Has anyone used short term disability due to a depressive episode? I’m not in a good place and gritting my teeth and working through it is only making it worse. I’m also at a firm that will lower my salary significantly next year if I don’t make my hours this year. Due to some bad luck, we can’t afford for that so happen as we had to use our emergency fund this year, so just taking off isn’t really an option.

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Do you have a psychiatrist or doctor that will support the necessary documentation? I did and chose not to take it, regret it now bc I burned out pretty bad by pushing through.

Separately, find another job that pays more.

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Got it. I feel for you. Try to lateral to a market firm, ideally one of the “nicer” ones that still does above market bonuses like PW. The gap with non-market paying firms just gets broader the more senior you get. If you’re going to work biglaw hours might as well get paid for it.

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I had a colleague who took a 4 month mental health sabbatical. I’m not sure the exact means that made that possible, I believe it was a mix of short term disability and PTO. I know it was very much a good thing for him. He did choose to find another job during that time, the partner and CFO were really horrible and were definitely contributing factors to his mental health concerns.

How far are you from making your hours? Is it possible for you to get a game plan together to make it to the end of the year and take leave in January?

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Honestly I’m impressed you’re meeting hours! When I’ve gone through things it is very much reflected in my hours, so not being behind is a good start! If you have a partner you feel comfortable talking to, I would just have a discussion about your current state of mind and concerns about taking time off. They might have advice for how to navigate next steps so you are able to take care of yourself (which is the most important thing) and not have finances be an added concern.

Following because I’m considering something similar and don’t know how to go about it. My anxiety is making it so I can barely function throughout the day. I’ve only been at my current employer for 6 months though so not sure how all this is going to work.

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I totally feel you on the early out. If you need to do it, I say go for it and take some time off. Pretty easy to explain the resume gap during a period when there are so many layoffs, and it might give you a chance to figure out what to pursue next. I’m thinking of doing this.

Get an attorney who specialists in these policies if you do go on STD/LTD to guide you through everything— even the initial application. The insurance company makes money by denying claims and they almost always use dirty tricks to do it.

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Please take care of yourself. I understand the pay reduction issue is super important but the problem with only get worse if you don’t take care of yourself first. Short term disability may not necessarily protect you for job security purposes. Take a look at FMLA for sure. Please take care of yourself now so you can get back to high performance and billing.

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Take FMLA! A lot of big firms will pay for FMLA, so maybe you’ll be covered. It’s protected leave too so they can’t (well shouldn’t) use it against you. Reach out to HR for FMLA paperwork and give it to your therapist to complete. Your mental health is more important that your job mama, and I truly hope you get some time to sort everything out.

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Someone at my previous firm took emergency short term leave due to his mental health. The firm gave him time off and said a lot of things about supporting their associates, etc. he came back at a reduced capacity but honestly, it was just for show. Partners didn’t want to work with him and he was told to look for a new job like 6 months later.
You should 100% do what’s best for your mental health, including taking a leave of absence. Don’t just try to ignore your struggles for the money. However, while on leave, I would look for a new job because the transition back to your current job may not go well.
Be well.

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Not sure if this is applicable in every jurisdiction but a “stress” related claim is a completely legitimate worker’s comp. claim in California, meaning you’re entitled to some form of disability payment. If you know any WC attorneys, I would reach out and see what your options are, good luck and take care of yourself 🤍

I know easier said then done, but maybe try looking for another job that will make you happier. Maybe leave a 1 or 2 week gap between jobs so you can have a break. I also like to tell new employers I have a vacation planned very soon so I can get that off too haha. However, I dont get paid for that time off since I’m a new employee.

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