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Early Retirement from teaching?

Posted by Kathy on 10/12/03 at 17:48 (133766)

I have been suffering with PF for over 5 years & now have developed TTS. This is my 20th year of teaching & I know my feet will make not it another 10 years. Has anyone been successful in receiving a teaching disablity for PPF. I would love some advice. I'm an intermediate elementary teacher who cannot sit down during the day due to my teaching duties & style, not to mention walking students to lunch, recess, etc. I'm wearing a 'cane walker boot cast' right now & have tried to not miss work due to the PF. But really am tired of being so exhausted & useless after work. I'm starting to become depressed with the pain. Thanks for any advice!

Re: Early Retirement from teaching?

marie on 10/12/03 at 18:54 (133775)


I know just how exhausted you must feel. I'm not sure what the rules are in your state. You can go to the Dept. of Education site for your state to look up disability. With 20 years you may be eligible.
Also check the American Disabilities act...I think they have a special section just for teachers.

Indiana requires that one be on Social Security Disability before one can recieve disability benefits. That one has taught in that state for ten years.

Ohio is the same but you can recieve benefits after 6 years of teaching.

In order to recieve SS disability you must not be able to work at all at any job. You will need letters from your doctors stating that you can no longer work because of your condition. They will want to know how many times you have missed work because of this problem. Don't be a hero and work when you are sick. Plan on being out of work with no income for at least two years before you can recieve SS disability benefits.

If you have a good health insurance plan talk to your doctor about a scooter for your classroom. With some adjustments it isn't that hard to teach on a scooter. I did it for a long time. I am a high school art teacher. Believe me it can be done.

I have posted two sites for you.

The ADA has established Disability and Business Technical Assistance Centers to provide information and referral, technical assistance, public awareness, and training on all aspects of the ADA. To contact your nearest center, call 800-949-4232 (V/TTY), or visit their Web site at http://www.adata.org .

The Job Accommodation Network is an international information and consulting resource. Both people with disabilities and employers can contact them for practical help in making accommodations. Call 800-526-7234 (V/TTY), or visit their Web site at http://www.jan.wvu.edu .

Re: Early Retirement from teaching?

BrianG on 10/12/03 at 22:32 (133806)

Hi Kathy / Marie,

I'd like to correct one thing that Marie said. You do not have to be out of work for 2 years before recieved SSD. I was out the minimum requirement, 5 months, when I was approved. Also, I didn't miss any time from work. I did however work right up until I was no longer able to, either physically or mentally. I finally gave a one weeks notice, and applied the following Monday. I did have my doctors approval, which I do think is very important.

Also, PF is not on the official list of imparements, and I doubt that TTS is either. You can get by that, by applying for chronic pain, thats what I did. I think it's better to have a couple ailments, like pain, and depression. Most chronic painers have some depression. If yo do, and are not bieng treated for it, make sure you let your doc know, so he can prescribe something for you. I also had to see a Neurologist, who was absolutely no help to me. Some of the Neuro's meds do work for nerve type pain, so I would see him, if your primary suggests it. Sorry your hurting so bad!

Good luck

PS: Time to do some reading, Does your teachers union have a disability department? They must have policies and procedures.

Re: Early Retirement from teaching?

Kathy on 10/13/03 at 05:30 (133812)

Thanks for your replies. I really want to keep working as long as possible. I think my next step after wearing the walking cast will be to a Neurologists. I will check out our disabilities website at ODE. Thanks!

Re: Early Retirement from teaching?

SuzanneK on 10/13/03 at 23:00 (133918)

Kathy, I am not a doctor, but I am an elementary school teacher who suffers with pf as you do. I had pf surgery 4 years ago, but before I did, I was in excrutiating pain every day. I finally resorted to renting a wheelchair to get me around school. My classroom was quite far from the office, and I had to escort my 3rd graders to PE, lunch, etc as you do. The wheelchair enabled me to finish out the year and I had surgery 2 days after school let out in May. You might consider a wheelchair as well. The kiddos loved to push me around!

Re: Early Retirement from teaching?

wendyn on 10/13/03 at 23:29 (133922)

Suzanne - you can ignore my post above. I thought I had not seen you in a while, so I was wondering if you were still here! Good to see that you are!

Re: 2 Suzannes...

Suzanne D on 10/14/03 at 11:44 (133962)

Now I'm the mixed up one! #-o I thought you meant me, Wendy, when you asked above and so I replied to you there.

Sorry...but I'm also glad to hear again from Suzanne K who is also a teacher! Two Suzannes here, and we're both teachers. Must be something in the name.

Suzanne :)

Re: 2 Suzannes...

wendyn on 10/14/03 at 19:37 (134000)

I am also mixed up. I did not know that there were two Suzannes who are teachers. Oh well - 2 is better than 1 anyway!!!

Re: 2 Suzannes...

SuzanneK on 10/14/03 at 22:03 (134006)

Yep, another one - although I mostly lurk. I have posted on a few occasions.

I don't consider myself cured, as whenever I am under stress, the foot I did not have surgery on flares up. I've decided stress can do amazing things to the body. Fortunately, I know how to keep it from getting worse when it flares up. Then, in addition to doing my stretches, I ice, take anti-inflammatories, and rest as much as possible. I live a pretty normal life.

If I had it to do over, I would have had ESWT before attempting surgery. It was not an option for me 4 years ago, however, and I have to say that I had a good outcome. I was lucky - and have a great pod watching out for me.