Job Induced FM – Short / Long term Disability Qs (long...sorry)

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by flynomore0, Jun 23, 2003.

  1. flynomore0

    flynomore0 New Member

    This can be a long story, but I’ll try to boil it down. I worked in a job for about two years - from ages 21-23. The job required extensive air travel & minimal sleep. I had to fly about twice a week and I worked 60 hr weeks usually. About a year ago, I had severe burning muscle pain in various spots when I woke up one morning after staying out until 4 AM. It was so severe that I almost went to the hospital. But I had to go to work so I just took a lot of Tylenol and suffered. Anyway, the weekend came and the pain subsided (I got sleep). Then, the pain resumed when I started the crazy schedule of flying / working again. I freaked out – thinking I must have leukemia or some kind of cancer. I had *no* idea what it was. Luckily, my dad is actually a doctor so I told him what the pain was like & where it was and he said it was FM. We did blood tests to be safe (they showed nothing). The more I read on here, the more I see so many similarities it is frightening. My dad does have a lot of FM patients due to his specialty, so I feel he was qualified to diagnose. He was surprised I had it for my age, but given how much I was working – he felt it was directly related to that & would be gone once my job slowed down. The problem is that it never really went away.

    The bottom line is – I can’t do this job any more. It’s gonna make me more and more sick. I shouldn’t have stayed as long as I did but I thought I would get used to it. I certainly can do other types of work that are less demanding in terms of lifestyle, but this job is out of the question. So my question to you all is – is this the situation that one can take a short term or long term disability claim on? Is disability just for the job you are in or does it mean totally disabled to do all work of any kind? There are some other issues I also was curious to get feedback on:

    1. I can’t work in this job – but I feel like this place caused the problem so they should at least pay for it (emotional here, not legal becasue PLENTY of people are able to get by in my exact job). It’s not easy for anyone but others do well – they don’t have these problems. So, since I can’t do it – shouldn’t I just switch jobs? Legally, would I have any defense saying I need LTD because of FM from this job (when, it likely wouldn’t be as bad in another job). I have a weird “anger” toward my job for being so demanding and probably triggering the FM, but I signed up for it – so maybe it was my own doing.

    2. FM can sometimes be a hard thing to “prove” and I am worried about it being a trigger in some fraud investigator’s computer file. I don’t want to be under the microscope by the insurance company forever.

    3. Does LTD come back to bite you later? Can future employers find out that you took out an LTD claim and maybe from this you are potentially less employable?

    4. I will obviously need another doc to get involved other than my father – but the initial onset was diagnosed by him… could this cause complications in the process?

    I am really not familiar with how short term & long term disability works, but I pay for both…

    Anyway, sorry this was so looooong – but I really appreciate any advice out there!
  2. elaine_p

    elaine_p New Member

    To my knowledge, disability applies to your (in)ability to perform *any* job.

    It's possible that something might apply to your being disabled from your "own occupation". You need to read your policies. I think they define their terms, but "own occupation" means the job you currently have (like, I was a technical writer. "Own occupation" for me would mean any tech writing job, not just the one for that employer).

    I don't know that you have any basis for any type of claim against your employer, but others might think you do. You could always move to another country where they have a better/more realistic work ethic? ;-)

    - I'd change jobs as soon as you can.
    - I'd also get another doc and get a dx perhaps even before then. (If your disability is an employer-provided "group" policy, regardless of who pays, it may be a good thing to have this documented while you're covered under their policy. In my policy, I can go into remission and if the CFS recurs later, I'll still be covered.)
    - And read your policies. If your disability is an employer-provided benefit, you could ask the HR department about filing a claim. Or contact the insurer and ask. (But wait for more responses before you jump ahead and do this, I might be giving you bad advice here!)

    Good luck!