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Should I self-identify as disabled at work?


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I just started a new job.  I have called out sick the past two days because I've been so depressed.  I don't have any sick time to use, though, so that's a problem, and not just from the perspective of being docked pay.  My pdoc can't see me until Tuesday, and I can get a note from him, but my employer has all kinds of rules about how long into taking time off you can provide a doctor's note (i.e. they want it in the first few days).

 

So that I don't get fired and my absences aren't held against me, I am thinking about self-identifying as a person with a disability.  I don't want it to backfire and be held against me, though.  I wondered what others' experiences have been like if you've done so.  I'd love to hear your feedback.  Thanks in advance!

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What about FMLA? I think it's family medical leave act.

 

Thanks write, that's a good idea.  Unfortunately I haven't been there for a year, so I'm not eligible for FMLA yet.  My state has temporary disability insurance, but I'm not sure they would cover only two days.  I'll look into it, though.  Thanks for the suggestion.

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I have several options for you:

 

1. Disclose your disability - many will tell you not to, but at my last job I did and it made a world of a difference. They were obligated by HR to provide reasonable accommodations. I was able to work indoors only, had a 10 min break every 2 hours of work, etc.

 

2. Do not disclose the nature of your disability but disclose you have a medical condition - you might gain more respect this way, because when I disclosed the nature of my disability I did get treated different. You never know how your boss might react to a mental illness diagnosis.

 

3. Quit this job until you find stability. Apply for SSDI or SSI depending on work credits. This is what I did when I had to quit my last job due to severe psychosis and hospitalizations. I got approved for SSI on first try.

 

 

I hope your pdoc helps you! Hugs <3

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I'm sorry that its not working out very well. 

 

I like Butterflykisses options number 1) and 2)

 

Number 3) is what I did after I tried the disclosure route and the accomodations I needed couldn't be made in my line of work. Not to say that efforts weren't made, but it wasn't enough. 

 

I've been waiting for SSDI since March 2013; denied twice and waiting for a hearing since August 2013- so that would be 14 months or so just for the hearing (though I have an old hospitalization and regular psych chart w/even their psychologist on my side about not working full time). If you qualify for SSI, I think that it might be a quicker process to determine than SSDI (so that is something to consider). They did run it by to see if I qualified for SSI. I don't. 

 

So the moral of my story is that if it is possible, go for disclosure and accomodations. 

Edited by Night in Juniper
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So that I don't get fired and my absences aren't held against me, I am thinking about self-identifying as a person with a disability.  I don't want it to backfire and be held against me, though.

 

I haven't had an experience like this, but wanted to say that if you did tell them about your disability and they discriminate and hold it against you, you could either quit at that point or not, because it would give you a better idea of how you might be treated in the future.

 

I don't have any other advice, but wanted to just say what first came to mind when I read your post.

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Have you tried just explaining that you're sick but your doc can't see you until Tuesday? Or what about maybe seeing your GP or just going to an urgent care place just for the note so you don't get fired? Even if they don't treat you they should be able to at least provide a note saying you were there.

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Thank you all for your thoughts and suggestions.  After giving this a lot of thought, I decided not to self-identify right now unless I am punished for taking sick days with no sick time with their rather punitive points system.  I would not disclose my disability, though.  Thanks again.

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