I am beginning the process for ssdi for my son now. I called today and was given a telephone appointment in 3 weeks. I was hoping that it wouldn’t be necessary but after careful observation and discussions with his supervisor at work, it is clear that he would not be a candidate for competitive employment. A sad realization😢
TAG, He just finished college last month and he has been working hasn’t he? Did something change? Maybe full-time work is too much? I am sorry.
I’m sorry for your son not being a candidate for competitive employment. I have a feeling we may go down that road as well. Does your son already have ssi? I just learned that we have a program called AND (Aid to the needy and disabled) here that one can apply for to tied them over until they get ssi. Here, you can apply for it at the County Housing and Human Services Office. They said best to go and apply and ask for a same day interview. (In case that would help you). They said like $180 a month.
Also - is there a Vocational Rehab office that could help your son get a job? Here is ours.
We also have a place called Windhorse that can help kids like ours get work as well. My son refusing to go back. I think he hated it as a lot of his hallucinations happened there.
Anyway, I feel your sad realization. I think I’m right behind you.
I’m sorry TAG. It’s a very sad realization I’m sure. Maybe something will change in the future. I hope you can figure out a way to maintain a little bit of hope. It’s what carries us through.
Yes he did finish college and works full time in our family business. The difficulty is that he’s inconsistently productive and is sometimes rude to our clients due to his social skills deficits and mood instability. We want him to stay in his position so that he has a routine and purpose but it is a financial drain to do so. I hope that his performance will improve and he won’t need ssdi but I think it best that we have it for him, if he’s approved. The medical insurance will be necessary too once he is no longer eligible for our family plan. I continue to have hope for his future. He is a bright and curious person but his symptoms are getting on the way.
I consulted my friend the former Family to Family instructor who taught Family to Family and also did the instructor training. She is a valuable resource.
The following is her input, in the short form, the best I can remember it.
She says that success at college is different from the working world for various reasons.
She relies on the advice of a Houston man who at one point was a highly successful young lawyer before his scz kicked in. Now he works as an advocate for folks with scz. He speaks to Family to Family classes about their family members rejoining the work force as part of his job.
His advice is that entry to the working world should be much more gradual for our family members with scz. He felt people should start out in volunteer positions with very few hours so they could get comfortable and gain confidence.
She wondered if there was a more limited role your son could play in the business, more of a background role with limited hours to start out. She said don’t think of it as weeks, think of it more like a limited role for a year.
And as she always does, she suggested therapy for him and for his support people during the process.
She also said that with her own son, what she wanted for him was contentment with his life. She said we parents must adjust our expectations in order to support them properly in obtaining their own expectations of themselves.
Now, this is me, Hope talking - my son’s most recent psychiatrist was all happy ( and wanted me to be) because my son has purpose in his life. She felt that was huge. While his purpose may have been working on things that were probably not going to be feasible as long as he isn’t medicated, she felt strongly that just him having purpose was a huge landmark in his 16 year struggle with scz. He wanted to grocery shop for himself. He worked with a CBT therapist to do it. Now he wants to do an open microphone night with his guitar. When he feels brave enough, he goes and watches the open mike nights. He wanted to drive for one of those driving companies a couple of hours every now and then. He does and has for several months.
My son was brilliant, and socially gifted, he had such a bright future . He graduated university, was an athlete, and so on and so on.
One of the hardest things for me years ago, when I first began to understand the situation, was realizing that my promising son was only going to be able to do the most simple jobs in society because of his illness. I began to understand why he was applying for simple jobs - he seemed to know what he could handle. As the years have passed, I have come to realize that his illness will not allow him to even do that full time.
I have too much experience from support groups and this forum to think that meds would (without a doubt) change all that for my son. I would like to think they would, but reality is often that meds just don’t go that far. My son does “better” than many who are medicated appropriately- in some things, and of course, far worse in other things. What a mess.
In Family to Family they taught us that the doctor’s input on being too disabled to work is important. As is showing a track record of failed employment. My son worked a series of jobs over 11 years. He would work for a few months and would either quit or be fired. After 11 years, he finally had a bad episode at work, his scz had gotten to the point where he was too disabled to work more than 2 -4 hours a week. Sometimes he works 4 hours and can’t work again for a couple of weeks.
Just some stuff to think about…
All great info. Thanks Hope! I am concerned my son is trying too much too fast. I will suggest part-time positions or volunteer. His goal, however, is money.
Jeb’s goal is money also. Really helps that Jeb can’t drive most days and that he is good about not driving when he cannot drive.
Help my sons sleeping on the kitchen floor I can’t go to sleep he’s drank a lot of vodka, I offered to buy him 2 beers earlier but he said that won’t do anything , I said what do you want it to do , he didn’t reply
You should call for an ambulance. If he has alcohol poisoning, he needs medical treatment.
I almost did till he got up and went to his room he broke a small table in the kitchen
That is my question as well. My son isn’t working and has so far rationalized that he may return to the work force so he doesn’t want the stigma
You can work while on SS disability income. You can earn up to a certain amount before benefits are affected. If he returns to work full time, SS benefits will continue until he’s sure he can keep the job.