When disaster strikes, our instincts can sometimes lead us astray. This is often the case for people newly diagnosed with a debilitating illness or disability. The situation is so foreign and disruptive that some people begin to worry that it’s their fault - or that they need to accommodate those around them to in order to make up for the inconvenience they fear their condition has caused.
We often hear about people who feel compelled to reduce their work hours, rather than leave work and apply for disability benefits. This may not be in your best interest. So why does it happen? The answer is pretty straightforward - we all want to feel useful. It’s why so many of us take pride in our work. When we find ourselves in a position where work has become detrimental to our health, we often try to push through the pain and keep going. It’s our innate survival instincts at work, but in the case of an individual with a disability or a serious illness, it can be quite harmful.
There are many reasons why you should consider applying for disability benefits rather than reducing your working hours. Here are the most important reasons:
Your Health Comes First
If working with your disability has become so difficult that you are considering applying for disability benefits - you shouldn’t second guess yourself. Your health should be your number one priority, and if you are suffering on the job you need to take a break from work. This can be either long term or short term. There are many advantages to taking the time off that you need - from healing an injury, to being free to seek proper medical care, to stress reduction. This is especially true if you have a physical job. Adding strain to a bad situation can be very detrimental to your health and make your condition worse.
If You Go Part Time, Your Benefits Could Reduce
Many people don’t realize that reducing their working hours can result in a reduction of the benefits they are eligible for. If you choose to reduce your hours, you may only be eligible for benefits for part-time hours instead of the full time hours you once worked. This is very risky - if you find yourself in a worse position down the line (where you are unable to continue with your reduced workload) the benefits you can receive will be for the smaller number of working hours, rather than the full time hours you formerly worked. The reduced benefit entitlement may not be sufficient to cover your costs of living, medications, and treatments when you need them the most.
If You Go Part Time You May Lose Your Benefits Altogether
Before you take the plunge and reduce your working hours due to a disability, you should read your insurance policy carefully. Some group disability benefits plans may exclude you once you reduce your hours below a certain number per week. This means that if you find yourself unable to perform your reduced workload in the future you may no longer be eligible to receive any disability benefits at all.
The bottom line is if you are disabled or seriously ill and have access to disability benefits, you should apply for them. It is likely in your best interest to do so - both in the short term and long term. Take the time you need to take care of yourself and recuperate. Ignoring your needs is not a good solution.
Has your long term disability claim been denied?Contact Share Lawyers and put our experience to work for you. We offer free consultations and there are no fees unless we win your case.Find out if you have a disability case.
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