Does anyone have experience with not being able to do their job and being put on FMLA? As I understand it, most bipolar people who are put on the American Disabilities Act end up losing their jobs. Then what? Are their public assistance programs? Help! I think I'm going to be fired!
Yes the ADA has specific regulations and protections for people with disabilities. If you want more information on it go to ADA.gov. To find out more about FMLA go to the Department of Labor as they have a specific section on it with details. If after that you are unable to work you could potentially be eligible for SSI/SSDI but in regards to what your abilities might be at a specific time best to discuss this with your treating psychiatrist and other physicians.
I have rapid cycling bi-polar disorder and oh, how I love filling in forms, especially the disability claims form. My husband is a pro with these forms and we were advised ( by mind, mental health charity in the UK) to fill the form in based on your worst days. Down to will you eat if your not reminded, can you cook for yourself? on your worst day when severely depressed will you get up? Wash? Eat? I'm sure you understand what I'm explaining now, not lying because that isn't the intention of the benefit but to fit today's criteria and that is with taking medication and having bi-polar disorder you have to be brutally honest not only with them but also yourself. You have to admit to yourself that you have limits and here this is what they are!
It's not easy or nice but to get help, if entitled ,you have to tell them everything you can't do.
And incase there is somebody reading this that thinks they are just going to take a couple of tips and then you're made, doesn't work like that and it's not that easy either!
Hope I helped somebody anyway.
One thing to know is that ADA is not applicable if there are less than 15 employees. I went on FMLA twice although we just called it a leave of absence. Luckily I had short term and long term disability insurance. After a year on long term disability insurance I was required to apply for SSD. I was approved on the first try.
We (HR and me) wrote up an accommodations list and all three were broken as soon as I returned to work. It was a university and I was a professor. Since the teaching schedule was written up a year before, they could say following the accommodations would be a hardship so they got away with it. That was when I returned from the first leave of absence. I lasted a couple of weeks on the schedule they had for me (no accommodations) before I had to go back on disability. One interesting note. When I returned to work after the first leave, they required me to sign a statement that I would not disclose my symptoms or diagnosis to any faculty, staff or students in order to return to work. You can be sure they wouldn't do that if you returned after heart surgery.
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