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Scared to take the step of losing my job of 26 yrs

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    Scared to take the step of losing my job of 26 yrs

    Hello everyone,

    Ive been diagnosed with Chronic Progressive Ms (Too many black holes on the brain to count).
    It never really kicked my butt until a few years ago. Now I have trouble with balance and leg tremors when I stand for very long at all. I have had brain fog, tinnitus and numb face, hands and legs 24 hrs a day for over a year.

    I will be running out of FMLA in December and I know I would just continue struggle at work as my job is factory work, 12 hrs a day in steel toe boots standing over a conveyor.

    Im 51 yrs old and have done this job for 26 yrs.

    Do I stand a chance of getting disability? Ive read all the horror stories of how hard it is.

    #2
    Originally posted by Tarkwf View Post
    Hello everyone,

    Ive been diagnosed with Chronic Progressive Ms (Too many black holes on the brain to count).
    It never really kicked my butt until a few years ago. Now I have trouble with balance and leg tremors when I stand for very long at all. I have had brain fog, tinnitus and numb face, hands and legs 24 hrs a day for over a year.

    I will be running out of FMLA in December and I know I would just continue struggle at work as my job is factory work, 12 hrs a day in steel toe boots standing over a conveyor.

    Im 51 yrs old and have done this job for 26 yrs.

    Do I stand a chance of getting disability? Ive read all the horror stories of how hard it is.
    Hi tarkwf and welcome!

    Yes, you have a chance of qualifying for SSDI. I believe that the most important factor is the supporting documentation from your healthcare providers.

    I retired on disability from the US Postal Service due to PPMS, and was under 50 years old at the time. I was fortunate to be able to work a light duty position for the last few years, and worked until I wasn't physically able to anymore. I used up all of my FMLA too.

    To alleviate any stress and confusion, I got the assistance of an attorney (that specialized in disability cases) to make sure that my paperwork was in order. I also had good support from my neuro, primary care physician, and psychologist.

    I was approved on the first try, thankfully.

    Good luck!

    Take Care
    PPMS for 22 years (dx 1998)
    ~ Worrying will not take away tomorrow's troubles ~ But it will take away today's peace. ~

    Comment


      #3
      Tarkwf,

      Leaving work and filing a disability claim is never easy, especially when you have worked at your position as long as you have. At your age and with your history, the SSA will generally consider whether you can do your past work or alternative work that has you on your feet much of the day. With the support of your doctors, it seems as if you have the opportunity to bring a claim, if you so choose.

      Best of luck!
      Attorney Jamie R. Hall's practice is focused on assisting individuals with claims and appeals for Social Security Disability and Long Term Disability benefits. He has assisted claimants nationwide, approximately half of whom are MS patients, from his Pennsylvania and Ohio locations. **No attorney/client relationship is created by this communication, and information provided herein is not a substitute for formal advisement.**

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Tarkwf View Post
        ...

        I will be running out of FMLA in December and I know I would just continue struggle at work as my job is factory work, 12 hrs a day in steel toe boots standing over a conveyor.

        Im 51 yrs old and have done this job for 26 yrs.

        Do I stand a chance of getting disability? Ive read all the horror stories of how hard it is.
        Tarkwf --

        Welcome to MSWorld. I see this is your first post.

        I went on disability at the age of 46. I also had more holes in my brain than my doc could count. I had applied for FMLA for four years in a row. The fourth year, the HR director didn't renew my contract (I was a para with USD 373 on an annual contract) "in the best interests of the children". I realized that I may not be very employable anymore.

        I was approved for SSDI within 3 months of my application; no attorney and no denials.

        I encourage you to apply. It sounds like the demands of your job make it difficult for you to continue to work. With your age, if you are able to get the support of your doctor, and if your doctor believes that your inability to work substantially will last a year or more, I think you have a chance at approval.

        I encourage you to complete your application carefully, including all the documentation you have which could support your claim. Include difficulties at work, reasons for your FMLA claim and the reasons you aren't yet ready to return to work. Include all the medical documentation that you can, including MRI's, relevant lab work, any physical therapy you might have had, your symptoms with balance and leg tremors and other symptoms you might have (fatigue, anxiety, cog fog, etc). Find someone who can help you to articulate your symptoms and your MS journey -- a family member or good friend.

        Our jobs and career become a big part of who we are and help provide purpose in our lives. When this process is all over, you can begin to search for new purposes. You may find doors opening that you never had time for before. Your loss might be combined with blessings. Best wishes in this process.
        ~ Faith
        MSWorld Volunteer -- Moderator since JUN2012
        (now a Mimibug)

        Symptoms began in JAN02
        - Dx with RRMS in OCT03, following 21 months of limbo, ruling out lots of other dx, and some "probable stroke" and "probable CNS" dx for awhile.
        - In 2008, I was back in limbo briefly, then re-dx w/ MS: JUL08
        .

        - Betaseron NOV03-AUG08; Copaxone20 SEPT08-APR15; Copaxone40 APR15-present
        - Began receiving SSDI / LTD NOV08. Not employed. I volunteer in my church and community.

        Comment


          #5
          I also filed for disability at 50, but I was an office worker in the tech field. I would think with the support of your doctor, you would qualify. Before you do, have the discussion with your neuro and obtain their support. I would review your job description with the neuro and the difficulty you have with the requirements. Rule out any possible job accommodations that could keep you working. Since you have a physical job, I am sure there aren't any. Also discuss why you couldn't do a more sedentary type of job. This way, you have ruled out options.

          I believe there are some matrices that are used that consider age, education level, physical versus sedentary work when looking at the probability that you could work in another type of job, if not your own. From what you describe, it sounds like odds would be in your favor.

          When you consider whether to use a lawyer or not for the initial filing, to me it comes down to a few things:
          1. Are you comfortable doing the paperwork yourself? If not, do you have a family member or friend to help?
          2. A lawyer's fees are capped and are awarded only if your applications is successful. Are you comfortable with that amount coming out of your award?
          3. If you do file by yourself, and denied, your appeal will be subject to a further time lag. If then awarded on appeal, it will be with a back award less attorney's fees. So there is a financial consideration related to your savings and how long you can be without a check.


          I filed on my own, was denied, and then had to file appeal with attorney, which was successful. For me, they agreed initially couldn't do my job, but said I could do something else, like movie ticket taker. My appeal dragged out due to the shortage of federal judges to hear the cases. This timeframe has improved though with more judgeships filled.
          Kathy
          DX 01/06, currently on Tysabri

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