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sick and broke
Mar 17, 2004

I AM A 36 YEAR OLD MALE AND ABOUT A MONTH AGO I REVEALED MY HIV STATUS AND PROBLEMS WITH DEPRESSION TO MY EMPLOYER AND I REQUESTED TERMINATION SINCE NO ACCOMDATION WAS MADE.I FILED FOR UNEMPLOYMENT AND SSD.I CANNOT GO BACK TO WORK AT MY FORMER JOB DUE MY HEALTH AND HARRASSMENT BY MY SUPERIOR CAN BE DENIED UNEMPLOYMENT OR SSD.

Response from Ms. Breuer

You've already made a lot of decisions, my friend, so all I can do is advise you from here. When you agreed to termination, you said goodbye to any short term or long term disability benefit your employer may have offered. Please take yourself immediately to your local AIDS service center and get the help of their benefits person in applying for unemployment and SSD. Many people are denied on the first round, so it takes time. Don't try doing it on your own. The Social Security Administration has its own language and processes, and you need the help of someone who knows the ropes. There may be other benefits that you qualify for as well. The benefits counselor should know the whole range of available benefits in your state.

Before you can follow through on that, though, you'd be wise to get treatment for the depression. It's very difficult to make good life decisions when you're depressed. Remember that it takes a couple of weeks for the effects of an antidepressant to truly lift your mood.

Of all the times in your life, this is the one when you seek help, use your allies, draw on the resources around you and ask for what you need. Be smart--your decisions now carry a lot of weight.



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