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Work Stress Put Me Into Hospital

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I woke up a week and a half ago with pressure on my chest. I figured it would go away so I went to work. The pressure increased to the point of pain, dizzy spells which I have been experiencing for last 3 months got worse, so I went to the emergency room. No heart attack thank goodness, the chest pain was due to low potassium and my GERD which has worsened. They kept me in the hospital for three days, did a heart cath to make sure, and an endoscopic procedure (camera down the throat).

This is not the first time that work stress has caused me problems, although it is the first time I went to the hospital. I have told the VA psychiatrist about eariler episodes and on my recent C&P evaluation I also noted the problem which lately has manifested itself in arguing with staff and residents and the facility where I work, and actually throwing a stapler.

I am going back to work on Tuesday and will be putting in my notice making the 15th of September my last day at work. I am torn between giving the notice and just not going back but could lose accrued benefits if I do not give notice.

I asked the cardiac doctor about the dizzy spells and he just looked at me and said that it is the depression medicines that cause them. These spells have continued to worsen and am starting to get them even while sitting.

Anyway, I am thinking about filing for TDIU on the day after I resign my position. I was wondering if anyone thought that was too soon considering I am resigning for a medical condition, albeit voluntary.

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Will your doctor support the TDIU claim?

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Is this the first time that work stress has put you in the hospital? That may or may not be a factor.

And yes, your doc (either cardio and/or pdoc) needs to agree.

I have IU, but my pdoc forced me to stop working after several hospitalizations in a short amount of time.

I hope you feel better very soon.....& good luck with the IU process.

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You may also want to start the application process for Social Security disability. The SS application process normally concludes before the TDIU process does, and if you are successful, can also bolster your TDIU application.

My husband didn't have a doctor's IMO urging him to resign his job before he did due to serious service-connected spine problems, but he immediately applied for Social Security disability, using Binder and Binder as his attorneys, and was awarded disability on his first try.

He's already rated 100% disabled schedular, so TDIU was not an issue.

If you can get your doctor's IMO, it would certainly help you.

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  • HadIt.com Elder


Sorry that you can no longer work. Since you are no longer able to work and are 80% it should not be to much trouble to get TDIU although under the circumstances you describe you will need to convince a C&P Doc. Since you did not go to a VA keep all the records and what was done at Hospital to submit. If you can get anything in writing that suggests that you can't work form a Doc it will certainly help.

I see things just a little differently and think that it is going to be easier to get VA 100% than Social Security unless you get a clear Medical Opinion cause they always claim that you have to be so bad that you will not work for at least a year.

Anyway I wish you best of luck. I would not wait till Sep 15th I would go ahead and ask VA now.


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  • HadIt.com Elder

Does your job have a disability retirement option? I would ask you this question: Do you have enough money to wait 6-12 months to get a TDIU award? SSA can also be a long process and from what I hear it is getting longer. You really need to think this out before you quit your job. I don't blame you for wanting to get out of the situation but if money runs low you will really have some stress. Do you have enough savings to last you a year without working? If the answer is "No" then I would not just quit my job. Have you gone to a workers compensation lawyer? Maybe you can get WC while you wait for TDIU. Look at all options before you just quit.

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As I see it and one who just went through a panic attack, if you voluntarily stop working, it's going to be up to you to prove IU and I wouldn't count on the VA to help you do it.

Do you have a good working relationship with your boss or bosses? If so, I would discuss your situation with them. since you have already pretty much decided to resign from work anyway. Try to get them on your side, if possible. Maybe they can document the down turn in your work performance, that if it continued to spiral down, they would more likely than not have to let you go due to medical and safety of your fellow employees.

If they can't do that, then maybe they can ask that you be evaluated by a company shrink or someone who deals with such matters on behalf of companies that don't have them on call. Mine did and that is the first time I was made aware that my problems were interfereing with my ability to do my job to the extent it became a real safety issue with my employer. He wrote a nice letter explaining his decision to let me go, even though my work record up til that point was quite good. Without the assurance from the psychologist he sent me to, that I wouldn't be a harm to others at work or to customers, he had no choice. In your case the stress at work is only making your condition worse and if you can get a Dr to say he cannot guarenty that it will get better but more likely than not get worse, he might agree that the best course of action would be for you to stop working.

You'll need such support if you plan to apply for SSDI benefits after you have been unemployed for their required period. I think it is six months, but my memory isn't all that good and I could be wrong. You may be able to apply right away, but I don't think they pay for the first six months should you win your case for SSDI.

If you do apply for SSDI, check back here and the people here can help you there as well.

Get buddy statements from fellow employees also if possible. If you are having dizzy spells because of your meds, it's dangerous for you to even be driving or operating equipment that could injure or kill someone. Your VA Dr should have made an inquiry into that area when you told him about the dizzy spells. That alone, should something happen, could be construed as mal practice, since the Dr should have known the dizzy spell could lead to you or someone being harmed if something did happen on those levels.

What I am saying is, in my rambling way, is to document what you can in your favor, why you must stop working. If you can get your employer and others on your side all the better for you.

It's better you suffer now, than to go on suffering when you have to fight tooth and nail with the VA and/or SSDI for benefits due you. You think you are stressed out now, go blindly where others did and failed, well you get my meaning.

Rockhound Rider B)

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