Until this year, I never considered going on short term disability insurance (STD). Now, I’m wondering if it’s the right thing for me to do.
I was lucky to have STD at my last job, but my health was decent enough, and my employer was accommodating. I worked from home one day a week, and more when it was needed. I did ok. At my current job, again, I’m lucky that my employer offers STD. My boss won’t let me work from home, though, and putting in all those hours at work is not good for me. I’m not getting exercise when I need it and I’m not getting rest when I need it. There’s no balance. I have a fairly good diet, but it could be better. I spend too many hours at a computer, something that is bad for me physically and mentally. I don’t get enough sleep. I know I’ll feel better if I’m not working.
For years I felt that not working would be giving in, letting the diseases win. My new attitude is that I should live the best life I can live, and if that means not working, then so be it. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. I know that I qualify for short term disability, but I doubt that I’d qualify for long term disability. I don’t think I’d qualify for SSI (the U.S. social security disability insurance) either, and even if I did, it would take more than a year for the application to be approved, and then my benefits wouldn’t even pay my rent, much less any other bills. So that brings me back to STD as the most likely option.
STD is tempting. It would cover me for 12 weeks, and I know I’d use that time well. I would exercise regularly, eat well, sleep better, and generally be happier. I’d get to spend time with my friends and family. I’d be calmer and more relaxed. This is what I did when I was unemployed (before getting my current job) and my health improved significantly. I would use the three months well. And then after those 12 weeks were up, I’d go back to work and be…. right back where I started. That’s why I’m hesitating. What’s the point of feeling better for three months only to go back to feeling lousy on a regular basis? I need a more long-term solution. Too bad my last lottery ticket didn’t win.
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