Migraine Disability/Employment Application?

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Migraine Disability/Employment Application?

Post  Brenda L. on Fri Jun 13, 2014 7:52 pm

I have severe status migrainosus, 24/7. I'm always in very severe pain, sometimes to the point of excruciating. I see a pain management doctor and I'm on pain meds. Without my pain meds, I wouldn't even be able to get out of bed in the morning.

I have constant migraine pain and nausea. It's very difficult for me to walk or stand. My meds also have sweating and dry mouth as side effects, which can be very embarrassing. People see how much I'm sweating and ask me if I'm feeling O.K. I also need to always carry around a water bottle and I need to go to the bathroom every 3-4 hours to take my meds.

I have been unable to work for the past several years, but I was going to college and (somehow) managed to graduate with a 3.9 GPA. It took awhile, as you might imagine.

I used to be able to work (part time) but I recently discovered that my SSDI work credits have 'expired', which means that I will NEVER be able to even TRY to get SSDI. (No one told me the work credits expire---I always thought that trying to get SSDI would be an option in the future).

So now I am forced to try to get a job to pay my bills. I've been living off of savings, which is quickly dwindling.

This job market is terrible, even for a HEALTHY person. I truly do not know what I'm going to do.

I've sent in online resumes to a few places that I think might be a somewhat good match for me, but I have serious doubts about actually being able to work full-time (or even part-time). But now I have no choice.

On these online job application, there is a space that asks, "Are you disabled?" They claim that they make an effort to hire people with disabilities, but that might be a lie. Or maybe they wouldn't consider migraine to be a disability?

I don't know if that question means "Have you been certified as 'disabled' by the government" or simply "Do you have a chronic health problem?" So I have no idea whether or not to click "Disabled".

I'm also really worried that if I mark that I'm 'disabled' that I'll never even get an interview, let alone get hired.

Does anyone else have this problem re: chronic debilitating migraines? Did you click 'Disabled' when they asked it on the job application? Did it work out? Or is it stupid to tell them that you're 'Disabled' before they even hire you?

Thanks so much for any advice! Only other chronic migraineurs truly understand the misery that we migraine sufferers go through. I know that the general public is CLUELESS about migraine and most people think 'it's just a headache---stop complaining".

Brenda L.

Posts : 63
Join date : 2012-12-14

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Re: Migraine Disability/Employment Application?

Post  Migrainegirl on Sat Jun 14, 2014 7:25 am

Try to see if there is a job you can do from home. I found that being able to control my work schedule and my environment really helped.  I could generally work around the worst of the migraines. It also reduces commuting stress and dealing with noisy or too bright offices.
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Migrainegirl

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Re: Migraine Disability/Employment Application?

Post  Platypus on Sat Jun 14, 2014 3:11 pm

Here is the explanation of SSDI work credits
http://www.disabilitysecrets.com/page10-13.html

There is a "recent work test" and it sounds like you don't qualify for SSDI based on that. But check the table on the link I posted. You may have been given bad information... Even if you don't qualify for SSDI now, you may in the future. If you go back to work, you will start earning work credits again.

As to work applications, it is your right under the ADA to NOT disclose your disability prior to being hired. After you are hired, disclose your disability and ask for reasonable accommodations that will enable you to perform the job. This could include working from home, additional sick days, not working under bright lights, or whatever you need. You are entitled to these reasonable accommodations under the ADA... I recommend learning more about the ADA so you know your rights as a disabled worker.
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Re: Migraine Disability/Employment Application?

Post  Brenda L. on Sun Jun 15, 2014 9:11 pm

Thanks so much for the info, MigraineGirl and Platypus.

For the past 3 years, I've been searching in vain for anything I could possibly do from home to make some money. I would LOVE to be able to work from home, in my own environment and on my own hours, with NO stressful commute. I think I might be able to handle that.

There are so many scams out there that it's horrendous trying to weed through all of the 'work from home' scams. Some of them ask you to pay $40 or $50 for access to their website or database. I got scammed once by paying for what turned out to be a worthless website. There is one website called 'FlexJobs' which MIGHT be OK, but they also ask for a fee in order to access their website. And then you discover that MANY of those jobs are either limited to specific geographical locations OR are NOT even 'telecommute' jobs.

I've resorted to selling off some of my possessions on eBay (which was actually very hard to learn, at least for me). But I don't have all that much to sell. And once I've sold everything that I own, I have no idea how or where I would get new 'inventory'. I've tried going to thrift stores, but even things at Goodwill are pretty expensive these days. And then there's NO guarantee that whatever I buy would even sell on eBay. I could end up LOSING money doing that.

Thanks for posting the link about SSDI, Platypus. Unfortunately, my 'work credits' have indeed expired. I had no idea that the amount of work credits needed INCREASES as one gets older---more bad news for me. I'm kind of somewhere in the 'middle' in terms of age. I always thought I'd 'only' have to work for 5 years in order to get SSDI, but now after reading that table, I realize that I will have to work a lot longer than 5 years. But I'm still a LONG way away from Medicare or Social Security, so I'm in a very bad situation.

Unfortunately, back when I was a bit younger and SHOULD have applied for SSDI, I was given some VERY bad advice by a couple of people whom I trusted greatly.

My dad told me that several years ago, he had talked to a lawyer regarding my potential ability to collect SSDI. The lawyer told my dad that I'd need to be on 'food stamps and Medi-Cal' in order to qualify for SSDI, which is blatantly FALSE. I NOW know that there is NO 'means test' for SSDI. A person could have 10 million dollars and still get SSDI disability. (I'll never know for sure whether my dad lied to me and never even spoke to a lawyer, OR if the lawyer that he spoke to was completely ignorant and misinformed). My dad did NOT talk to a lawyer who specialized in DISABILITY; my dad relied on a 'family friend' or rather a 'business consultant' lawyer. Maybe the lawyer was totally ignorant of SSDI and gave my dad very bad advice. Now I'll never know for certain what the case is.

I DID do LOTS of research on my own at the time, but apparently not enough. I didn't realize that the 'work credits' EXPIRE, which was my HUGE mistake. Even my pain doc (who specializes in getting SSDI for chronic pain patients) did NOT know that the SSDI 'work credits' EXPIRE. It's apparently a little known fact, unless you happen to be a lawyer or government worker who specializes in SSDI. The federal government certainly does NOT advertise the fact that the 'work credits' EXPIRE.

Back when I WAS eligible for SSDI, my dad was helping me out financially and told me I'd never have to worry about money. (My dad used to be rich, but he lost most of his money in the stock market and in bad real estate investments). To make matters even WORSE, I was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer on the exact same day that the stock market crashed back in Fall 2008. 3 different doctors (at 3 different hospitals) gave me a 'terminal' diagnosis. I truly thought that I was going to DIE. I was still only in my thirties, with NO risk factors and NO family history of breast cancer. The doctors told me that because I was only in my 30s, my breast cancer was 'very complicated and very aggressive'.

At around the same time (2009-2010), my marathon migraines went from intermittent to CONSTANT. ALL of my time, money, and energy was focused on doctors and medical treatments, for both the cancer AND the migraines. I was SO overwhelmed and scared, I just didn't have the time to check all the facts about SSDI. I pretty much trusted my dad when he told me I'd never be able to get SSDI and it wasn't worth the time or the hassle. I had NO extra money to hire a lawyer who specialized in SSDI.

In 2009, I finally found a pain management doctor. My PM was the FIRST doctor who really took my migraine pain seriously and provided me with sufficient amounts of medication in order to be able to function. (I'd been suffering off and on with severe migraines for 20 years, believe it or not. I don't know how I lived through all those year of needless SUFFERING). I saw several neurologists and headache specialists, but none of them were able to help me at all. I tried DHE-45, triptans, ergot, magnesium, herbs, acupuncture, and everything else you could think of.

Fast forward to NOW: I am in constant severe daily migraine pain and nausea, but at least NOW I have sufficient meds to fight it.

For the breast cancer: I consented to ONLY a lumpectomy, even though the doctors told me I'd die unless I had a mastectomy, chemo, and radiation. After MUCH medical research, I decided to take my chances and forgo 'conventional' cancer treatments. I'm SO glad I made that choice. I knew deep in my heart that I did NOT need chemo, mastectomy, and radiation. I also did TONS of medical research and made my own informed decision. Now, nearly 6 years later, it's pretty clear that the doctors were WRONG when they told me that I would DIE without conventional cancer treatments. Apparently the lumpectomy was enough, if I even needed that. Some breast cancers actually are harmless and go away on their own (a little known medical FACT).

It was only after I got through all of the biopsies, mammograms, ultrasounds, and the surgery that the dust began to settle a bit. The surgeon told me I STILL had breast cancer after the lumpectomy and that I STILL needed a mastectomy, chemo, and radiation or else I'd die. 2 other doctors gave me the same prognosis. At this point, I decided to walk away from the medical system (at least as far as the cancer was concerned). They put me through so much needless stress, fear, and anxiety. For a while, I was afraid I might die, but that didn't happen.

Shortly thereafter, my migraines went CONSTANT. I found a great pain doctor who helped me a LOT. It was only at this point that I began to SERIOUSLY investigate SSDI, only to discover that my 'work credits' had EXPIRED. I had been going to college full-time, and then I went through all of my medical misadventures.

I'm sure I'm not the only person who has 'missed the chance' in terms of SSDI. I thought my migraines might improve, my dad told me not to worry about money, and I was so caught up in the medical system and all of the treatments that I missed out on SSDI eligibility. When my dad told me he'd talked to a lawyer who told him: 1. I needed to be on 'food stamps and Medi-Cal' to get SSDI and 2. I would NEVER get SSDI for MIGRAINE, I believed my dad.

Whether my dad got bad advice or just lied, I will never know. I guess I'm pretty much a 'worst case scenario' when it comes to SSDI non-eligibility. When my dad told me I'd never need to worry about money, I believed him. Now the money's running out, I'm in severe chronic pain, and I have no chance of getting SSDI. As of NOW, I have ZERO work credits within the past several years. Now that I'm a tiny bit older, I'd have to work even more than 5 years in order to be able to apply for SSDI, which I just found out from the above posted link. It's bad news, but at least NOW I know the facts.

I only wish that someone had given me the SSDI facts back when I was still eligible. If I'd known that the work credits 'expire', I would have filed a Disability claim the minute that the migraines were out of control (at least 10 years ago). SSDI doesn't even care about the breast cancer---sad. Friends who know how ill I am just assume that due to my WELL-DOCUMENTED serious medical problems, I am eligible for Government Disability. Sadly, I fell though the cracks.

My head is throbbing and I need to lie down and rest. The stress of all of this is overwhelming, and stress and lack of sleep exacerbates my migraine pain. I'm sure others here can relate to that. Thanks for letting me vent; this whole situation is SO messed-up. Best wishes to you all.

Brenda L.

Posts : 63
Join date : 2012-12-14

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Re: Migraine Disability/Employment Application?

Post  Mule Kick on Mon Jun 16, 2014 5:01 pm

Hi Brenda,

You are not the only one to fall through the cracks! My work credits have expired, also. I am too disabled to work, but not disabled enough to qualify for SSDI.

Social Security Disability Insurance is an insurance program, and like any other insurance policy, to remain in effect premiums must be paid. Work credits indicate how much premium payments have been made.

I applied last year anyway; I was denied. I appealed; I was denied, again. What I thought was plenty of medical evidence did not count.
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