Disabled and unemployed
My disabilities snuck up on me slowly, eating away at me a little at a time.
First was the diabetes. Years spend spreading 30 days of medication into 60 or 90 because of lack of insurance and lack of money slowly took it’s toll. Peripheral neuropathy is my demon. It started in my feet, sometimes they burned so bad I was afraid to stand up. In the ensuing years that has gone to complete lack of feeling which stole my ability to drive about 6 years ago but I continued to work.
I had a good job as a child support officer at the state. I had been promoted several times and also was put in charge of a new initiative for increasing collections. It was a very stressful environment, but I enjoyed the work.
I had become quite a faller however. I fell in the driveway, fell in the kitchen, the worst was falling in Walmart parking lot because I broke my ankle that time. I even fell at work one time.
I was also noticing I had list my wind. Walking to the file room and back left me panting and exhausted. Tests for why I was falling showed nothing, and eventually I wound up in a power chair.
This became a problem with my last promotion. I could no longer access the top drawer of my file cabinet and it took quite a fight to get me a second one. I heard all kinds of excuses but my favorite was that the state was out of filing cabinets!
Not long after the filing cabinet dispute I was fired. I think they were shocked at my reaction which was ok, bye. I had only had rave reviews so I knew unemployment would be a snap.
I was so wrong.
I called to file my claim and the wheels were set in motion. About two weeks later a caseworker calls, says she got all my great reviews from my employer, and why did they fire me again?
I said they told me I wasn’t keeping up, but I thought it was over the filing cabinet dispute. Upon finding out I’m in a wheelchair she says “oh you’re disabled, well then you can’t collect unemployment”.
I said why not (insert expletives)? She says you can’t work, you’re disabled. Seriously? Does she not get I just LOST a job? I said I can and have worked. She said not while disabled, and for unemployment you must certify you are physically able to work. I said yes, and I work desk jobs, not construction. Furthermore I pointed out to her that my boss, the Attorney General himself is in a wheelchair! She was unimpressed. It took three weeks of dealing with people to get my unemployment.
Are the disabled so looked down upon that even people whose job is to find you work believe we can’t???
I was very disheartened by this.
I then decided to file for SSDI, which I was immediately awarded. Felt good to tell them to take their unemployment and go rot.
I have been on SSDI for 3 years now. I have tried time and again to find work I can do but it seems I’ve reached the point of no return, as no one us willing to take a chance on me or as I was told “why spend the money to train someone when they could die tomorrow”. Thanks.