Still working full time and don't know if I can go on - STD/LTD??

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by acesk, Jul 28, 2009.

  1. acesk

    acesk New Member

    Don't think I can keep up working full time in my management job. Too many hours and my pain is just too bad - I don't have time to take care of myself. Should I take a short term disability from work and then try for LTD (2 years for muscle diseases). I would be happy with that but should I give up on work? I'm 54. Had this DD for 6 years.
    Sue in Florida
  2. Shananegans

    Shananegans New Member

    Would it be possible for you to do your work part time? Just curious really, as I know some jobs just do not work well as part time. I lost a wonderful career when I became more ill because part time just wasn't an option for my position, lots of responsibility and 60 to 80 hours a week.

    But maybe if possible you could take a short term leave of absence and then go back part time when you are functioning better? I wish you well and know from personal experience these are hard decisions to make. I wish I knew then what I know now, I would still have my wonderful position.

    best of luck
  3. butterflydream

    butterflydream New Member

    sue , this has to be a very tough decision for you to make.

    Cutting back on hours can make a difference.
    If any vacation time accumulated that you can take? These are just suggestions.
    taking care of yourself is of course number 1 prioriety. Finding time for ourselves is important health wise. Since you do already know this , i wish you in the best decision.

    Wish i had more suggestions for you.

    Be Well

  4. Beadlady

    Beadlady Member

    The Family Medical Leave Act--that may give you some much needed time off to decide what should be your next step.

    I don't have their exact website address but just type in Family Medical Leave Act

    Good luck to you.
  5. jaynesez

    jaynesez New Member

    you are certaintly not alone in this predicament; there are several of us that are trying to make this tough decision. I work 40 hrs a week and it is killing me! I'm constantly in a great deal of pain and have absolutely no social life, can't cook dinner, etc. that being said, before you decide do some research into your STD & LTD. Make sure they aren't going to yank your chain, what their requirements to qualify etc. In other words, do your homework! I would also read up on SSDI so you'll know what to expect there as well. The positive news is that you have STD & LTD to carry you through, and I've heard the LTD will help you with SSDI paperwork as they dont want to keep paying. Where I work we aren't covered by FMLA, nor do I have any disability insurance. No doubt it's a tough decision, and I wish you the very best of luck.
  6. AnneTheresa

    AnneTheresa Member

    Sue, I think your plan of going from short-term to long-term disability is a good one.

    A word of warning to you and anyone who may consider reducing their hours as an alternative to taking a medical leave of absence. I reduced my hours from 35 to 25 rather than take a medical leave, however, after a year of working reduced hours, I realized even 25 hours was too much for me so I had to take a medical leave after all.

    Unfortunatley, my disability pension was then calculated at 60% of my salary (based on my 25-hour wage) rather than my previous salary (based on my 35-hour wage that I'd worked for twenty-five years prior). You may decide to reduce your hours anyway, but at least the decision will be made with your eyes open to possible outcomes, unlike myself who hadn't foreseen the reduced disability pension (thank goodness a disability pension was still available, many companies don't offer LTD to employees who work 25 hours or less).

    By the way, I struggled greatly with the decision to leave work (I loved my job and the sense of identity it provided me) but I can tell you, in all honesty, leaving work was the best thing I could have done for my health and my quality of life.

    God bless,
    Anne Theresa
  7. FMsaddenedspirit

    FMsaddenedspirit New Member

    I'm there two... trying to figure this out and how I can do it.
    I work from home now , for the last year. it does help as far as stress levels go ,but my job is still stressfule. I am 46 , have no time to focus on my health as once I finish work I'm done in for the day. ,not sure what cource to take myself.

    I do wish you the best of luck in this. My Doc advised me to get with a laywer in advance to help me decide if i could get approved without to much probelms.

    Keep us posted what you decide to do ok. Its a scary thing I know.

    Take care .. Spirit. ~
  8. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    I have been in the same predicament. I waited too long and really wished I had quit earlier.

    I did take the family leave act, then came back part time which was to transition to full time but was too sick to do this. Part time lasted for a week.

    I had no problems getting on disability but I have private disability through teaching for many years and they have a very good program.

    I think it depends on the individual. You might want to make a list of the positive and negatives with each option.

    Good luck.

  9. bopsie

    bopsie New Member

    I am 52 and have had this for 9 years. I am self employed and have had to cut my hours way back. My husband is older than me and on disability. I know how you feel. It takes everything I have just to work. I have heard it can take 1-2 years to get disability - what do people do in the meantime. I still owe 4 years on my house; paying a ridiculous amount for health insurance to cover major medical and my medicines. I don't know how long I can keep this up. I don't know if you are allowed to work any if you are trying to get on either short term or long term disability. Whether you continue to work or not might depend on how much of a stressor the work would be for you. I hope things work out for you.

    In the same boat,
  10. YiuTaiTai

    YiuTaiTai New Member

    I've also begun considering this change in our lives. I was recently forced to leave my position at a law firm, where I was working almost 60 hours/week. Fortunately, I went back to my placement agency that day as I was driving home. They had something for me three days later (which was a much-needed rest), and I've been at that company since. I started out working only 4 hours a day, which is difficult because it's hard to admit weakness and say, "I can't do it." I've been working 6 hours a day for a couple of months. That is still a bit taxing, but I sleep all day on Saturdays, and that helps.

    I'd suggest you take the STD, and after that make the decision for P/T work or LTD. If you end up wanting to work, but can't stay at your current company, you may consider a temp/placement agency. They do all of the ugly work for you, and give you a good reference. Then you can go in, show them what you can handle and come to an agreement.

    I hope this helps. Looking at it now, it doesn't seem very helpful, but oh well. Maybe it will be...

    God Bless,
  11. steach

    steach Member


    I have been where you are. I am a teacher and was working full-time in a state prison teaching GED. Not a tough job -but- on the days you wake-up in pain, feel like you can't move, can't put one foot in front of the other.... it all added up.

    I used FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) to give me days off Without pay. You must have at least 50 employees in the company you are working for to be eligible. If you have that, you are entitled to 480 hours or 12 weeks of unpaid leave. The employer will take all vacation time, comp time, sick time, etc., when you use FMLA.

    I took a short-term disability and my employer wanted me to take a disability retirement; I didn't want to do that since I worked so hard to get where I was.

    Anyway, just know, that you and your rheumy or family doctor can request a physical from a specialist in the field- NOT just some company family/medical doctor- a real specialist. You have the right to an unbiased third-party opinion. Don't let your employer tell you otherwise!!! I had to fight for my rights; don't be a push-over just so that you don't make waves.

    After using all of the FMLA time, I had to use the STD. When the STD disability was about to expire, I saw another third-party doctor and said that I was ready to go back to work- I wasn't. I just didn't want to take a disability retirement so I told the doctor how much better I was feeling- I wasn't. I returned to work only to face the same health issues as before. This time, I was forced into a corner.

    I had to quit my full-time job with wonderful benefits and income. Now, I am only substitute teaching- no medical insurance, no life insurance, no dental insurance, ... it is awful. Looking back, I wish that I had not put so much emphasis on my pride and did what my body needed.

    You might feel better for a while during the time that your body needs some rest -but- think about long-term. I think it is easier to get SSD or SSI when you have to take a leave from work. If you return to the workforce, the review team/judge will believe that you can endure.

    For me, I regret not taking the long-term disability. It has caused such financial burdon for me.

    Talk to your union president (if you have one) and/or an attorney. Research and become informed. Don't let pride or others' opinion distort your decision. Educate yourself, my friend.

    If you need information on FMLA, post again. I went through it and was one of the first ones to use it when I was working at the prison.

    Best of luck,
  12. fibromickster

    fibromickster New Member

    Hi and i am sorry you are in this position. I totally understand your frustration, i also work full time (40 hours) and was recently offered a promotion with much more money, however, it would have come with traveling and more than 40 hours and I know there is just no way i could have done it. I am fortunate though that i can at least do what i am doing for the time being anyway. My will, determination and positive attitude in not letting the DD beat me is the only thing keeping me doing this.

    I can't tell you what to do, only you can decide as it is your body, but definetly let your body tell you, you don't want to make yourself worse.

    God Bless you Acesk and you are in my prayers that you can keep on doing what you are doing.
  13. spmom

    spmom New Member

    I really feel for you Sue. I was right where you are three years ago. I could not physically work anymore. At the time, my husband was home with our young children. It got so bad that I was willing to give up my home and lifestyle to live in an apartment if that is the only thing we could afford. Things did work out and I started to work some very flexible part time work but I'm not sure I can ever go back to full-time. I don't know if you are getting a sense that this is your time to quit and take care of yourself, but I would encourage you to listen to what your body is telling you and look at all of your options. Taking a temporary break to really think things through might help, too.
  14. acesk

    acesk New Member

    Thanks to all of you for the feedback. I talked my doctor today and am going to go out on STD and see if I feel better.

    It's not an easy decision but I have been miserable this year due to my health.

    Thanks again.
  15. shari1677

    shari1677 New Member

    acesk - I've been on the fence about this same issue for almost 2 years now. Just when I think I cant take anymore, I feel better - and visa versa. I have a full-time job working at home. I work 4 hours on, 3 hour nap, then another 4 hours.

    Even with all of this - I still have trouble working 40 hours due to pain and fatigue - I cant really tell you which is worse.

    I dont have vacation time or sick time saved up - I had exhausted all of that long ago. I call in at least 1 day a week, or more. The company allows me to make up the time I miss, but, I still dont put in 40 a week I'm sure.

    In all actuality, I dont know how I keep this job.

    But anyway with that all said - my income is going down, down, down, down and down. My medical expenses are going up, up, up and up.

    I'm only 42.