Can I request disability time off in Texas?

 I live in Houston,TX. I have been put on short term disability twice in the last two years. I have had several medication changes. I have missed a LOT of work. So much in fact I am behind on my mortgage. Every morning waking up I literally get sad,super sad. For the last 3 years my life has been a mess. The medication helps only when there is little or no stress. At work or at home. Doesn’t matter.

Can I request time off for therapy and a general break from my life for a few months? 90 days or so?

I want to begin by saying first of all, I do not live in Texas and I do not know if the rules are different there.  However making an educated guess I would wager that the rules for this are more based on the employer’s rules than the states.  If your employer offers such a leave then it is possible.  I do know hypothetically in general in certain situations it is possible because I myself have done it.  However, like I said I do not live in Texas, I live in Tennessee.

In 2008 I was going thru a very nasty, hostile divorce.  It was going on a year and a half since we started the process.  I had only gotten diagnosed Bipolar 6 mths after I had left him.  I was still fighting to get and stay stable.  He wasn’t helping.  He would call me constantly several times a day, at work and at home harassing me.  He would threaten me with the only thing that mattered.  He was fighting me for custody of our daughter.  He was trying to use my mental stability against me and he knew the more he harassed me the worse I got.  I began to have anxiety attacks at work.  I would get physically ill just thinking about having to go in to work and face another day. I started missing work a lot.  I even at my request went from full time to part time trying to find a solution that would work.  Nothing helped.  I was a total mess.  I couldn’t function.  I was barely able to take care of my children and myself but that was the one thing I was managing.  I knew I had to get a hold on things.  So I went to my supervisor and explained as little as I had to but as much as I needed to, to get my point across.  I didn’t want to go into all the gory details with him.  I explained to him about my divorce and the pressure my husband was putting on me and that with the stress I was under between my job and my divorce I was beginning to have health issues and I needed a mental break or I was going to have to quit.  He told me I had been at the company long enough to take a 30 day medical leave of absence so that is what I did.  At the end of the 30 days I was re-evaluated.  I did return to work but the stress was still too much for me and my doctor declared me unable to maintain work.  So I have been put on disability but that is another subject all together.

The point is, yes a mental break due to stress is possible.  At least it was possible here in Tennessee and it had nothing to do with the state laws.  It had to do with the employee benefits offered by my employer.   So I would suggest talking to your human resource department or an immediate supervisor and just ask if they offer a 30 day medical leave.  It is possible.  Hope this helped.

One thought on “Can I request disability time off in Texas?

  1. First thank you for your question, and I am sorry to hear about the issues that you are going through. Though I work in a hospital I not a Doc. nor a nurse. I think the other post here makes a lot of sence, but I will warn you that your boss / supervisor may not be held to the same standards as an HR person and your “condition” may be leaked to others in your office. I will always suggest speaking with HR first about the issues that we face. For some reason (probably from what people see on TV) most people do not understand BP, what can set it off, how those of us that are BP go through “phases” or much of anything else. Since you have been with your employer for a number years I would suggest looking into FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act). My wife used this when our son, who is special needs, would be home before us. It worked out great and there was no 30 day only to it. I would search this out on the net and learn about completely though before going to your HR. They may be instructed to only give 30 days or may not know much about it at which point you will need to educate them. I hope this helps for you and that you can find the help and assistance that you need.

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