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Short Term Disability & Long Term Disability

Discussion in 'Employment & Education' started by intothelight, Jul 23, 2010.

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  1. intothelight

    intothelight Just Being Me Staff Member Premium Member

    It seems that most PTSD sufferers hit a time in their lives where they have difficulty performing the duties required of their current position, are unable to maintain employment, or unable to find employment. What type of disability benefits are out there for PTSD sufferers?
  2. Iam

    Iam I'm a VIP

    I am wondering the same thing ITL. I have been able to work successfully for most of my life. Though I do see a pattern of job hopping, but with each I have been successful until now. I work and prove myself. Prove I can perform and then after doing so, I fall back into depression and move on. I quit my last job almost a year ago and went into business for myself. Now, however, being in intensive therapy I find that I just can't concentrate and do what I need to make it. My husband has given me until the end of the year at which time we will re-evaluate where I am at.

    I really don't want to go on disability but feel like I need to at this point. How do I even begin to start something like that? Do I need a psychiatrist to make the recommendation?
  3. catjudo

    catjudo I'm a VIP Premium Member

    If you live in the US and are wanting to apply for Social Security Disability, you can initiate the process yourself with an online application. It can be found at www.socialsecurity.gov/applyfordisability/ You should make sure you first thoroughly read through all of the information they provide and are aware of the requirements.
  4. intothelight

    intothelight Just Being Me Staff Member Premium Member

    I am going to apply as I cannot hold a job any longer. It is with much guilt that I do this. Even though I have been involved with our company, I cannot perform the duties that I did and we need to hire someone to do what I did. In all honesty, I am now more of a liability than an asset. On a good day, I can get dressed, see children of to school, go to work and make coffee. Don't ask me to make even little decisions (only one type of coffee), because I just can't handle it.

    Unfortunately, this was the last area where I held my own. Basically, I am totally worthless.

  5. James B.

    James B. I'm a VIP Premium Member

    Intothelight, I doubt you're totally worthless. :smile:

    Filing for SSDI is not easy for me, either. Resisted this for a long time myself. What it's going to do is essentially buy me some time to re-order, and re-assess my life, goals and my relationship with myself and the "exterior world'. Time to "train my brain" and self educate my communications, develop new more refined skills. Re-think, and re-train my relationship with myself and society. Plus, I may go berzerk and get into some ultra-nerdy computer stuff just for kicks; some "mental gymnastics".

    It may not be forever, but it doesn't matter. I paid my Social Security quarters and so the insurance is legally mine. For about 6 years, maybe more, I resisted this. Call it denial or inability to recognize just how bad my anxiety disorder was, and how badly the stress was disaffecting me - whatever. Hindsight, right? It was a mistake, wish I'd initiated the process sooner. 'Course, have arthritis to back up my claim. Nevertheless, for me, true self esteem can only come with accepting the limitations I have, and may - to a degree - always have. But, not only accepting them, using them; my arthritis tells me: "use your brain". My anxiety disorder tells me: "master your emotions" (in the exterior world). How can I not accept this and go with it. Still, by moderating my life for a period of time, at least there is the chance of recovery and real measurable progress. If I keep the pedal to the metal forever, doubt there'd be much chance of a breakthrough.
    Zef and intothelight like this.
  6. Iam

    Iam I'm a VIP

    All I know is that there is no way I could hold down a job during this stage of my healing. It is putting a real stress on our finances. Like you James, I have paid into the system and could really use the help right now. I want to work....I hate the thought of asking for help, but I want to focus on getting well.
  7. intothelight

    intothelight Just Being Me Staff Member Premium Member

    Work was my way of coping, and even though it was not healthy coping, at least it was socially acceptable. Work also defined me as a person, and it was all that was left when I feel everything else was stripped away. It was where the "normal" me existed and a last venue of social contact.

    I am really having a hard time with this since I have lost my primary means by which I defined myself and coped with the world. However, I need to focus on recovery first and foremost, and maybe try to let "myself" evolve and let go of the "negative, worthless me". When your're stripped down to nothing and hit rock bottom, it is just a really difficult place to be.

    Knowing that disability is not a handout is one thing, and accepting that it is necessary for me is another.


    Zef likes this.
  8. James B.

    James B. I'm a VIP Premium Member

    For sure, could've written your last post. Intothelight.

    Work was such a huge part of my identity. My feelings are, for me, if I put the same level of energy into recovery as I put into my working life, something has to come of it. If I get down and study this thing - my trauma/anxiety disorder and its inherent complexities - do the work it seems measurable progress is near definite. It's going to be (is) hard work, but I can sustain it; the grind. It's a new era for me, a new chapter and am liking it. It's certainly an "adventure". Lately my mantra has been to "not think" (habitual) but to "feel". Not "anger" but emotion... All this "stigma" stuff... For me? It's gotta go. :smile:

    Good luck Intothelight, and thanks for this thread.
    Zef and intothelight like this.
  9. itsKismet

    itsKismet I'm a VIP Premium Member

    I ended up hitting rock bottom before applying for ssdi. Actually, I did not fill out my disability application. My family did it for me while I was in one of my many hospitalizations. And I was approved on my first try, about 3 months after the paperwork was filed. What helped me the most was having psych records dating back 20 years along with quite a few long term hospitalizations. Whatever you do, IGNORE what you see online about everyone getting denied on the first try. It simply isn't true. Approximately 25% of applicants are approved on the first try. It's only the disgruntled ssdi rejects who complain. They are more vocal than those of us who were approved, making the process seem even more daunting.
  10. catjudo

    catjudo I'm a VIP Premium Member

    I, too, was approved on my first try in a very short time frame. I was too sick at the time to recall exactly how long it took. It was during a hospitalization that it was suggested to me that I apply. My family also helped me with the application process.
  11. PainX2

    PainX2 Active Member

    I have all the forms completed to send in to my Insurance for STD benefits through my work. I know that I need to do this in order to make sure that I can still pay my bills but it feels like faxing in those forms is just a failure. My job defined me as well. I was/am great at it. I don't know how to be this person.
    Zef likes this.
  12. Jawn

    Jawn I'm a VIP Premium Member

    Hang in there PainX2. My wife also went on STD for a time and it did wonders to help relieve her stress levels and she started therapy at the same time. It was a positive thing for her and she has returned to work and so far the old stress levels have not returned. I think the time off will help you a lot.
    PainX2 and intothelight like this.
  13. spero

    spero Member

    I live in Canada and have been on disability since I was about 20 or 21. I tried to go to college straight out of high school for 10 months. I managed to complete the program, but towards the end I couldn't function to complete the practicum to get the certificate, not getting a job in what I went to school for.

    While being on disability, I also worked for a few months cleaning at a resort and cleaning two small offices that was arranged through a program for people with mental health issues, but the pay was quite low and I ended up getting too sick to keep doing that.

    It took me several years to find something I felt I could do, which is working from home a few hours a week and still being on disability. It gives me something to keep me busy, but I would like nothing more than to one day be able to work outside of the home and get off of disability. While it is good to have a safety net, it can also make you feel inadequate, even if you've never really had a 'real' job before.
  14. Iam

    Iam I'm a VIP

    My husband and I discussed it this morning. We have decided that I need to apply for SSD. I am worried that because I am not hospitalized at this point that I won't get it. I have been hospitalized in the past however and show a history of suicide attempts beginning at age 10. The other thing is that my T has not written a formal PTSD diagnosis as neither one of us wanted me to be labeled. I am going to discuss this with him at my session tonight.

    Work has been one of the positives in my life. I poured myself into being successful in sales. I am worried that without it I will slip further into my symptoms, but I just can't seem to pull it together enough to work consistantly right now. And in sales, if you are not consistant in your activity, you don't make it. Right now I can honestly say that I am "playing" at working. I can say I have a business which protects my ego, but I am not making any money which is adding to my stress. God I feel like a failure.
  15. intothelight

    intothelight Just Being Me Staff Member Premium Member

    Hi Iam,

    You are not alone in feeling like a failure. Work has always been my "drug" of choice, but know I really am more of a liability. My paperwork came yesterday and I am going to complete it. I figure that by getting better, I can be more of an asset in the future.

    rosepearl likes this.
  16. Iam

    Iam I'm a VIP

    Good for you Light! You need to focus on yourself for awhile.

    My T told me he didn't think I should apply for disability. He said given my work history, social and communication skills that it would be really hard for me to qualify. He was also concerned about how it would affect future employment opportunities. When I told my husband he told me to quit working and take the rest of the year off. He knows I am burned out on high pressure sales so suggested that I find a low pressure job that I would like next year. WOW! I am so looking forward to being a housewife for the next few months! It will give me time to get my home back in order and work on myself too.
  17. PainX2

    PainX2 Active Member

    I was just denied my STD benefits. They said that the documentation didn't support the claim. I absolutely lost it when I found out. I will be appealing the decision but of course I found out after they were closed for the weekend so now I get to stew on this all weekend and worry about how the bills will get paid in the meantime. My branch manager called me to tell me... I didn't even receive notice from the insurance company. All the manager wanted to know was if I'd be in on Monday or not :`(
  18. rosepearl

    rosepearl New Member

    Hi, I just wanted to give a wish of hope. You sound very upset. Hang in there. I have a friend who had to hire a lawyer and then she got it right away, really! And now there are lots of places that do it on contingency.....You probably know many people are denied lst time.

    I want to share that for me the key was probably being able to be very expressive. Connect the dots of my past for the readers of the application..... I had a doctor who knew me well and knew the system so, knew how to say what needed to be said probably in a "more bureaucratically" acceptable way. Also, I found that I did not hold back at all because I was so sick and tired of keeping things quiet AND that I had to disclose so much to strangers. My brother wrote the third piece and I knew he would tell the truth in a WAY that would not be easily dismissed. Minimization was not a part of my application process ( -- though it was part of most of life!)

    My doctor had told me it was almost like an insurance game. Using the right word at time could make a difference. Federal policy denies applicants like an insurance company if there is any basis for denial. My doctor did not coach me. Honestly, I had learned so much about ptsd and myself that my application was very specific and blunt....and emotional, too.

    The last page for my application I wrote was to the readers of how awful it was to make people have to go through so much to get disability with the fact of so many lst time rejections ....I didn't know that page was for additional job/medical info! Again, hang in there.
  19. rosepearl

    rosepearl New Member

    Thank you for starting this topic. A big one I've found in my life.

    I too was surprised to find other people hit a wall w/ ptsd in terms of functioning at work and in life. Now I can say it is a fact. And in hindsight it's almost inevitable that it catches us with people who have had severe ptsd. The only other major solution to hitting bottom and working recovery; I've found in living is isolating and becoming a recluse. So, eventually I have found people working in the world get enough "hits" that ptsd symptoms can no longer be controlled by self. Since I got disability I have met a few people where it was the death of a loved one, as in my case, or something where they could no longer use coping -- healthy or non healthy -- skills to prosper or to get by.

    For me I wish that I had done it earlier. Work was not my drug; but I kept hoping that I would be able to define myself by finding a fitting career so, it was a fixer goal and it consumed so much of my life that I had to ignore how I was not coping well. I never thought I would do disability or that I would be on it for longer than a year. Now I am putting the time I'm on disability in God's hands. I do work on projects, etc.; my meaning of work has changed.

    I have to remind myself, as I am doing writing this to you, that this IS my job, really. And people who have known well can see the difference. All the work that I did before disability was good but it seems that I was too exhaused and afraid to get better. Yes, for me sometimes I miss the consuming nature of work with the social interactions, etc. ; more money; and sense of contributing to world. I am now trying to commit to part time work but for me my lst job will always be staying healthy.
    intothelight likes this.
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