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Poor job performance BECAUSE of failing health may lead to termination

Discussion in 'Unemployment Insurance & Benefits' started by NBrazil, Feb 2, 2017.

  1. NBrazil

    NBrazil Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    Georgia
    Due to slow, but steadily declining health it is likely I could be let go within the year because it is affecting my ability to do my work, and I acknowledge that.

    The company culture is family friendly, so whereas any place else I would have been fired years ago, they endeavor to accommodate good employees, and so they have with me (been here 15 years). Regretfully, a chronic medical condition is resulting in not only physical absences, but also cognitive decline - I’m making too many mistakes. I’ve been given my final warning, and it really doesn’t matter because I’m doing the best that I can.

    Should I be dismissed I don’t know what the “reason” will be. I was allowed to return to work after a health sabbatical and they found work for me to do, but frankly, that side work has dried up. There isn’t enough work on a regular basis for full time, and barely enough for part-time. So there is actually a “lack of work” and “cannot maintain work standards” and “unreliability” issues all at once. Obviously they don’t want the tax increase, but if I am let go, it would probably be a “work standards” thing.

    I cannot help this. Every medication tried has not helped me to be more reliable or more focused. A likely scenario is continued decline in cognition. Fine. It is what it is.

    If I’m terminated for any one or combination of the above, could I still get unemployment? I know I have to be actively seeking work (even though this disease makes me unemployable) - and I will (even though I know nobody will hire me). Basically early retirement social security and unemployment would provide a bridge as I seek social security disability (being 63, this is within the law).

    Again, if let go because of poor work quality, health, tardiness (which they have been tolerating for a year), can I still get unemployment because this is all derived from a medical issue?

    (I understand that by asking this question BEFORE the triggering even occurs, you may not have an answer. Eh, my nature is to do my best to plan for things...)
     
  2. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    The best answer anyone here can give you is, Maybe. The only ones who can give you a definite answer is the UI office for your state, and that only after you have been let go and your claim filed.

    If your health prevents you from working to the extent that you claim, however, that just by itself might (and I am only saying might) be a disqualifier. To qualify for unemployment you need to be able to work, actively seeking work and available to accept work if offered.
     
  3. NBrazil

    NBrazil Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Ah, as expected…

    If reason for termination is:

    1) Lack of work - then I’m golden

    2) Poor performance and/or tardiness - maybe (can produce doctor notes to address this and discuss how company acknowledged and worked with me)

    3) Chronic illness (don’t know if this is a “reason”) preventing me from working - probably not

    Its all in the wording.

    Despite illness, I would push myself to look for work, but actually getting hired, well, that’s another thing. I’m at the top of my salary range, most jobs entry level - no way would they hire me, even at half my salary. It is all in the presentation, eh? Chronic illness sux.
     
  4. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    Poor performance all by itself, probably not a disqualifier. Add in tardiness - well, I've had employees denied for tardiness just by itself.

    Chronic illness - may well be a disqualifier until or unless a doctor fully clears you to work.
     
  5. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Don't despair dear citizen, even though it may be of little consolation, there is an option.
    Why not apply for Social Security Disability?
    If you're truly unable to work, you're probably eligible.
    You've used wording similar to what I've suggested others in a predicament matching yours did, and they all received permanent disability and their benefit.

    The plus in your situation is that you are earning a very good income.
    That means you might qualify for the maximum benefit, or nearer that amount.
    Yes, it's not what you earn, but its something.
    Plus, you'll receive Medicare.

    I know it's hard to choose, mate.
    But, you must focus on your health to remain among those bipeds who continue to walk upright and tend to their daily needs.
    Illness can be debilitating, devastating, and lead to, we'll, you know.
    I've seen it affect family and friends, myself included.
    If you do decide to reign, or your health forces that choice to be made by others, think about Social Security Disability.
    It was made for those facing your life choices, it's not charity, your work earned you the ability to receive it.
     
  6. ElleMD

    ElleMD Well-Known Member

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    What they tell you isn't dispositive. When you file, you indicate the reason you lost your job, then the state asks your employer. If they give an answer that the state considers disqualifying, you may not get benefits. Either side can appeal if they do not like the decision. If it is well documented that you were given multiple chances, or are unable to work, you have an uphill battle. Right now, you are putting the cart before the horse and assuming you will be fired soon, and won't qualify for UI.
     
  7. NBrazil

    NBrazil Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Ah, yes Social Security Disability. Yes, I could take early retirement Social Security AND apply for the Disability... one advantage to my age group. The salary wasn't all THAT high, just high for the field (LOL). There is only a $350 difference between SS and SSD in my case.

    My original plan was to work out a deal where I work half time and get Social Security. Even accounting for the maximum allowed salary (save the rest to "pay back"), I would net more than I am now. Do this as long as possible.

    A recent verbal reprimand triggered all this. I don't even remember making one of the mistakes he pointed out (!) - possibly a consequence of the illness. That much being said, I don't know what else I can do to prevent it again. Except to go over my work two or three times, which is allowed. I'm really good, but the cognitive issues are affecting short term memory. That much being said, I will work as long as I can with this company ... their culture is my saving grace, once this gig is over, they all are. Doesn't mean I couldn't look for one (if getting UI), but odds against me even just on my age.

    Okay, this is one of those can't answer until it happens. As has already been said, it sucks. I don't do well being reactive, I like being proactive. Not really possible here.
     
  8. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Nothing prevents you from applying for SS tonight.
    The process takes months, if not years.
    You'll need countless medical evaluations, either way.
    Apply, as its the best lifeline you've got.
    Illness sucks, but it doesn't mean you'll die tomorrow.
    People often live 20-50 years beyond any diagnosis.
    Anyway, I wish you well, mate.
     
  9. txls

    txls Well-Known Member

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    We've all seen strange things happen with unemployment decisions, so we know better than to predict the outcome. Best of luck to you.
     
    army judge likes this.
  10. NBrazil

    NBrazil Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Uhm ONE thing prevents me, I'm still working! (When I was off for three months I applied for SSDI, but going back to work killed it, of course.) As for SS alone, I plan to this year. But I'm limited to earning $1310/month, and so I could not work more than 10 hours a week before exceeding that. Have to "pay half back" at tax time for what I make over that. I've got it all worked out so that if allowed, I would start in 6 months. Then my pay for the YEAR after starting won't exceed the maximum. But thanks.

    SSDI kind of useless to apply for if working, but the law allows a person to collect SS while applying for SSD (if forced to retire early and NOT work). So you betcha I'm thinking of it.

    Thanks to everyone, we'll just see how this plays out. Chronic Lyme is not an acceptable diagnosis for SSDI, but the documented SYMPTOMS can create a case. I will not hesitate to use a SSDI attorney.
     
  11. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Using an attorney doesn't cost you a dime, especially if he/she gets you YEARS of back benefits.

    You've laid out the case I advise people to use.
    There are words and phrases an ALJ looks for on appeals.
    You've used them quite adroitly, and upon further explanation, you'd likely be approved.

    You keep saying you plan to work, yet you claim your work is impacted by your disease.
    Maybe the diagnosis is incorrect, or you have other misdiagnosed ailments?

    At any rate, I wish you all the best and a speedy recovery, because you impress me as someone who would rather work.

    Bully for you, and improved health soon.
     
  12. ElleMD

    ElleMD Well-Known Member

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    Back benefits would at best only go back to the point you stopped working. Honestly, I don't see that as a viable option for you, but you could take early benefits if eligible. to get SSDI you would have to demonstrate that you are unable to perform any job for which you might be qualified by education and experience, not just that this one detail oriented job is difficult, or you are unable to work to the standards of one employer. You also have to demonstrate that your ailment materially affects your activities of daily living. The application will ask about things like feeding yourself, personal hygiene, dressing yourself, managing your own finances, caring for your home, etc.

    You can still work on SSDI, but it is limited. My Dad does when he is able, at a job that was a hobby before he got sick.
     
  13. NBrazil

    NBrazil Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I think I have a good handle on the SSDI issue, because if/when I reach a point of not being able to work, it WOULD cover a lot of possibilities.

    In semi-medical terms it would resemble Fibromyalgia (including the brain fog/short term memory disfunction) with intractable pain, GI disturbances like Ulcerative colitis (i.e. unable to keep to a reliable schedule), disorientation and confusion (that’s the brain Lyme, but only doing symptoms here), and so on. Like I said, symptom based. And this is only the start.

    So far I’ve been able to, pardon the pun, muddle through, but my boss has noticed a steady decline in my work performance, and it is nearly at the critical point.

    It affects my daily activity - a clean and organized person by nature, my place is a wreck, cannot remember what groceries I need, have missed two bills recently (well, that affects my formerly sterling credit) - and so on. Hence I would see an attorney.

    Recently was even diagnosed with a mental disorder (I think this goes too far), even though I disagree, but not for a hearing.

    I can show that the symptoms materially affect my life.

    NOW… I know getting SSDI takes YEARS, however, I also know (from seeing an attorney), that when one is eligible for early retirement SS, that one can collect THAT while waiting for SSDI. A neat quirk in the law. Having some income, and then - if/when approved, the back pay at once (minus fees) as one is converted from SS to SSDI. SS isn’t enough to live on (maybe get food stamps too) — and I would have to bankrupt Chapter 7 to discharge debt… but it can be done.

    UE would be a very, very helpful bridge with SS. And, I would act willing and able to work, but I doubt I would actually be hired once they find out why I was let go and my salary requirements. So I still think it is all doable in a worst case scenario.

    My best hope / plan is to work part-time and collect SS … but my boss has put me on notice (brain fog is leading to too many costly mistakes).

    So ElleMD, I do think I can pull it together as long as I don’t become totally disabled.

    Thanks for your comment.
     
  14. Disabled Vet

    Disabled Vet Active Member

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    Have you figured out which drug is giving you the brain fog?
     
  15. NBrazil

    NBrazil Law Topic Starter New Member

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    No. Which is why I'm concerned that it is part of the disease process.
     

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