Bipolar disorder affects nearly 6 million people in the U.S. alone, and more are diagnosed every day. Unfortunately, there are myths about the disorder that persist, and finding employment can be challenging. Before you start seeking employment, there are some things you should consider.
To Disclose or Not to Disclose
You’ll need to decide whether to tell your employer or potential employer that you have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Unfortunately, no matter what you decide to tell a potential employer if you have lapses in your work history, be prepared to explain them.
Bipolar disorder is covered under HIPAA and ADA, and under the law, you have the expectation for privacy if you decide to disclose your illness to the human resources department, your manager, or your supervisor at your job. Not all work environments respect your right to privacy, unfortunately. On the other hand, there are those who have found that not disclosing their disorder triggers additional stress and anxiety.
Discuss the matter with people you trust, such as a family member, physician, therapist, or vocational counselor before disclosing personal details to an employer or potential employer. You’ll need to consider all aspects and repercussions of disclosure and do what is best for you.
Support Through Your Job Search
If you receive Social Security disability benefits, you could be eligible to receive employment services through the free Ticket to Work Program. To get started, you choose an Employment Network (EN) or a State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agency.
Whether you choose an EN or VR agency, they will assist you in finding and maintaining employment. You can receive a variety of services, including vocational rehabilitation, vocational counseling, and support services. With the program, you have the freedom to find the right job without losing your SSI benefits right away. You’ll also be allowed to keep your medical benefits.
The Ticket to Work program is voluntary, but it allows you to explore work options that you may not have considered. There are options for part-time employment that allow you to work your way into full-time employment and eventually, financial independence. The goal of Ticket to Work is to work your way to financial independence.
For more information about the Ticket to Work program contact DisABLEd Workers today, at 877-291-9806.