day you had) do not go unnoticed and are an encouragement to all who know you especially on FB....one of my favorite quotes when i think i can go no further is "I cried because I had no shoes until I saw a man who had no feet" Each day we can encourage one person is a winning day....Gabe will be a stronger more capable person for what he has walked through with you and will bless many.....The tough times the Lord gets us through come out in positive vibes to all who know you...Be well (as possible)my friend and know in the Lord you are loved.....your friend Jacqueline

DP
$50
david p
3 months ago

...was just hanging with David R in Vietnam and your name came up...along with that asshat (whoops...spiritually sick child of God) we worked for briefly...ahhhh the good ol days when you worked right along side a rock star digging ditches...

WG
$50
William Grimley
3 months ago

Keep up the fight...will always have your back

Jody Marshall Swett
10 months ago

So many people struggling like Contos. It's so sad that our society has come to this. Bless you my friend Contos!!❤️

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