The Path to SSDI: Tips and Challenges

Squares of people working in an office environment. A bolt of lightening strikes through the middle.

There is one day that many people with MS see looming in the near or distant future: the day they can no longer work. For some, the actual timing of this day comes as a surprise—and the resulting financial strain is huge. But what can be even harder is the process of applying for and possibly being denied medical disability.

For Mitch Sturgeon, the answer to it all became obvious. Not easy—but obvious.

Sturgeon recognized that disability was a ‘when’ and not an ‘if,’ and so he scheduled the last day he could work, Continue reading

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The Benefits and Challenges of FMLA

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides job protection to those that need to miss time from work due to illness, or who need to provide care for a family member with a serious health condition. One of our MultipleSclerosis.net contributors, Donna, recently posted a great piece on FMLA, explaining the process, including who qualifies and how it works. In response to this post, we received so many insightful comments from our community members, conveying their personal stories and challenges with FMLA, that we compiled some of their experiences to share.

Granting time to focus on what’s important

There are many great benefits of FMLA, Continue reading

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Work, work, work…

In today’s world, work tends to be one of the main focal points of everyday conversation. What work you do, how long you’ve been doing it, and what work you hope to do in the future become areas of focus. Therefore it can be difficult when some of these conversation starters touch on a subject that’s a little less defined for some people, especially those having challenges in a job position due to a disability.

Employment concerns and issues can arise for all individuals within the workforce, and when you throw a disease like multiple sclerosis into the mix these issues can cause frustration and confusion. Some individuals have difficulties deciding which work arena would be most appropriate for their skill set and abilities, while others question how long they will be able to continue the work they are currently doing. These are all relevant and important questions to consider, as many find themselves faced with these thoughts. What’s important to know is that work issues are something you can discuss with others so you are not faced with these questions alone. Your doctor, healthcare and social work professionals, family, friends and other resources may be able to assist in this process.

There are also other outlets of information and resources where one can possibly find assistance with employment issues. A Vocational Rehabilitation office is a resource throughout each state that is designed to assist those with disabilities on information and resources regarding employment changes. There is also a resource called the Job Accommodation Network, www.askjan.org that can offer information regarding workplace accommodations which can create greater accessibility to those with disabilities in the workplace. If you’re experiencing workplace issues you’re welcome to call the MSAA Helpline at phone (800) 532-7667, ext. 154 or email us at msquestions@mymsaa.org. Again, though employment issues can be challenging and create many difficult questions, there are potential resources to help you along the way.

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