Three years, my how time flies.  It seems not long ago I took my medical leave of absence.  Here it is three years later.  A brief background: after taking a medical leave of absence in may of 2008 I was unable to return to work when my time was up so I was told I had to quit my job so that I could return whenever I felt ready (I would be re-hirable).  I filed for my disability several months later, realizing I wasn’t going back.  Finally after a very long battle of denials & appeals I was awarded my disability.  Now here I am three years down the road and I feel that I am ready to try again.  It’s not that I haven’t tried before.  I tried three times while waiting on my disability to be approved to return to work. All attempts failed within a matter of a few days to a few weeks.  However this time is different.  I have had plenty of rest and recuperation.  My mind is more focused.  It is in a better place.

So how do you return to work after being out of the working world for so long?  This is what I did.  I got my resume together.  I looked online at the job sites, www.careerbuilder.com www.indeed.com www.snagajob.com just to name a few. Plus it is always good to check your local classifieds. I also checked mine online, most places you can do that online too now.  I also got in touch with local temp services.  Most companies in my area only use temp services to hire you these days.  It took me about two weeks but once I got serious about it, it only took me a couple of days and I had a job.  If you still have trouble finding a job, if you are on disability, social security offers a service called Ticket to work.  A brief description how this program works: If you are wanting to return to work, the T2W will help you find a job and will go as far as to retrain you if necessary (within limits) into another field.  For more information on the T2W program http://www.ssa.gov/work/aboutticket.html the application for the T2W program you can find here http://www.tickettoworkservices.com/online%20application.html  and the actual website for the T2W program is here  https://yourtickettowork.com/web/ttw .

Now there are a few things you need to know if you are on disability.  First, if you do find a job you have to let social security know that you are working and you will have to report your wages in to them.  However, just because you have found yourself a job does not mean you will lose your benefits right away.  There is a benefit called the Trial work period/program (TWP).   It states that you can make as much money as you can for up to 9 months without losing your benefits. At the end of the 9 months if you are still working then your TWP is over and you are taken off disability and you are considered able to work.  If however within those 9 months for some reason you lose your job then it is considered a failed work attempt and you continue to receive your benefits.  You can get more information on the TWP here http://ssa-custhelp.ssa.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/523/~/definition-of-a-trial-work-period .

Wow. What a week I’ve had.  After starting work Wednesday, I rushed home Wednesday night had a quick supper and rushed out the door for church.  Then got up and did it all again Thursday.  Came home Thursday night, made a nice supper then homework, showers for school the next day, a quick look at the computer and then finally bed.  Then finally Friday, just get through one more day.  But it was a long day.  It was daddys’ weekend so as soon as work is done had to rush home grab a quick bite, get bug off to her daddy’s.  Then it’s a 45 minute trip up the freeway to meet bee’s daddy.  Then a 45 minutes trip home.  And finally, I can walk in the door drop on the couch and say WHEW! Its all done…time to rest and relax for two days, just me and the pups…. But wait…. I still have to check emails, check facebook, I haven’t been on in a while…. O-M-G!!!!  This work thing is harder than I remember….. but at the end of it all, to be honest…. I haven’t felt this alive in…well I can’t remember when.  I had forgetten how much I missed the fast paced, always going, never stopping life.  I am definitely in my element again, and it feels great to be ALIVE!!! ~~~Angel

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