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672839 tn?1305792947

disability and work

If offered parttime work, would you want to accept.?
14 Responses
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717440 tn?1292743742
That's so sad, but at least you have the creative idea of NOT telling them your diagnosis date if it were to come up, hehe... I think the only reason they ask those questions for us is for the "diversity program" to make sure they hired enough people with disabilities (again, I think this is why). But in your case, though, they can discriminate up-front and there's no proof one way or another; that's so unfair!!
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Avatar universal
I've been on SSDI for bipolar disorder for 3 years now.  (Wow that went by fast!)  I got the Ticket to Work a few times and finally looked into it.  I'm now in a vocational rehab program called Michigan Rehabilitation Services.  I've just started in the program, so I don't know for sure how much it can help me, but they really seem to have a lot of services.  Do other states have programs like this?
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561706 tn?1333947274
I'm really glad you started this discussion.  It's so interesting to hear what others have done and what the rules are in other places.  It's terrible to have to lie, but I would definetly omit my mental health status in an interview or new workplace.

  Returning to a hostile environment feels terrible and would be terrific trigger for anxiety and depression.  I know since I've been through it.  I've been working at a lesser job and I've decided not to fight for my old position because I know they don't want me there and I'd be embarrassed after my behavior during a manic episode.

This is terrible that there is such a stigma still.  That's an understatement.
I've been on disability and I've been working full time. Full-time is hard - I'd much prefer part-time.
(But my direct boss is wonderful about letting me leave early for my multiple appoints, so I've got something important and positive there.)
And that's a big reason why I like this place so much.  I'm in the closet all day, every day and it takes it's toll.
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Avatar universal
Hi Jester,

Yep, if an employer discovers you have omitted to tell them of any illness (be it mental or otherwise) you can be instantly dismissed.  We don't get health care benefits along with jobs (well only in a few careers).  It could cause a problem with then trying to claim social security as it would be seen as "your fault" that you lost the job.  This means you would go on a reduced rate for a period of time (i think it's 6 months).  

However, should an employer discover I had BP I would refuse to disclose the date of diganosis and I don't think any employer is going to go to the hassle of taking me to court to get hold of my medical papers.

The system in Canada where you disclose this type of info after being offered the position sounds a lot fairer to me.  It also means that if the job suddenly becomes unavailable you can fight that it is discrimination.  
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717440 tn?1292743742
I'm glad I found this thread today. I've been off work since June due to my BP. I returned in late August for about 6 weeks but had to go back on disability... any who. So now I'm suppose to be going back (was suppose to be Jan 26th but I never got a call from HR) but my case manager says that HR probably doesn't want me back in the same building. I work in a call centre for a financial institution. I'm kinda scared now because I was told a while back that if a new position can't be found for me, then I might get a severance package, but either way I'll lose my job... which means my benefits, too, and we NEED those (I need to get my upper molar dentures :(  and hubby still has work, too, to get done... not to mention the price of our meds, sigh...). And just last week I had to fill my benefits for the following year but was not allowed to make any upgrades due to my disability, and never will be able to by the sounds of it. They do allow me to decrease my benefits, though, hmm...

I'd also like to comment on companies hiring people with disabilities. My company prides themselves on diversity in the workplace, blah blah blah... if it's a PHYSICAL disability (my opinion here). I've noticed that people with visual impairments, who are epileptic, have a wheelchair or a cane, people like that get special treatment like a designated seat at the end of the cubicals or a designated parking spot... but if you have a mental illness, they don't seem to care. Like when I was taken into the Manager's office for my "attitude"... they said they knew about my condition (yeah, right... they knew I had it. I doubt they even typed the word "Bipolar" in a Google search and read even 1 paragraph to learn the least bit about it, ARG I hate ignorant people... sorry).

TO Bulldozer: WOW!! What B-S!!! We also fill out a similar questionnaire here (Canada), but fortunately for us, it cannot be asked BEFORE you're hired... I even think we waited until after probation and were officially hired before filling that out. On the other hand, I'm not completely Caucasian but look white so when I was selected for a survey regarding my ethnicity, my manager said there was a mistake and to delete the email. I ignored him and mentioned that comment in the phone conference we had (HAHA on him... I can't stand him, so glad I don't have to go back to him).
What I'm worried about, though, for you guys over there (UK), is that what if you get the job by "lying" about your illness on the application, and then later down the road the illness "pops-up" and you need benefits/disability? Will it be enied because you misinformed your employer from the get-go? I'm just curious because I started to take Law in College and it interests me. It is funny in that frustrating way, though, that the companies and the government cover their tracks and don't help us much.

I also agree with comment above about us being cheaper to deal with on disability than in the workplace. I was awesome at my job until I moved to the Retention Team. People called me to cancel Insurance; that Visa Balance sh*t, LOL... how can I deal with angry people if I can't deal with myself when I'm angry?

Any ways, thanks for listening  : )
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672839 tn?1305792947
In Georgia the Ticket to work money went to Dept of Labor.  They are currently investigating my case.  I'ver researched vocational rehailitation, and the current practices do not address such MH as bipolar.  The prevailing theory is we are cheaper on disability than the cost of retraining for work.

I also feel no advantage in self-disclosure in employment.  Right to privacy.  Not there business.  Haven't done any work with benefits so I don't see how they can complain.

Perhaps new US administration will strengthen employment laws and enforcement as well.  Since I receive 1000$/mth SSDisablilty, only careful budgetting and strategic diversions (no work mission) keep me afloat.
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728965 tn?1266373645
Not much is different in the US of freaking A.... What made me laugh is one time we filled out this survey of our managers, and they ask all those questions that don't "matter", and when asked what race I was it had all the PC terms for race, then right there it said "white" instead of Caucasian.. This just struck me as odd, that someone very ignorant wrote the supposed professional survey.

When I talked to another co-worker about my feelings at work, about being treated different when I came back, she said well talk to HR... Right, HR, the ones who screwed me out of pay because they didn't feel my sickness was a sickness....
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750716 tn?1263734643
I'm currently in a battle with my employer (UK) to get 'reasonable adjustments' made, I am trying to return to my place of work after 2 years sickness.  I'm getting nowhere as my job was 'back filled' during my absence.  So for the last few months I've been waiting for a suitable job to come up....and nothing has.  This situation is just making my symptoms so much worse, as I just feel useless and that actually they don't want me...even though I've been a model employee before diagnosis.  

I recently went for an interview for a different job, the very first question asked about my health, I answered honestly about my Bipolar....and surprise I didn't get the job, though I was more than qualified.  When I asked why I wasn't succesful, I said did it have anything to do with my disclosure of mental illness?  Of course, they answered NO! But deep down I'm sure that was the reason..

So I wonder now whether honesty is the best policy.....it's not getting me anywhere...but this is only my experience!

Ps This forum is great, I only joined yesterday and have already learned so much

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Avatar universal
Over here (UK) we have anti-discrimination - apparently!  We have to fill out a questionnaire which asks about our religion, race, health and mental health.  How then can this be anti-discriminatory.  I'm sorry but I don't believe the small print on the bottom of the form that tells me the answers on the form do not have any bearing on the selection process.  If that were so why ask the questions in the first place.

I have recently applied for a job.  In the current climate with so many people applying for the same job I have not ticked the box that states I have a mental illness or that I am currently in receipt of disability.  Sorry but do you think I'd have made it on to the interview pile if I had?  Call me cynical but I'm pretty sure I would have been on the slush pile.  Our government has won both ways.  You can't prove you haven't been picked for an interview due to disability.  The employer can prove they are abiding by the rights to work for all by having a token employee with one of the criteria.  

This all makes me very cross because I hate telling lies but feel I have no choice.
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728965 tn?1266373645
I work at a hotel, and I was top dog when I first started. Every loved me. I worked hard, barely complained I liked my job. Then things happened, and suddenly I was having a breakdown. I toke a month off as to not lose my job because I was missing work for doctors appointments. I was diagnosed with bipolar. When I went back, after I told my manager what happened, people stopped talking to me, and I was no longer acknowledged like before. So companies may hire those with disabilities, but they sure as hell treat them differently. Sometimes I wonder if companies know those laws????
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614508 tn?1265281722
My concern with return to work is that most wordings of insurance disabilty policies state that if the employee is able to return to work "in any capacity" they no longer qualify for long term total disability. Which, for many of us who currently qualify for long term disability would equate to a comfortable monetary lifestyle to one of dependancy on our spouses, our family or other sources including government subsides programs. In essences, shifting the financial payout from one source (to whom we had paid substantial premiums for coverage) to those who may be financial strapped or unable to meet the ongoing needs to cover medical costs let alone living costs that we incur.
Also, the instability of our illness itself, poses the question of requalification or resinstatement of benefits in a short or long time and the stress and financial hardship of securing medical documentation to support this.
I am not suggesting that anyone diagnosed with BP is unable to return to gainful employmnet. But I do feel that there has to be stronger legislation and wordings contained within insurance policies to properly protect those from discrimination, alienation,termination or elimination of wages because of partial or full relapse of their illness.
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561706 tn?1333947274
I'll be brief...I have a complaint filed with the EEOC regarding my reassignment at work due to my disability (three years ago-after a hospitalization). Interestingly, I work in a school for special needs kids - a mid-sized operation.
Last week I was contacted by phone by my "case manager" who told me my case had been dropped.
She told me that the EEOC gets 85,000 referrals each year and that only 350 are "lawyered" and that very few of these are successful.
"It's very hard to prove discrimination," she said several times.
This does not seem to be a very effective operation, and I feel like it eliminates the power of the ADA.
I haven't researched for myself her claims, but they really made me think.
Have any of you had success with a human rights complaint or ADA case?
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585414 tn?1288941302
Also there are government agencies that work to help people with job skills and training. In New York state the agency is VESID. But they exist in all states. They fund educational services as well. Another good thing to know about is Social Security's Ticket to Work program. And if you plan to work full time and go off SSDI but need something specific payed for, you can create a PASS plan. For more information on those go to ssa.gov. Also as I've posted about there is the Medicaid Buy in for Working People with Disabilites if you go over the income limit for Medicaid when you go back to work. For more information and specific help in applying for those you can go to your local independent living center. This I've put into any posts specific to benefits and appeals so perhaps eventually (posted this in the suggestion forum) if approved it could be in a centralized place:
http://www.ilru.org/html/publications/directory/index.html
Its much harder now to find jobs for everyone in the reccession but if a person has difficulty working because of their disability, there are reasonable accomodations under the ADA. Even for myself in order to keep the Buy In I do some minor telecommuting because my physical disability has made me homebound.
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672839 tn?1305792947
Employing People with Disabilities
Companies were asked, “To your knowledge, do any of your company’s current employees have a physical or mental disability?” Table 2 provides the number and percentage of companies that currently employ people with disabilities. These statistics are provided for all companies and separately by company size and then by three broad industry types.   Among companies in the United States, 471,562 companies (19.1 percent) report employing people with disabilities.  


Table 2. Number and percent of companies currently employing people with disabilities, by company size and industry
Company size and industry Number Percent
All companies (5 or more employees) 471,561 19.1
Small (5–14 employees) 133,588 10.7
Medium (15–249 employees) 229,098 22.6
Large (250 or more employees) 108,875 53.1
Service-producing industries 376,905 18.9
Goods-producing industries 94,656 17.5
Public administration 19,685 42.7
Source: 2008 Survey of Employer Perspectives on the Employment of People with Disabilities, ODEP.
Note: Based on question 10, "To your knowledge, do any of your company’s current employees have a physical or mental disability?"
All 3,797 companies were asked this question.


With regard to company size, the larger a company, the more likely it is to employ people with disabilities. As shown in Table 2, among small companies (employing 5 to 14 people), 10.7 percent report employing people with disabilities, while 22.6 percent of mid-sized companies (employing 15 to 249 employees) and 53.1 percent of large companies (employing 250 or more employees) report employing people with disabilities. It is not surprising that companies with more employees are more likely to employ at least one employee with a disability. These companies simply have more employment opportunities and may be more likely to commit to a diverse workplace.

Employers in the public administration sector are much more likely to employ people with disabilities (42.7 percent) than employers in service-producing (18.9 percent) and goods producing industries (17.5 percent).
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