Importance of Self-Assessment

A thorough and ongoing self-assessment can be invaluable in maximizing your rights. By focusing on the state of your health over time, you will be better positioned to sense which benefits are appropriate to apply for, and when.

  • While you should consult with counsel as appropriate about putting your self-assessment in writing, a point-in-time description of your daily activities can be a real wake up call for you.
  • Nobody likes to lose control of their body, let alone write about it. So it’s not surprising that many PWPs keep pushing on, often harder and harder with less to show for it, sometimes to the point of worsening their conditions by not taking advantage of available benefits.
  • Putting it into words, in all the gory details (inability to button shirts, write legibly or type well, get to the bathroom in time or negotiate getting your pants down in time to avoid accidents, etc.), and detailing the variability of it all (if that holds true in your case), can be a powerful wake-up call.
  • Once you are squarely facing your reality, you will be better positioned not only to get moving to maximize your rights, but also to avoid waiving them in the first place.
  • In addition, a detailed self assessment may serve as much more than a protective wake-up call: it can also help you explain your status to your health care team and to sources from which you may seek benefits.
  • Consider this nightmare scenario: You are newly diagnosed with young onset Parkinson’s. You keep trying to do your job, without asking for any accommodations, perhaps not even knowing you may be entitled to them. Your employer sees your performance slipping, without knowing why. You are terminated before you may have realized there may have been a need to ask for help. You lose not only your income stream, but also critical employer provided benefits – not just LTD, but even health care insurance (after your COBRA benefit allowing you to private pay for a short while runs out).
  • While self assessment can be painful, denial can lead to devastating results.

 

Content for this section provided by Mark Rubin, J.D.

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