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Changing Jobs With HIV? and ADA
Aug 24, 1998

First off thank you for answering these questions in this forum. I enjoy comming here and reading questions and responses. I have a question concerning HIV and the ADA. I went out of work on short term disability, and in the end was out of work for a year. Before long term disability kicked in. Well to make a long story short I was approved on short term disability but MY human resources manager said "I should even try for long term disability because I would not qualify because T-4 count had went up and Viral load had went down and I was denied SS disability 2 times". I had to apply for social security to get the short term But they told me "not to worry because alot of people get long term disability and not be qualified for Social Security" Our company is Self Insured (they provide there own health care for there employees). She told me that it was better for me to quit and just get a new job somewhere else. That it would be too hard on me to come back to work there because rumors were going around that I had AIDS and it would be hard on me to return. So I quit. But Looking at my social security denial letters it stated that "You have a disability that prevents you from doing you current job, but due to your age, educaton and work experience you are able to preform other work" Weren't they supposed to offer me another job doing something else in the plant? During my year on short term they did not ever call me about job openings or anything pertaining to work. There are other things I could do there (like in the office) but since I quit they have a no rehire policy. I feel like I was pushed out. But that is behind me now. I just want to know if they violated the america with disabilities act for not offering me some other type work there. They employ about 300. Thank you for your time.

Response from Ms. Franzoi

I think there are several issues here that you might want to seek legal advice on. Although your company was self-insured for health care coverage, they might not have been for long term disability coverage. Whether the LTD was self-insured or insured, I don't understand why they told you not to apply for LTD, as that usually is easier to qualify for than Social Security disability is. The fact that you quit doesn't appear to offer you any protection under the ADA. However, you might want to check this out with a legal aid group in your area, as the circumstances surrounding your decision to quit might raise some legal issues..

Lynn Franzoi

HIV - A disability?
SS Benefits & Retraining

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