Hi, Anyone out there qualify or take advantage of short term disability after they have been dx with MS and/or started disease modifying therapy? I have been dx with Probable MS and depending on how my next MRI turns out, may start therapy. I am started to feel run down about all of this and am thinking maybe I should take some time away from my stressful job which seems to trigger a lot of my symptoms. Time away to concentrate on my health and to learn what my limitations are sounds pretty good right now. Just curious on what your experiences have been...
Hi Muller, cant say I have ever seen anyone approved for short term disabilitity due to what you are describing...Im not sure you would be able to get it approved without being hosptialized, but its possible.
I will give you some positive feedback though and tell you that once I started on meds (im on Rebif) I immediately started feeling better and more like my old self. Sure the flu like symtoms stink, and can knock you down for a few hours, but thats all it is...and using ALeve, helped me manage them and sleep thru the worst of it; within 3 months, my sytmoms were COMPLETELY gone. Your body gets used to the drugs pretty quickly.
Alot of what you are feeling is probably related to stress and anxiety. I know that my first 2 months of learning I had MS were unbelievalbly hard, so I would never knock someone for feeling like you feel. Its an emotional rollercoaster...however, please do know that it gets easier..in fact, the waiting is the hardest part. once you get a dx, it really does get easier...once you learn how to do injections and find out that there is a way to manage MS, instead of it managing you, its easier yet. Its hard for me to tell you anything which will make you feel better about all this, but please know that ALL of us have been where you are, and ALL of us have gotten thru this initially scary part! We will make sure you get thru it, too.
In 1982 I was diagnosed and lost my Navy career. I went on disability and the state finished paying for my college as part of my rehab. I know in California they have a state disability program that pays a monthly stipend for up to a year. You pay into it as a disability tax on your payroll.
Social Security Disability will also pay and allow you to get back into the work force. Later if you find you cannot work, you will be fast-tracked back into Social Security Disability.
Hi- I haven't been diagnosed with MS and hope that I'm not ever diagnosed with it, but have been having all the symptoms and some positive tests for over a month now and I'm still in the process of finding out what is wrong with me. Fortunately, I work for a company that offers short-term disability. I got to the point last week that after working a few hours I was so wracked with pain and weakness that I wasn't sure if I would be able to drive home. My supervisor had talked to me about short term disability a couple of weeks before hand because I was using all my vacation days w/dr.'s appts. and days off due to pain. I resisted, of course, because everyday I thought I'd wake up and be myself again. If I were able to, I'd go into work everyday and be able to stop when I couldn't do it anymore. But the way std works at my company, I can't do that. Currently, I sit at home and wait for answers, see doctors, worry, and watch alot of stupid televison (because my hands hurt too much to hold a book and I can't seem to concentrate for very long).
If your company offers a great short term disability plan like mine (100% pay, or even a little less), take it. As much as I wish I didn't have to, I feel very fortunate that it's there for the taking. Again, I'm not sure if I have MS, but I know what the fatigue and pain is, and I know how stress makes it worse. We pay so much in taxes, and so much of it goes to less worthy causes than you! And if your company offers the std, it's called a benefit for a reason! If you're hurting, use it. And then use the time to figure out what works best for you.
I don't know a lot about short term disability but if they have it where you are I would look into it. That would be great.
YoungBuffi- I like you am not yet diagnosed but seems like I keep having different symptoms. I see the neuro in Dec. I will be curious to see what he says. What tests have you had?
Anyway, back to the short term disability. I pay for disability at my workplace. But that is more for long term I think. Does anyone know if you have workplace disability insurance does that mean for anything like MS, cancer, etc or is it for only if you are "hurt" at work. I still am not sure. I need to get more info from my benefits rep.
Anyway, let us know what you find out about the short term thing, muller007.
Hi Lynn, I didn't know I had an option for short term disability either until my boss suggested it. It was obvious I was having trouble walking, typing, even answering phones, plus I was using all my vacation days on doctor's appointments and afternoons off when the pain was too much to handle. When you are young you don't think anything will ever happen to require such a benefit, but I'm glad my place of employment does. I have 6 weeks at 100% pay and another 7 at 60% (hopefully I'll be back at work before the 6 weeks end). Long term disability is a whole other matter, luckily my company gives it automatically to worker's who make under a certain amount of income, once you are a dollar over that salary you have to choose it as an option and pay for it. It's only about $25/mo. and I'm fortunate that if something is really wrong with me it happened now. Otherwise I never would've thought to sign up for it and this year I'm over the salary mark. Our benefits enrollment coincided w/ my illness and I was able to sign up for LTD w/out having to worry about the pre-existing conditions clause.
As for my tests, I've had MRI's of brain and spine (both clean), evoked potentials (abnormal) and am waiting on a spinal tap result. I don't think it's MS, but my neurologist seems to want to rule that out REALLY BAD. I just want an answer!
Anyway, good luck to everyone. If you are reading this and still working, find out what your benefits are at work. I had no clue because like so many people, I thought I wouldn't ever need disability insurance. If this had happened to me a year from now, I might be without LTD and that would be just one more horrible thing to worry about.
I get long term disability from my employer. I think it is 80 percent of my pay and I get that for 3 years and then it drops to 60 percent (I think) for 2 more years. I don't know if that helps with your question but I thought I'd share.
Lynn- One more thing- Get on a cancellation list for your neuro appt. My neuro scheduled an appt. w/ an MS specialist in October for mid- December. That was unacceptable as I couldn't wear high heels anymore at that point (yet I could still work, not sure if I miss the heels or work more now). So I called and got on the waiting list in case anyone else cancelled. A week later I was no longer able to work and got a call from the Mellen Center that there was a cancellation THAT DAY and could I come in? Unfortunately, my evoked potentials test was conducted the day before and the results weren't in, so even though the MS specialist said he didn't think so (because of my negative MRI's) he said if the evoked potentials were abnormal he would want to do an LP. He assured me my evoked potentials would be normal. They weren't.
Anyway, I'm rambling. The point is- GET ON THE WAITING LIST! If you are having symptoms that seem like MS, and you're wondering about disability, you shouldn't have to wait until December!!
Hoping everything works out for you!
I go to the neurologist tomorrow- hopefully they'll have the results or it will just be a big waste of time as he is intent on ruling out MS before taking any more steps. Sounds crazy, but at this point I'm almost hoping I have it and can get some sort of treatment. I miss work, play, and just life in general. It's getting to be very depressing.
My birthday is coming up next week (on Thanksgiving day- so I get Turkey instead of cake! Yeah!) so hopefully I'll get an early present and it will be something cureable- or at least treatable. I've worked too hard for too long to lose it all to this weird stuff happening with my body.
Good luck with your appt. and I hope you get in sooner than expected! Chances are someone will cancel. Waiting is one of the hardest parts when you're in pain and you're life isn't what you want it to be, don't you think?
Hi Lynn- Thanks for asking about my appointment. My spinal fluid came back fine, so my neurologist concluded I don't have MS. Good news and bad news- because now he seems to have no clue what it is. He scheduled me for an EMG but thinks because of my hyper-reflexes it will come out normal. I'm not even sure if it's worth the pain if he doesn't think there is anything wrong with my muscles. But I'll go through with it anyway. With my muscle spasms and cramps there HAS to be something they can detect, right?
Were you able to get on the cancellation list for your neuro?
HI Buffi....sorry to hear you are going thru all this. What exactly do you mean that your spinal fluid came back fine? DId they tell you about Obands, etc? Did the test you for anything else when they did the spinal?
Wanted to say happy birthday to you, too. Mine is also the 22nd! IM having cake, and turkey! (possibly in that order!)