Useless Lawyer

Let me start by saying that I am still employed (as far as I know) and I will find out later this week if I have a job. I called the lawyer as a precautionary measure.

So I finally called the lawyer. It’s been months since I filled out the request and I only got 14 minutes of his time for my $25. (I was running out of questions.) I’m sure I originally had more questions, but since I waited until the last minute, I wasn’t really prepared. Basically, I’ve got nothing. He told me to call the unemployment office to find out if would qualify for unemployment benefits if they didn’t have a place for me after coming off short-term disability. Well, isn’t that why I called him? A lawyer who deals with employment law? Really all I learned was that if you are going to make an ADA complaint (American Disabilities Act) then it must be done within 10 months of the event.

There is nothing I can do except go back to work and say, “I’m ready. Will you have me?” And they say Yea or Nay. If I do go back and they harass me again because of my work restrictions, then I can file a complaint with the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) over disability harassment, but disability cases are hard to win.

I was kicking myself afterwards because I forgot to ask about COBRA. Really I need health insurance more than I need income. (Well, we all need both but since my medical bills went over $8k last year, I think I need health insurance pretty badly.) So I went to the government site for COBRA and I found the following:

Qualifying Events for Employees:

  • Voluntary or involuntary termination of employment for reasons other than gross misconduct
  • Reduction in the number of hours of employment

That means that even if they ask me to resign, I can still COBRA.  That’s what I needed to know.

So basically, it’s up to them.  I’ve done what I can to prepare, which is important.  I still have backup plans, although they are dwindling.  But that’s a whole other story.

PS: I feel no empowerment by having completed this task of calling the lawyer like my therapist said I would.  Overall, a very fruitless expedition.  At least I find a some solace in the COBRA information.

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3 thoughts on “Useless Lawyer

  1. Wow, there is so much here, and I know very little about it from personal experience. I do know that COBRA is usually incredibly expensive but absolutely worth it. Because if it does noting else for you, it gives you proof of continuous medical insurance coverage, which when you have a pre-existing (and life-long) condition is basically worth anything and everything you have to go through to retain it.

    Best to you. Keep us posted, because I know I’m not the only one who cares (a lot).

  2. I don’t see why they would deny your unemployment case. Usually, the only unemployment cases they deny are voluntary termination. Even if that comes to pass, you still have a good chance of appealing that an winning under your circumstances.

    At least there is COBRA. Seriously expensive, but everyone that has had is tells me it’s worth it.

  3. Ditto what they said about COBRA; continuous coverage is the key, because if you have a 60-day period with no coverage, you will have a 12-month waiting period when you enroll in a new employer’s plan. If you work for a very small employer, you might not be eligible for COBRA, depending on which state you live. Also, you will probably not find an individual plan that covers bipolar disorder.

    I’m not an expert on ADA, but I think it is difficult to make a case unless there is a significant disability such that it severely limits your daily life (or work). If a doctor will back that up, that would help you considerably.

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