Hi everyone. It’s been a few weeks since I’ve had my meds changed. Some things have happened.
id like you advice and input because I’m very scared right now.
#1 my employer has deemed me to disabled to work and filled out short term disability paperwork on me. They’ve been nice. I’m not terminated, but I’m not getting any pay and have to switch to cobra insurance at the beginning of the month. I see my pdoc tomorrow to go over the paperwork.
#2 this process has made me more paranoid. I think I’ve read the previous-existing conditions exclusions in my policy and previous policy 500 times since last Friday. I’m not kidding. I’m terrified of not being covered even though I had a disability policy since 2/1/17 and I’m just now being deemed totally disabled. My last policy and my new one didn’t have a gap in coverage. My current policy says if I satisfied the pre-existing clause in my last policy I will be covered. So what do I do? Psychotically read and reread the one policy terminology. It had a 3 month lookback before the policy started. I wasn’t on any meds and I didn’t see a doctor during that period. I literally just paused posting this to read it again. I can’t stop the spiral of anxiety and fear about this. I’m driving myself even more insane. I’m convinced since I’ve had treatment in the last 12 months they will deny me but it seems pretty clear pre existing is just for that 3 month lookback. But my brain is not letting up and I’m freaking out.
#3 other random illness that may be autoimmune or aggravated by meds. I’ve had a ton of medical problems this last year and it’s all looked like lupus or something else autoimmune or autoinflammatory. My cousins kids have a very rare genetic autoinflammatory disease. So naturally I see my internist on Monday explaining how I have a rare genetic disease and it originated from Scotland and my aunt was a heterozygous carrier so my mom must be therefor I have the disease. He said point blank I cannot put any of this down because no doctor will ever see you because this is nuts.
My meds are working and I am able to at least go slow and realize I am sick. I do recognize when I am paranoid, but the more I learn about short term disability the worse I get. I’m afraid the insurance company could come on this board and look up my posts. I’m afraid they will do surveillance, which apparently is something they do. I’m afraid my claim will be denied. I’m afraid they will see I just bought a house and think I’m fine. Buying a house took months and months and many many many years of hard work, and that stress plus my very public, high level job threw me over the edge. I don’t know if I can do anything to make a little extra money, like mturk or not because I’m afraid I’ll get denied.
This has been a long post, but I’m really scared. The best thing I’ve done is to not give af what people I know think because mental illness sucks and it doesn’t discriminate. The only people that know about this are my parents and my boyfriend. I deactivated Facebook out of paranoia. My sisters don’t know. I know I need to be on disability but damn, I didn’t think the process would make me sicker.
I'm going to see a lawyer tomorrow about disability, and I'm terrified. I don't know what to expect and my anxiety is through the roof. I keep feeling like they are going to laugh at me and think I'm not sick enough. I've had nightmares about it all week, and I keep obsessively thinking about it.
Has anyone else gone through this? What was the meeting like?
Any info or support is welcome.
A few days ago, my husband left and called my family to come get me. I was sick out of work for a week. Husband stayed home with me that last day and then disapeared while I was napping. The next thing I knew was that my family gathered me up, brought me to another city where they live, told me to quit my job, and give notice on my rental house. I'm giving away almost all my possessions as I don't know when I will be able to live on my own again. I now have no job, no husband, no money, and no freedom. I am giving my mom power of attorney since I can't manage anything right now. I hate bipolar. So weary of being sick. My family is planning on me going on permanent disability, because I seem to be getting more unstable as I age. I feel beyond bad. My young adult son is more of an adult than I am. I know I am venting. Does anyone have any hope to offer? Right now, I'm feeling pretty out of hope.
By Velvet Elvis
I suspect this will help a couple people here.
I'm really hoping someone here will have some insight.
I was diagnosed bipolar in January 2012 and ended up on disability leave from my call center job (which I had held for 3 years). So after winter/spring 2012, It was a rough year plus on the med go round. I was hospitalized twice. I applied for and received SSDI on the first try, I had my back pay within 7 months of the initial application. I found a med that worked for me for a while, and in fall 2013 my wife was laid off. I was feeling better. So I got a job in a call center. Full time, with benefits, decent pay. After I started in October 2013, I made it about 9 months before relapse. I took an 8 week leave of absence from work in July/August 2014.
After going back to work, I applied for a promotion and interviewed 3 or 4 times for the job. I prepped extensively for interviews and slayed them. I got the job. Suddenly I worked in a bank, not a call center, and I had to wear business suits and high heels. Suddenly I had clients constantly badgering me for something (usually to waive their fees), I had to source my own call lists and screen numbers through the federal do not call list, I had to shake hands with people and smile constantly and it was just a lot for me to deal with. I made it about 4 months in a hypomanic whirl and then crashed spectacularly in January 2015. Got disability leave from work, unpaid. Had to get SSDI reinstated. Went back to therapy. Changed my meds. Getting better was my job. I spent most of April and May suicidal. Eventually my mood improved as we nailed down my cocktail.
So then I asked about going back to work. My pdoc and I determined that I wasn't ready to work full time, but she encouraged me to try part time. So I submitted the documents for a reduced work schedule and my employer said nope, just stay on leave until you come back full time. Okay. So I can't do my job full time, but they won't let me do it part time, but I feel well enough to be able to work some, and I'm fucking broke. Enter my wife's employer, which is a competing financial institution. We'll call it "the co-op." They have a part time job opening doing marketing/telesales at a call center. They recruit me heavily. I interview for the position and blow it out of the water. They offer me the job. They increase the starting pay by $1.50 additional per hour due to my resume/experience. I accept the job. I started at the beginning of July.
So I go to orientation at the co-op. It's a little embarrassing the fuss people are making about me. I already knew a lot of the employees from attending work functions with my wife. After orientation I show up at the "co-op" and start doing some training. During this first week, I talked to my supervisor, whom we'll call Misty. I sat down with her and explained that I have a disability and I'm on SSDI, and I can only work a certain number of hours each month to stay under the earnings limit for social security. Misty says it wouldn't be a problem. The next week we were working together to set my work schedule for August, and I email her again that I can only work 77 hours per calendar month. She responds to the email, again saying that it's no problem whatsoever.
Yesterday was the 31st of August. On a hunch, at the end of my shift on Saturday, I went into the timekeeping system and pulled the report showing how many hours I'd worked in August. I was at 76. So on Monday I come in to work and show Misty the pertinent reports and I agree to stay for an hour to return calls from voicemail and deal with various situations under my purview, and then leave for the day. Misty says this is totally fine by her.
Today I come in to work and handle my stuff, eventually we have a meeting scheduled. It is uneventful. Misty asks me to stay afterwards to talk to her. She tells me that I can't have days off at the end of the month. I say okay, we will plan better next time. She starts telling me about how she doesn't think she can accommodate my hours and that the VP of marketing is going to be mad at her if she continues to allow me to work a reduced schedule. I was quiet and listened to what she had to say. I told her that I had been totally transparent about my disability from day one, and she agreed. I told her that I thought it sounded like a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act. I told her that if she needed me to work more hours then the only way I could keep my job is if they cut my pay. She said that they're not allowed to cut my pay because of HR. She told me that since I'm part time they don't need to accommodate me, and told me about how they just let go two part time employees for getting pregnant. I told her I didn't understand how that was applicable to my situation, because I'm not asking for maternity leave. Misty skirted around my question about accommodations and reiterated that she hired me to work the hours that they need and I didn't tell her during my interview that I needed accommodation. She really made it sound like she felt that I'd lied to her. I asked her if this had anything to do with performance, and she said no. I'm well ahead of the goals for how many calls I need to make and how many sales referrals I need to make. Other supervisors and managers had complimented Misty on my work when I had to escalate situations to member relations. She said that she was going to have to talk to the VP of Marketing and HR and get back to me. She made it quite clear that she thought the coop would be willing/able to let me go.
I spent an hour plus tonight reading over the ADA page on the EEOC website.(http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/accommodation.html#general ) I didn't go to law school, but I'm reasonably intelligent and from my reading all of this bullshit is completely illegal. I do not have any obligation to inform a prospective employer about accommodations I may need. They chose not to ask me during the interview process. I am clearly capable of performing the essential functions of the job. I am meeting all performance parameters despite the fact that I work fewer hours than others do. I have done nothing remotely inappropriate. I requested accommodations immediately, both verbally and in writing. I feel that I am liked and respected at the office, and given all of the energy that all of these people put into recruiting me, you'd think it would be small potatoes to just give me 2 or 3 extra days off per month. I am mostly certain that there is no legal way for them to terminate my employment without getting sued for wrongful termination.
Nevertheless, I am nervous. Has anyone else dealt with anything like this before? The coop is a smaller company than those I've worked for in the past, but they are large enough to be subject to FMLA and the ADA. How do I handle this? Do I need to have legal counsel write me a letter (one of my college pals might do it as a favor), or do I just plead my case to HR and hope I come out on top? I don't know what comes next. I don't know what I'm doing. Up until this afternoon I felt like the luckiest person alive to be able to find a job that is something that I'm good at for few enough hours to keep me sane. I love my job. I love going to work. I love feeling productive. Today I made a SICK excel spreadsheet and it was so fucking rewarding.
I really don't want to lose my job. Thoughts, suggestions, ideas, all welcome.