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Do you work?

I've been out of work for the past year. My illness benefit has stopped and I am waiting for my disability allowance to start but it will take months.

I feel like I need to go back to work but I don't know if I am able.

Let me know if you work below, and if so, do you work from home?

  1. I do work away from home. It’s such a complicated and personal choice for people in our spot. I’m my case, I’m lucky enough to have a schedule that gives me four days off in a row while still getting full time hours. The 3 days are intense, but worth it. Of course there have been times where I’ve had to miss work due to AS symptoms, but not as many you would think thank goodness! I do know that will change and am realistic about the fact that I will someday need fmla, disability, or find a less physical job. I also adore my job and see it as therapeutic and a good way to keep me moving and keep my world perspective more open by concentrating on other peoples problems instead of my own. But as I said, it’s a very personal and unique decision. Depends on what your work is and how your symptoms hit you. We are all so different that way. Good luck with your decision. Talk it over with a partner or good friend who sees you day to day. They may have some insight. And mostly, trust yourself.

    1. I currently do not work. In the past I have been a daycare teacher and also worked in retail. My husband is the provider for our family, but I would LOVE to be able to work again. I quit my last job in retail right before my AS symptoms began due to an infection (which is what triggered my AS) and I would love to go back, but I don't think my body would allow me to at this point. It's such a bummer. 😓

      1. Hello Ali.
        I work at the moment, but am looking to ease up on it as I am rattling on a bit now. I'm not exactly ancient - but I am 63 - and I can see how working as many hours as I do might begin to take hold if I'm not careful.
        Fortunately for me, much of my work is from home and so I can work in relative comfort and take breaks as and when I need them.
        I am not sure where you are located but in the UK there are certain disability benefits that allow you to work and receive support. If you are in the UK, perhaps you could start by checking out the UK Government website. Or a quick Google search might also help.
        I hope that helps and you get sorted as soon as is possible.
        Go steady.
        Steve - Community Advocate

        1. I was diagnosed a couple of months ago. I'm in excruciating pain 24/7. Is AS Classified as a disability? My family doctor is not cooperating with me. Won't sign disability forms so I can have some sort of income. I have absolutely no income. My doctor says if I can feed, dress and walk then I DON'T have a disability. My Specialist won't start me on treatments until the outcome of my MRI to see if my kidney cancer is still in remission (had my left kidney removed, October was 2 years). I have no money and have no where to get financial aid as my doctor won't sign any documents. Is there somewhere I can get help? I feel I'm treated INHUMANELY!!! Living 24/7 with excruciating pain!!!

          1. That all sounds terrible. My heart goes out to you. I suggest you see a rheumatologist. The problem with what you are asking is that, of course, all the questions can be answered with yes, maybe or, no. Depending on the severity, diagnosis, and where you are in the journey, any of those answers might be true.

            So let me tackle some of the issues. First, yes, AS can be a disabling diagnosis. But in the US, it is often difficult without additional supporting issues. Rheumatologists are often well suited to diagnose, treat, and at some point, if needed, help you apply for disability.

            I am not certain about signing forms. If your employer has private insurance (particularly short-term disability), it can sometimes be as easy as a signature. However, if it is a Long-term disability or SSI, the procedure is usually more complicated than signing a form. Having the form is absolutely a first step, but it can be a journey that will end up with multi denials and several appeals. In that case, a rheumatologist is usually extremely important. I urge you to seek one out. But be prepared to wait to see them (there is a shortage) followed by treatment.

            Finally, have you applied for Medicaid assistance? That will often open doors to better treatment options. With Medicaid assistance, most doctors will accept you as a patient. Obviously, I have no idea of your financial status, but I would definitely do that first if I did not have access to medical care.

            I wish you the very best. You might wish to contact the Arthritis Foundation helpline for additional resources.

            rick (moderator)

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