Finding a Job With Lupus
Last updated: August 2022
Times have changed! I do not know if it is for the better or worse. I currently sit and try to apply for job applications, and lupus is now mentioned in the disability portion of the application. I clicked yes for the disability, and I felt as if I maybe didn’t even get acknowledged because I included my disability. I am very much intrigued that it is getting that much attention now as a severe disability. The only thing I battle with is finding a job due to my disability still. I wonder if my application is being pushed back because of my disability.
Lupus and job applications
I applied for jobs that had the qualifications of having a high school diploma and still did not get called. I have an associate degree in health science (pre-nursing) and a medical assistant certification, and I still am just with no luck. When being on disability, getting off is hard when you have been on it so long that no one will hire you. I learned from speaking to my sister that everyone wants recent work experience, but what about the ones like us that do not have that experience because we were going through chemotherapy or our doctors said that our body just was not ready? It is even more traumatizing to think that you will be on disability for how long you are on it because my mindset is never to think that I would be in this situation for a while, but lupus will do that to you.
Disability laws and lupus
According to Lupus.org, ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) makes it against the law for an employer to discriminate against a qualified individual with a disability. Chronic illness, lupus included, is recognized as a disability to administer the law. There were too many times I felt judged for my condition in the workplace, though I hurt when I see others going through it with conditions and getting treated the same way. Once I worked for this retail store and filled out the disability form, and still did not get accommodations for my disability. My doctor said that I needed only to do sitting work, and I needed a 15-minute break every hour if I was on my feet to elevate it. I also had this experience with most retail stores I worked in, where it became overbearing to stand there in pain and still be forced to do the labor when your manager knew about your condition. Back then, though, lupus was not even considered that serious.
Trying to remain hopeful with lupus
In the back of my head, I can’t hope but think that lupus is hindering me from advancing in life. So now I am going to make enough changes and manifest my success. I recently had a bad flare-up that left me on 40MG per day of steroids for 2 weeks. I also started to lose my vision with hydroxychloroquine, so I had to cut back on it. With inflation at an all-time high, people with lupus will suffer, especially those on disability. We are already living off the bare minimum, and now that inflation is rising, what will we do. Before covid, disability income doesn’t even qualify us for an apartment by ourselves. We are just trying to remain hopeful until it gets better cause I would love to work, and I tell most people that not wanting to is not the case. It's always been my health.
Have there been things you have learned along your lupus journey that you wish had been explained to you by a healthcare provider earlier?