The job I lost
Due to my hearing loss, I lost my job as a fiscal assistant when new management came in.
I was unemployed for over six months, then found a job as a landscape laborer for a company that provides jobs for disabled people.
After new management came in, I was demoted back to landscape laborer with walking duties, after being verbally promoted and working as an administrative assistant for two years.
What it's like being unemployed
The first time I was terminated, I was so shocked when I applied for unemployment benefits, and received them without any issues. I found out later that the company didn't want it made public that I was terminated due to my hearing loss.
I was hired by another state agency and was unable to do the required work when I was alone because I couldn't hear. I didn't understand how to handle the appeal process and lost the benefits.
I found another job as a landscape laborer, and I handled the investigations for discrimination from the interviews with a third state agency, with all the roller coaster feelings when I found out negative details.
When the new management came in, I was not provided the opportunity to take a lay-off offer because they needed someone to train new management in office procedures (able person).
After I left, I trained for two weeks as a certified nursing assistant and but I was unable to do the job due to my hearing loss.
I filed for benefits, had to appeal, then the hearing was continued. When the Human Resources Director was making his case, I discovered that the same information used to obtain company credit as a federal contractor was in fact being used to make the case as to why I was not able to work to standards.
I received my benefits, kept searching for work, made it to interviews, and was honorable about my hearing loss. I was top candidate three separate times. but due to negative reference from the state agency, I was not hired.
I filed for Social Security for my hearing loss. I was denied, but I kept going to medical visits under my husband's insurance, and obtained additional medical evidence to prove the changes in my hearing loss affected my ability to do work.
I received my disability approval four months after the unemployment benefits ran out.
I was able to keep the long-term unemployment benefits due to the fact that I was able to work, willing to work, and actively searching for work, acknowledging my hearing loss at every stage of the job process.
It is not a good idea to try to do both at the same time because you can be forced to pay back unemployment benefits if you are approved for Social Security disability benefits.
Keep timeline records of your active searches, accurate contact information, and establish a regular daily routine of research and follow-up. For the companies you want to work for first, keep promoting your name through networking in the community, as a volunteer.
- I have learned that Congress discriminates on education loans, refusing to lower interest rates or drop interest added on during the limited three year total time limit for deferment on loans. They refuse to allow Student and Parent Plus loans to be discharged under Social Security benefits.
- Employers take advantage of the gaps in employment to put job applications to the bottom of the pile, so networking will give you the higher placement in the pile.
- Being active in the community as a volunteer gives you current work experience, provides active references, and keeps you motivated.