Professional licenses, such as teacher or therapist, after receiving Social Security Disability

Sarah2277

New Here
Has anyone tried to get a professional license -- teacher, therapist, etc. -- after receiving SSDI for PTSD? I'm thinking that most states would simply deny a teaching certificate, license as a therapist, etc., if someone has received SSDI for a mental disability, like PTSD, especially if they have received disability for more than a year or two. Any experience or advice? Thanks!
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
Has anyone tried to get a professional license -- teacher, therapist, etc. -- after receiving SSDI for PTSD? I'm thinking that most states would simply deny a teaching certificate, license as a therapist, etc., if someone has received SSDI for a mental disability, like PTSD, especially if they have received disability for more than a year or two. Any experience or advice? Thanks!
When you get a teaching license, you have the option to tell you have a disability or not. There are privacy laws about health issues. There are no medical record police, and by law, you are not required to put your medical information on an application. So, no one knows but you......unless you tell them. Discussing your mental health issues with a principal is a bad move......you're better off telling your therapist. Discrimination is real......but in the case of a disorder you can't see or that isn't obvious, over sharing personal information on a job application is a sure fire way to not get hired.

As far as SSDI, there is something called the ticket to work program (SSDI) which allows you a trial to go back to work. You'd need to speak with a vocational counselor to give you the correct scoop on how that works financially. It is my understanding, that if you can find a job that you can manage the stress, you can come off SSDI without penalty. Consider contacting your state Vocational Rehabilitation Office and get an appt to go in and talk to their counselor about returning to work. They know all the ins and outs of getting people back to work, training programs, college programs, and might be able to even help fund it in some cases.
 

Friday

Moderator
License requirements vary tremendously by field/profession.

When I was teaching, I was doing so without a teaching cert. (The university stuff is No-Duh, TAs & Professors don’t usually have teaching certs.. but the k12 stuff I was teaching at a private school; one of the board members “caught my act” teaching A&P and Microbiology to elementary school kids at the community center -homeschool group. I don’t know if they were there for something else and decided to sit in, or saw the ad in the quarterly booklet & were curious- and the school’s principal & a few others sat in after that, and offered me a job... which expanded a bit over time, as I was IN school for Anthropology. As private schools can do that. Their hiring practices are decided by the Board, not by state legislation. The same way I hired former diplomats to teach political science, and EOD -military- & bomb disposal -SWAT- to teach “interesting” chemistry to my own kids.) My friends who teach in the public system (in my state)? Just need to pass a no-felony, no domestic violence charges (no conviction needed, the charge is enough), & no crimes against children background check... although any drug & alcohol treatment gets iffy... that’s still protected by law. Their teaching certificate is the lowest hurdle, they need to pass. Disability? Doesn’t enter into it... UNLESS... they want disability accomodations. Getting a teaching cert., on the other hand, varies by state. Teaching Certification Requirements Some just require the credit hours. Others have much more detailed & varied standards.

Being a therapist has WIDELY different licensure standards depending on what type of therapy one wishes to conduct. In my state a CDP is just a 90 day course... meanwhile psychologists and social workers -overseen & licensed by 2 very different organizations- have masters degrees or higher, and thousands of hours of supervised counseling; psychiatrists are medical doctors with advanced/specialized training in psych, with a totally different body overseeing their licence than doctors of nursing, as a license to practice medicine & to be a prescribing nurse? Are 2 totally different orgs.

Meanwhile? Many licenses don’t limit the disorders one can have... but DO limit the medications one can take. (Pilots are a good example). Others have black listed disorders, whilst other disorders are completely fine. Whilst going on disability wouldn’t bar one, the reason why someone is on SSDI will pop in a background check, and if it’s one of those blacklisted disorders? That’s a no-go.

All of which boils down to... If you want to know about a specific license? You’d need to know exactly which one. And in which state/country.
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
I see schools becoming more lax in hiring special educators and filling high need positions, in particular. I can speak to special education, and there are many children with trauma and behavioral disorders, as well as learning disorders, intellectual disorders, who need added assistance. Schools in rural settings are more desperate for teachers, and they accept a wider variety of teachers who they will help to get a provisional license. Rural schools would be a good place to start. If you have a degree, there is in my state, and many others, a "career switcher's program" and you can start teaching and take additional education courses at the same time if you don't already have them, to facilitate a 10 year license.

So, I say once again, you should call the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation and ask them your questions, as it is their job to get people back to work.
 

grit

MyPTSD Pro
Few things:
One is the actual of gaining professional certification/credence etc is really up to the state/province or regulatory body so this is hard to pinpoint.
The other one is my personal opinion: I think regardless of your disability now, then, or tomorrow does not diminish your contribution to humanity. Every single one of us has something to offer and contribute to all of us. So I hope if you have the desire, the energy, and the commitment to help others, you get an opportunity to do so.
Discrimination, stigma and all the other b/s are real but also often, we sometimes end up on the desk of one who believes in us. So I hope fear does not stop you from pursuing helping others.
 
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