Accept Job Offer or Wait for Disability Decision? Help!!!

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by nancyw, Aug 15, 2003.

  1. nancyw

    nancyw New Member

    Hi Everyone: I applied for disability back in March of this year. I have been having a horrible time since May of 2002 with vertigo, dizziness, brain fog, inability to concentrate, headaches lasting for weeks, eye pain, muscle spasms, etc. I had recently moved and hadn't been looking for a job because I got a severance package and didn't need to. NOW, I need the money and have been searching the want ads. YOUR OPINION PLEASE: My disability (per my case worker) should be approved/disapproved within the next month. Of course she said approval was not guaranteed, but "seems like you're dealing with enough things". I got the impression that she thought the disability would be approved. I interviewed for a position on Friday and they said I was the top candidate so far and they only had 3 more people to interview. WHAT HAPPENS IF I ACCEPT THE POSITION AND MY DISABILITY IS APPROVED (with my luck the next day)??? I don't want to pass up this job, but I haven't worked for 2 years and am not sure I can handle the 40 hours per week (office job). I'm really concerned my mental capabilities (memory, thought processing, etc.) will be sub-standard. I've always been tops in my field, but now.... My monthly disability is almost as much as my salary would be. Right now I'm not in a flare, but....... I need your opinions and/or expertise. Would my disability go on hold in case I can't handle the job? Would I have to start all over and file for disability again? Help!!!!!!!

    P.S. Forgot to mention that I'm in the last semester of an on-line class for medical transcription. I'm supposed to finish by December and then I may be able to work from home. Working 40 hours per week will definitely put me behind with my school stuff, but I'll keep at it anyway.
    [This Message was Edited on 08/16/2003]
  2. achy

    achy New Member

    Being that you went for the job interview means you think you can do the job. You are going to school. there is no doubt in my mind that you should go for it.
    If you were truely "disabled" you wouldn't even have "thought" abot going to work, never mind the interview.

    I don't mean to be harsh, but if you think you can work, then you work. When you are ABSOLUTELY certain that you can't..you apply for disability.

    Good luck..wish I could join ya

    Achy
  3. sofy

    sofy New Member

    I am a firm believer that if we can work we should instead of living off the works of our tax paying neighbors. Not working is not good for our spiritual well being and healing. That being said I am receiving ssdi.

    When the fatigue hits me my mind goes and I could not figure out how to make change for the simpelest amounts. I never know when it will hit. Sometimes have several good days in a row, several awful days in a row and others just some good hours during the days that are marginal. I havnt been able to read a book for over 2 years.

    With ssdi they have a program that lets you get part time work and work up to full time while you are recovering. At 59 I still have hopes to be able to use this program. Tomorrow, tomorrow!!!!

    If you have the mental capacity to learn taking classes it sounds as if your mind is functioning ok. Liten to your body, heart, soul and reason and go forth trusting in your decision.

    PS: the case worker makes the decision as to who is approved and who is denied. Some that are approved have to go to the regional office for a second look and the original approval can be overturned. I kept in close contact with my case worker during the 5 month process and she let me know she did not think I was a whiney woman who just didnt want to work any more so if your case worker is sending you good vibes you are more likely to be approved. If you are under 50 and educated your chances are stronger for denied. They do not want to pay you a large monthly sum for a looong time.
  4. judywhit

    judywhit New Member

    If truly disabled you do not work! You stay home and work on getting yourself well. I hurt everywhere but for my own sanity and self worth I went from working 8hrs per day to 3hrs per day. Big cut in pay and yes, I would make more on disability but.....I am not disabeled. I still have lots of good days mixed in with the bad days-Praise God! Only you can deciede- but achey hit the nail on the head.
    Judy
  5. JP

    JP New Member

    Hello Nancy,

    This is a tough place to be. I am in the same place. According to SSD, I should be hearing any day now and my case is very strong. However, I can't even entertain the thought of going back to work. I live in fight or flight mode, can hardly think straight most of the time, and my persistant pain is very difficult to control. If I interviewed, I wouldn't be a top candidate and I was in the past. I have a graduate degree and many years of work experience from management and business owner to consulting other business. Right now, I am doing some consulting as a trade for haircuts for my family and me. The salon owner knows what I am living with and it's a safe place for me to help her grow her business. I have the tools and the knowledge. What I used to organize in an hour or two now takes me days. No one would pay me. I can help some and it needs to be with friends and for barter. I am helping a friend with her resume this week in exchange for housesitting for a few days. I can do it, and again, it will take me a week to complete what I used to do in an hour or two. So, it's important that you are fair to yourself and your future employer. If you can work, it's great therapy, as far as I am concerned. As for the income, I have no idea what I will do if I am turned down for SSD. It's a bad place to be.

    I wish you the best...take care,
    Jan
  6. contessa

    contessa New Member

    Need to ask yourself if you can live with informing a new employer that you have a pre-existing condition that you knew might keep you from performing your new position. Then they need to hire someone again. Also, what about the new companies health insurance, do they know what an expensive employee you will be to their coverage. Are they willing to bear the cost. I think at this point you need to do an analysis of the pro's and con's of this particular position. With your training, if you live in an urban area, there will be plenty of chances to find employment if you are denied. If you take the job and earn more than $700 per month, you will lose disability benefits. Also what age are you: the highter your educational level, the lower your age, the better your chances of finding something you can work at (per SSD). It's called skill transfer, and if you have it you'll probably be denied the first time around. Remember, no matter how sick we are, SSD will deny more than 75% of us on the first try. Now, with those statistics, go make your listing - Good luck and keep trying..you sound motivated but really torn between doing the job thing and taking care of your health needs. I forgot, even if you are approved for SSD, I think there is still a 5 month wait until you receive a retroactive payment - so in reality, you will not get a penny from the govt for the next 6 months even if you're accepted.
    [This Message was Edited on 08/16/2003]
  7. nancyw

    nancyw New Member

    Thanks to everyone who has replied with their suggestions. I'm so torn about this. If my disability is not approved, I will have no money. I live in a very small town (closest big town 3 hours drive) and with over 15 years experience, some employers won't even give me an interview. I started the med transcription on-line course so I could do it from home and take breaks and lay down when my back spasms too bad after sometimes only 2 hours at the computer. Once I complete the class, I can also work from home and take breaks when I need to lay down. I can do my class 24/7 (meaning I might be doing my school at 3:00 AM) from home and I don't have to drive if I'm having a lot of vertigo (usually goes in spurts of 2-4 days). I just don't know if I can work 8 hours straight. I also really miss my LIFE and LOVE working, but I don't know if I can work outside my home where I wouldn't be able to take breaks. I HAVE TO THINK ABOUT A JOB...I have no other options. I have good days and bad days, too, BUT even if I only miss 2 days a month, that's excessive in the working world. This employer didn't ask about health issues and I didn't bring them up per the suggestions of some people on this board. In fact, this employer did most of the talking and I didn't have to articulate too many long, thought-out replies. Since I used to be top in my field, an over-achiever like most of us, my resume and cover letter (created BEFORE my dx) speak for me. She didn't even ask me about not working for the last two years. And, of course, most of us don't LOOK sick, so I was able to "pull off" a one-hour interview. I feel really GUILTY not telling an employer this up front (DEFINITELY NOT MY STYLE), but I have to have a job if my disability doesn't come through. I wish I had the option of not having to ever "go out" to work again, but that is not the case. It's not like I don't want to work because I'm plugging along in my school so I can work from home. When I finish my school I can work from home when I'm well and/or how many hours a day I can physically/mentally handle. I really MISS working because I'm a very social person. By the way (to a couple of responders), just because I can do school 2 hours SOME days or "thought" about getting a job, doesn't mean I can do a 40 hour a week job, 8 hours straigh,t 5 days in a row. It means I don't have a choice. I've worked since I was 16 and I'm 47 now. Yes, I understand I need to think about my health first, but some of us don't have that luxury. I think I'll call my case worker on Monday and speak to her again.
    [This Message was Edited on 08/16/2003]
  8. nancyw

    nancyw New Member

  9. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Some people are so sick that they simply cannot work, but not everyone is in that position. Some are in a place where they would like to work and need to work but know that if they do, they will end up being totally disabled and unable to work. Timing has a lot to do with it.

    A lot of times, even if one takes a job and can't do it, the insurance company or SSD figures that the person is not disabled. You are in a touchy spot. Be very sure that this is not just wishful thinking or denial on your part when you think you are able to work.

    I have been improving since I had to stop working, but during this time, if I had tried to work, I would have been back to being bedridden. It takes time to get better. My SSD hearing has been delayed and it is my hope that I will be able to go back to work and never have to collect.

    Disability insurance is not welfare and it is not living off the backs of those who work. It is something we pay into,something we receive as a benefit at our place of employment, or a private insurance we buy. It is a disgrace that it is not there for us when we need it.

    I have paid into SS all my adult life, often at the maximum amount. Even with the paltry benefit I would be receiving, SSD would owe my about $15,000 after paying my attorney for the time I have been unable to work. I most likely will never recover this benefit. Don't get me wrong, I would rather have my health improve and be able to work, but I should have been given a hearing within a reasonable amount of time. They make it very difficult in many instances.

    Love, Mikie

  10. PhoenixRising

    PhoenixRising New Member

    Nancy:

    My son is on SSDI and he is in school - BUT that in no way diminishes the extent of his deficiencies. He has wanted to get at least a part time job, but I know that if it doenst work out he will have to re-apply and then hope he gets approved. His desire to help out financially, but its not worth going through all the red tape again because I know his cognitive and psychological dificiencies are real and he will not last long in a job. With my current situation, believe me there is nothing I would love more than some help. But I will not risk the grief later on if he tries to work and fails (which he will).

    He is in college and gets pretty good grades, but he has memory issues, physical issues that are intermittent and other things that resulted from multiple brain surgeries for recurrent tumors.

    Your concern is very valid and as far as you being able to work I can only tell you what hapened to me. I worked for WorldCom for almost 3 yrs and I lived in hell because besides my responsibilities as a single parent/head of household /health insurance provider I was also going to school full time. Throughout all this I have had the FM/Lupus problems and pushed myself out of necessity. I am paying the price for that now. I carry a "A" average in school all this time but that is not indicative of my enjoying good health. It only shows our needs that I be able to graduate and support us both.

    Good luck no matter what you choose to do. Remember that the question is not really "can you" - its "should you"
  11. nancyw

    nancyw New Member

    I just wanted to says thanks to both Mikie and Phoenix. I cried all night last night after reading some of these responses - really made me feel worthless, again. I really am worried that getting a job is "wishful thinking" on my part, but I just can't stand the thought that I'm not capable of working any more. It's tearing me up. Thank you both so much for your understanding replies. It means a great deal to my piece of mind at present. It took me months to decide to file for disability, but after reading the suggestions from both people on this board and some attorneys on this board, I decided to take their advise and not wait because of my money situation. It was a hard decision, just as this is. Again, thanks to the both of you.
  12. sofy

    sofy New Member

    Only you can tell yourself if you are ready. This may have a way of solving itself. You may not get the job and you also need to think about what your moral obligation is to the prospective employer about the true status of your health is. The employer may want you bad enough that they can make some accomodations so you can more easily make it thru the day. I do know that to take a job and try and pretend all day long that you do not have certain problems will be enough stress to make you relapse. Not to mention the work itself.

    I am not a whiner but I do not hide either. I just say point blank that the tank is empty and I need to sit, lay down to recharge. Feeling free to be who you really are is very healing and if part of you is not perfect thats ok.

    When I was informed thjat I was going to get the ssdi I cried for 2 days. I just could not believe I was really that sick, even tho I was, and now even the govenrment made it official. It only took 2 days and then I pick myself up and started on doing everything I could to get better. I am better but still cant work but I KNOW its coming.

    Dont fret over some of the replies cuz the written medium often comes across a little harsh without personal expression. Just take it all in as bits and pieces to use to help you. Let us know how you make out cuz in spite of what you might think I believe all the responders care even if some of the messages did make you cry. Take Care and remember what you think of yourself is what counts and you are more than work.
  13. Takesha

    Takesha New Member

    I too filed for SSI, that was in Feb. In april I decided I'd try to work at least part time. I took a job that would have been less than part time. The problem was I had to go through a bunch of orientation classes first. I went to 3-eight hour seminars and it threw me into my first honest to God Fibro flare.I was in the worst pain. I had to call the person who hired me and turn down the job. The flare has toned down a bit because I am now on meds but up until I tried to work I had only the fatigue.
    My paralegal who is handling my SSI case told me that if I could work part time, the SS would think I could work full time. SO, although she didn't say I shouldn't, she didn't think it was such a good idea if I wanted to get disability.
    If you want to try and work a week or so to see if you can do it...I don't think it would harm your case, but it would be better not to do it at all if you want SSI. But if you continue to work and make enough to support yourself, then I don't think you'll get approved. It seems to me that SS just looks for reasons not to approve disability cases and that would be a really good reason not to give it to you. One of the factors that has to be proven to get ssi is that your definitely not able to work for at least 12 months.If you take the job it would sure indicate that you are able, or at least think you able to work.
    I guess the decision to work should be based on your immediate need and capabilities. If you can and you want to go for it. Just be really "Honest" with yourself about what your able to do at this point. I wish you the best.
    Takesha
  14. PhoenixRising

    PhoenixRising New Member

    Well, I couldnt sleep last night so I did housework - I may not get things done when most people in the "real" world do, but the time I dont use sleeping, I can find use for! :)

    Anyway, after I did some housework I still had extra time I would not be using for sleep so I used it for thinking - another equally challenging passtime. Nancy, I decided that you can call SSDI and tell them you can have my tax money. Heck, they are not giving it to me. If I cant get it back, I would like someone nice to have it.

    At least that way I can know if taxes are ever reborn and come back as SuperBucks after falling into the black hole and go on to fight for justice and the american way. Tell them I said its ok. :)

    Oh, and I emailed the former CEO and CFO of WorldCom and asked them if they could please send me a little of the billions they defrauded the company of. I think its only fair since it caused me to lose my job. Besides, I was hoping to help out poor Martha Stewart by buying some new linens at inflated prices. Ya know, I remember hearing on the news that her assets plummeted from 600Mil to 300Mil and I have been worried sick about how she will make ends meet. I still havent gotten a reply. Maybe the email got lost - or the check is in the email? Not to worry, I also emailed the Tooth Fairy. I heard my niece gets 5.00 for her teeth and I only got 10c. By my account, that means the TF owes me some folding money!

    Anyway, I have to get ready for church and as happens when I dont get enough sleep, I get a little silly (just before I crash!). I thought I would give you a little peak into what goes on in my head when that little hamster is in his wheel :)

    Phoenix


    [This Message was Edited on 08/17/2003]
  15. ksp56

    ksp56 Member

    I know this is a very tough decision. After reading through the posts, I agree with Mikie and Phoenix. You may not be totally incompacitated, as some are, but you STILL have many fibro issues which affect your daily quality of life. I think it's wonderful you are studying to do medical transcription. It is something you can do at home and take breaks from. Working full time job is much different. Sometimes wanting to do something, and having the physical ability to actually do so, are two very different things.

    Go with how YOU feel and what you think is best for YOU. Only you know how you feel. Don't let guilt and the 'I should' do this be your deciding factors.

    Just my thoughts.........

    Hugs,

    Kim
  16. achy

    achy New Member

    I sure hope i wan'tone that caused you to be upset...that was not my intent. But you asked for our opinion...and mine was based on what information you provided in your first post. I took for granted you were "going" to school..meaning driving to and fro..never considered you were studying from home.

    I guess for me the decision to work or not to work is more cut and dry. I am blessed wiht a spouse that has a good job wiht the state...great benefits and an income we can survive on....notice i said survive..there is not much left after dr bills and prescriptions, etc.
    I tend to forget that if it were not for hubby's income I would have to work...no choice. I've been waiting 1 1/2 years for didability..waiting for hearing date now. There is no way you can live this long wihtout an income.

    If you have ot work, you have to work. end of story.
    But i stick wiht my original comment. If you think you can work...than you work. That is not to mean that I think you are a slouch if you don't...I am not thinking you mearly want to get disabiltiy. I know i cannot work...no way. Been trying on and off for 5 years. But if I thought I could..even the slightest bit i would go for it. If it doesn't work out I know at least I tried.

    Two more things...DO NOT mention this job to social security...they WILL use it against you. Also, you do need to tell the employer about your limitations. It would be grounds for dismissal. Their ins co. can and most likely will obtain your medical records...just something to think about.

    Ok.I am rambling. brain function os fuzzy today.
    Nancy, I admire your courage..and I commend you for going to school and considering taking a job when you feel so crummy. I wish I had that strength. Only you can make the decision though. You know all the details that we don't.

    Big hugs..warm fuzzies
    Achy

    P.S. I really hope I didn't upset you. I'm sorry you took it that way. I will be more cautios in the future.
  17. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    That if I work at all, it will be all over with SSD and I might as well kiss it goodbye, even if I find out I can't work while trying it.

    Love, Mikie