Schizophrenia.com

Working while SSDI


#1

Think twice about working part-time employment is you may wish to go back to work full-time eventually…such as you financially need to work, you have a family or you do not have a stable place to live. Working a series of part-time jobs has left me black balled in my community as I have filed my resume in 8+ versions at all the good employers in town doggedly trying to find part-time work. Now that I need to work full-time, no one will hire me at the good employers. (If you filled out an online resume ever, it could still be on file waiting to haunt you.)

If you can try one part-time work situation that you can maintain (meaning you have reliable transportation, acceptable work situation, no employee/management conflicts, hours demanded is not too high for SSDI limits), do try to work if you want to try it. I think part-time employment keeps us functioning normally and mentally healthier. But, if you find yourself trying one compromise job after another quitting due to above issues, I would only apply for part-time work at places you would NEVER want to work full-time to support yourself. Make a list of all the good employers in town for FT work and DO NOT EVER apply for part-time work at these unless you have completed a long period of employment or education and you are ready to intern….

I can move to a new town and get job offers for skilled labor positions in 1 month but my hometown is no longer this stable and could get me fired if employer finds out my resume is missing 10+ part-time jobs. Unfortunately, the larger cities down the road have high cost of living, really high crime and terrible mental care so I am stuck in my hometown until I get a better offer outside this area…………Learn from my mistake!

It should be noted too, earning over sustainable gainful employment level (about $700 a month) will eventually result in loss of Medicare insurance. Remember SSI has different rules but same problem applies.


#2

I was sort of in that boat for a while. I was on SSDI and working part time as a janitor then a grounds keeper. For a while it was a bit of a nail biting tight rope since I wanted to work more, but I didn’t want to get in trouble and be accused of fraud. Eventually I had to make the choice to give up the SSDI benefits. But this job had a better benefit package so I’m not on SSDI any more.

It was NOT an easy decision. I would never tell anyone to just give up the help. It took a lot of pro/con list, and discussion with my care givers and crisis team and eventually This job but it was permanent flex time. So I wanted the job more then I wanted to say on assistance I guess.

It might turn out down the line that it was a dumb decision. But for now I’m happy.


#3

I appreciate the comment. I am up for my SSDI 10 year review right now…I would like to try working close to full-time for a while to see what social problems I may encounter while I may still be able to go back on SSDI. I need to wait until I pass my review…as my hallucinations haven’t stopped despite meds, I will probably keep getting my check. At last couple of jobs since I said good bye to the people who caused my nervous breakdown, coworkers have started to hear the voices sometimes and act crazy around me, despite my medication compliance. (When I moved to a bigger city, I was REALLY bothered by some disturbed customers who turned into harassers so I’m avoiding customer service jobs now if I can manage it as these situations were life/death for customers. It is not worth it for customers or myself… and this could get me sued if it harmed anyone else…)

I’m really at a loss to deal with some of the behaviors I have seen from ‘professionals’, usually men…okay, almost always men. (Nice lady at NAMI confirmed sometimes brains of people around us are ‘stimulated’ and no one really knows why…) My 3 attempts at therapy have refused to discuss how to deal with this kind of crap…calling it delusional at first, or others just apologizing while psych doctor just smiled and said ‘well, you didn’t like that job anyway.’ Nice lady work counselor Vocational Rehab hired for me told me how to handle getting a job without disclosing my diagnosis and how to ask for accommodations when necessary…she also told me about some symptoms of other schizos she had worked with including things like hearing boss or coworkers talking in next room and they are not even in the office…Ignore this stuff unless person is speaking to your face, called you or sent email.

How I have taken some classes in desktop publishing/photoshop/illustrator and web coding so I can get some projects for money/portfolio & really just work temp stuff. I have been pleased to be able to work from home…it has been reassuring after seeing the big city and moving back to hometown to dig out of debt.