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Mental illness can make it harder to find, keep a job

Most of us are aware, either because of our own personal experience or because of the experience of a loved one or friend, that mental illness can be a barrier to finding and keeping work. The challenges lie not only in mental illness itself, but also in the stigma that tends to go with mental illness.

Workplace discrimination against those with mental illness is not necessarily a thing completely of the past. The fact is that many employers worry about the ability of those with mental illnesses to adapt to on-the-job challenges and consistently perform quality work. Federal law prohibits discrimination against those with mental disorders, but for various reasons federal law isn’t completely effective in preventing all such discrimination.Â

All of this, of course, naturally makes those with mental illnesses wonder whether they should even inform their employer about their condition. Perhaps it is better for such people to keep their situation to themselves unless it is absolutely necessary to inform an employer? There are various factors to take into consideration, here, and ultimately it depends on the situation.

For those who are unable to find work because of mental illness, it may be possible to obtain income through the Social Security disability program. To qualify, one must meet the specific requirements listed for a condition listed in the agency’s official listing of impairments. Otherwise, one may be able to qualify under a medical vocational allowance.

In either case, it can be greatly helpful to work with an experienced SSDI attorney, particularly if the need for an appeal arises.

Source: Scientific American, “Should You Tell Your Boss about a Mental Illness?,” Roni Jacobson, August 14, 2014.Â

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