Before attempting to apply for disability from your job, you must be unable to perform the tasks to which you were trained for or tasks that have had experience with. This includes being unable to perform other duties that they could assign you in the name of "light duty".
To request disability from your workplace, you must already have had quite a few days
away from work, or "sick days". The Human Resources Department at your place of employment
is usually efficient in keeping records of when you were off, how long, and why (but don't expect them to give you documentation!) Employers do not want to pay you for time when you are not there,
and disability from work can go on for a very long period. Don't expect your request to be easy.
The day you decide to ask for disability, be sure you have made an appointment with to speak to the appropriate person for at least half an hour of so of their time. Bring with you all of your information regarding dates of visits to your doctor, and practice what you will say as to why you feel you can no longer work. It's not easy!
Accompanying "doctor's excuses" that you may have previously turned in when you returned to work
is good to have again as proof to show your employer and and then, if needed, to your disability caseworker if necessary. Again, remember to keep copies of doctors notes and visits for your own records; never hand over all of your documentation to someone else at any of your meetings.
So many times, we hand over our excuse for being absent from our doctor to our supervisor
before we have made a copy for ourselves!
Keeping copies of anything you give to your employer is a very good practice to begin.
Hopefully, you have already noted your days off and why on your own calendar. If not, go back and try to
remember the days and reasons you were off work. (before your meeting with your employer or anyone regarding disability). Write detailed descriptions in a notebook or at least briefly on your calendar.
The reason you have been absent many times, should be the same reason that you are requesting
disability pay, otherwise you will have difficulty getting your employer to agree to paying you disability.
If they think that you are being dishonest, they will do everything in their power to avoid paying you extended disability pay. (Yet another reason why documentation is so very important.) Once the time that you have had off from work has passed, you cannot go back and say that you made up another reason or that you were embarrassed to tell them the truth. You will be required to have been up front with them from the time you started having difficulty until the time you request disability coverage.
Your credibility will be ruined and you may have a problem getting your workplace
to cooperate with you in making sure you are paid properly for days off due to your health problem.
This poor credibility and conflicting information could then be passed on to a Social Security
Disability caseworker or your attorney, if your inability to work comes to this.
You are expected to be able to provide documents regarding how often you were unable to be present at work, and the reason you called in "sick", and why you feel you will not be any better for very long time. When you reach the point at which you feel you can no longer endure working due to psychological or physical problems, it is necessary to prove this by the times you were actually not able to work in the past.
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