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Laid off IL and have medical condition Illinois

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  • Laid off IL and have medical condition Illinois

    I was terminated (lack of work) 4 business days after hospitalization for DVT (blood clot). I was advised by Dr's to not drive or sit in a motor vehicle until further testing. The employer terminated me by phone claiming lack of work.

    In addition my "new" employer bought out the company I worked for approximately 1.5 months prior to my hospitalization, I was a 17 yr employee. I was advised that I could continue to support the "new" employers clients as a 1099 contractor. I am unable to do so as I cannot drive to the client accounts.

    I underwent an ultrasound test yesterday and it was determined I still have DVT and am unable to drive indeterminately.

    I am receiving unemployment benefits currently. I was hoping to find a new job or work as a 1099 contractor by now. My illness has prevented me from pursuing either avenue.

    I have also been diagnosed with clinical depression within the past 2 months.

    What should I do?
    Do I have a wrongful termination case?
    Can I pursue Social Security disability benefits?
    Can I threaten my employer with lawsuit in hopes to receive a severance package?

    One last point that might not be important; but, I have had some sort of employment since starting a newspaper route as a 9 year old kid. I am 41 and have never been terminated.

    Thanks in advance for any advice.

  • #2
    I can at least jump in about SSDI. Yes, you can and should apply.
    You have to have a disability that is "permanent" to qualify, but most people don't know that "permanent" means it's expected to last over 12 months.

    Most people get denied for SSDI and SSI the first time they apply, so don't get discouraged by that, and definitely ask for a Reconsideration by the deadline they give you.

    Also, applying for and getting SSDI is not that same as saying "I'll never be able to work again." I know the depression might tell you that at times, but don't listen to it. It just means you may not be able to do the same type of gainful employment that you have been performing. So they can't take a former executive and say "Well you are still physically able to sweep floors" and then deny you based on that.

    Then when/if you do get awarded SSDI, you will qualify for vocational rehabilitation via your State or County (whoever adinisters it where you live). DVR can send you back to college or grad school, or set you up with training for a new career. I worked with a psychiatrist who was put through medical school by DVR, so Voc rehab training is not just for hairdressing or truck driving.

    Keep all your medical and mental health records organized, do the application, expect to get turned down at first, ask for the Reconsideration. At that point, you might get it, or they'll deny you again. Then if they do, you ask for an Appeal, and get a disability attorney. A good disability attorney will NOT take money up-front, and will only get a small percentage of your back-payment when you win your case. You lose the case, the attorney will not get paid. There are some disability attorneys who milk people for money, and they don't do a good job.

    I can't speak to whether you were wrongfully termed, or whether you should try to sue. But I will say that your physical and mental health should take top priority, and if a suit is going to cause too much stress, it's not worth it.

    You can also keep attempting to work while your SSDI case is being decided. People often think that attempts to work will hurt their diability case, but if you document them well, and have your doctors document the effects on your health, it can be helpful. If you try and don't succeed, then you have more evidence to support your SSDI case. If you try and succeed in finding gainful work that you can perform within the limits of your illness, you drop the disability application and keep working.

    But before deciding to try to sue someone, make sure you have a good case. The possibility of squeezing them for a severance package is not worth a clot moving to your lung, or ending up with a foot amputation. Take care of your health first above all. Good luck.


    • #3
      Nothing you have posted suggests that you have a valid wrongful termination claim.
      The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.


      • #4
        Originally posted by 111terminated111 View Post
        I am receiving unemployment benefits currently. I was hoping to find a new job or work as a 1099 contractor by now. My illness has prevented me from pursuing either avenue.
        I have also been diagnosed with clinical depression within the past 2 months.
        I might mention you are only eligible for unemployment ins. benefits if you are ready, willing & able to work/looking for work.
        Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

        Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.


        • #5
          Go here for information on the SSA/SSDI application process, and how SSA determines if you are ''disabled'' under their rules.

          The first qualifier is that your condition be expected to last a minumum of 12 months...OR you will die from this condition within that time.
          SSDI is not for 'temporary' disability periods...but permenant, long term disability. You must be found unable to perform ANY type of gainful employment, even sedentary jobs.

          You might be interested in the new Psyhc review technique now used by SSA...

          The listing of ''sedentary jobs'' used by SSA is here
          The Occupational Base for Sedentary Work
          The term "occupational base" means the approximate number of occupations that an individual has the RFC to perform considering all exertional and nonexertional limitations and restrictions. (See SSR 83-10 [cite omitted]) A full range of sedentary work includes all or substantially all of the approximately 200 [Note 5] unskilled sedentary occupations administratively noticed in Table No. 1.

          If nothing else, these are good for a laugh today...

          Good luck to you... don't miss the appeal dates.


          • #6
            I just checked what you linked, CAIW, and that psych review technique there isn't new at all. It's the same one that's been used for nearly 10 years. Is there a newer one? This is the same one I always get.
            I'd love to see if there's a newer one.

            Just to clarify a point, in case the OP or others decide they can't or shouldn't apply when they can: Even though the SSA site might say "any type of gainful employment, even sedentary..." like in the previous post, in the individual cases, people are always being found to be disabled and awarded SSDI when they can't perform the kind of work for whch they have been trained and which they have performed for years.

            If someone was an electrical lineman who had to climb up poles, etc, and now he can't, SSA won't tell him he can go work as a telemarketer because it's sedentary. He'd be taking a huge pay cut, going from a skilled tradesman to an unskilled minimum wage worker. The ALJs who decide the cases don't do that to people.

            I had lots of mental health clients who were awarded SSDI because they could not longer perform the work they had previously done, and earn the equivalent amount. Could they have handled the stress of sweeping floors at Burger King? Sure, but they couldn't teach school, manage a department, or repair plane engines like they used to.

            I just don't want the OP to get discouraged.


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