I am a 60 year old woman diagnosed with Parkinsons at age 36 following birth of my second child, who is now 22, in college, and dependent on me financially.
Employed as an office manager full-time, it is becoming increasingly difficult for me to fulfil my duties at work due to “off” periods when meds are ineffective, periods of extreme fatigue, significant tremor on one side of my body, dyskinesia. and difficulty with fine motor skills especially writing skills. My job duties include taking detailed meeting minutes in writing, a task near impossible at this stage.
I am under the care of neurologist one-hour away from my town,whom I see once per year to adjust my medications.
I have not yet asked for accommodating to reduce my hours at work, but every day is a challenge and I am starting to struggle more and more just to get through my work day. I do have benefits through SSQ and have been at this job for 10 years, with little to no sick time taken.
My benefit provider does not make it clear in our booklet whether my pre-existing condition of Parkinsons would be eligible for LTD. I find the jargon in my employee booklet very difficult to understand.
My question is can I bypass my insurance company and go straight to CPP disability benefits (I am thinking not from what I have read). My biggest worry is to be without benefits of any kind, since I do have a mortgage and my daughter to continue supporting. Or, as I am understanding, do I to first exhaust my work benefits, even if SSQ deny my claim for LTD.
I appreciate any advice as to how to proceed at this point.