I want to apologize if it seems I only come here to vent. How do you do it? Where do we stand?
I've been doing really well with my "naturopathic" treatments and Accupuncture, but this week it felt like I was hit with a frying pan again (cast iron, not aluminum). Lots of pain, tiredness, difficulty focusing.
I got a letter from the unemployment office determining I don't get any because "Claimant's absense was either or not properly reported. The Claimant's actions show a willful disregard of the employer's interests. Therefore, the discharge was for misconduct in connection with the work"
My response is: "I followed every rule and signed every form I was given. I was given a form by my primary care physician that clearly stated I would be unable to return to work until the date of 30 April 2007. I was never absent without such a document. I had a progressive illness that demanded hospitalization and home nursing care. I was NEVER willfully absent, not did I refuse to work, without the doctor's signed statment that I was unable to do so."
What is really irritating is that they decided I'd been gone long enough 2 .5 weeks before I was scheduled to return. They demanded I return, I told them that I was both unable and was told by the doctor that I could not work until the 30th. Can you say PI$$ed off?
I've been hopeful that I would recover enough to work, but the damned sporadic wipeouts that seem to be a part of this would not make me somebody I'd want to hire--in short, I'm not sure I could keep a job if I could get one.
To top it off, my wife is saying I should apply for permanent disability, but I have no idea where I stand on that score. Do we have any rights as handicapped, disabled, or other protected group? What I've seen says no.
Finally, I've worked hard to get off the pain killers and other medicines, but now my Rheumatologist wants me to start "remission" drugs that are supposed to attack the arthritis and fibro that have invaded. Well, without a job, I have no insurance, and I've gotten off most of my meds because I simply can't afford them.
Good lord, what are you supposed to do?!
This is making me nuts.
Sorry for the rant--but this week has really been extra-special miserable.
DD, I am sorry you are experiencing the horrible hardships that can accompany this dreaded illness. I feel your pain....literally. In 2005 I had surgery, a breast lumpectomy, and the process threw my FM into endless flare that just will not go into remission despite having spent thousands of dollars on every treatment I can find. I have bad days and less bad days, but have not been able to return to work, and not likely to be able. My doctor has declared me permanently disabled with FM, Myofascial Pain, Chronic Fatigue, and chronic low back pain...unable to sit/stand longer than about 20 min or so. So, you have my empathy. I am researching and beginning the SSDI process, but fully expect to be turned down on first try as 75% of first claims are denied according to an SSDI attorney. As Rene stated, it takes a very long time...years. I have waited 2 years to apply in hopes that I would be able to return to work, but have now realize I must accept my situation and move on with the process.
As to what rights we have......in my opinion, while there are rights legally and technically for those with disabilities.....there are none that are truly practical that bridge the gray zone that we find ourselves in. Perhaps because I had a similar jaded experience as you I may not be the best one to answer the question, because like you, I remain fairly bitter about work processes and a system that didn't help me.....and, I had civil service protections, but was still turned out after nearly 30 years of service and 10 months before my scheduled retirement.
There are federal and state protections for workers on the law books throughout the nation; however, employers are not stopped from taking actions before they take them. Employee rights are to hire an attorney for retroactive remediation...an attorney who will then take about 1/3 of any compensation.....and that can take years.
Sorry I am not sounding optimistic I know. I just saw it happen to so many people ........including me.