Steve Asks…

As a police officer diagnosed with bipolar illness two years ago, and due to a recent episode that resulted in hospitalization, I am currently on sick leave. I will be applying for disability with their blessing. The question is whether police work in general, and working nights for many years will be qualifying for a disability. I hope to find a less stressful career but after many years on the force, what, I don’t know. Anyone? Has anyone had the same diagnosis in a similar profession?

Dr. Fink Answers…

This question is more legal than health-related, so I cannot answer it with any detail of disability law, but I’m posting it here to open it for discussion. I would say, however, that bipolar disorder is a disabling medical illness that has become more and more a well accepted diagnosis on which to base a disability claim – in any profession. We don’t know the cause of bipolar disorder, but you do not have to blame your disability on your profession to qualify for disability benefits, unless you are seeking a Workman’s Compensation claim in which you are trying to prove that your job created your illness.

Can anyone out there offer any words of advice to Steve?