I saw that many people were extremely helpful to others here and I'm hoping I can shed some light on my predicament.
I injured my knees in the US military. It's been somewhat manageable for the last few years, but usually with the changing of the seasons, it gets pretty bad. About 5 months ago, it started getting worse and regularly got to levels where I was in so much pain I couldn't concentrate or do anything but hobble back and forth to try to finish my day's work. Even my days off were spent sitting at home because of my level of pain. Advil, Aleve, Tylenol, etc, wouldn't even touch the pain. The only thing I could do to manage it was to sit at home on the couch with ice and advil and hope it got better. Even over the last few months, I spent so much time inside that my Vitamin D levels were really low and many times, I couldn't even take my dog for a walk around the block or had a difficult time doing grocery shopping.
Lately, it's been bad for about the last 5 months and is showing no signs of improvement. I ended up on Short Term Disability through my work benefits for just over 3 months, ending last week, the whole time going to doctor's appointments, trying to find the root cause of my pain. Upon starting Short Term Disability, my doctor estimated I'd be back at work within a month and a half, saying that she didn't think they'd support me for much longer. I went to MRIs, X-rays, blood tests, and other appointments during the 3 months I was off work. In the end, my doctor couldn't find any root cause to my pain. She said that she "doesn't mean to sound insensitive, but she has nothing to work with for my pain, and so legally, morally, and ethically, I have to be sent back to work".
So I go back to work. They're trying to get me back to working 30 hours by the end of the month, and if I don't work a set number of hours per week, the benefits company won't pay the other half of my wages. Last week, I worked two days and was in so much pain by the end of the second day and the following morning that I had to call in to work, which I always feel really bad for doing, but ultimately had no choice. I had to call my manager to get my hours, who suggested that maybe I need to start looking for "other options".
I've since called and talked to EI, who suggests sickness benefits, saying I need a note from my job and my doctor stating I can't work due to injury. Apart from this, I'm also afraid I won't be able to make ends meet on EI. What do you recommend? I'm feel a bit lost as to what the best option is from here.