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Getting Rhematologist support for time off work

I need advice about getting approval for a reduced work schedule for my RA.

I've got RA and have had to move to a part time schedule at work - going down to 3 days a week from 5.

I've recently moved. In my old state my Rheumatologist supported my taking the time off of work I needed using FMLA.

However, I can't find a Rheumatologist in my new area that will support my taking time off work when needed under FMLA.

I found one Rhuematologist that in all other things was really good - but simply made the statement that "we don't do that kind of thing for anyone" when it came to continuing to support my previous doctor's recommendations around a reduced work week.

I need to get the ability to do a reduced work week under FMLA and perhaps ADA as well or I'm going to have to leave my job.

Is it common that Rhuemotologists don't want to get involved with doing paperwork for FMLA and ADA accommodations?

Does anyone know a good rheumatologist in the northwest Indiana, Illinois or southwest Michigan areas that is willing to help patients with FMLA/ADA accommodation and the associated paperwork?


  1. I do not know of a specific rheumatologist in NW, Indiana. However, I do know of two systems with good reputations. St Catherine's in the Gary area, and St Francis has a wonderful system in the Indianapolis area, which owns a hospital system in the Munster area. I cannot suggest any rheumatologists in that location, but perhaps you will get a lead. I am sure there are many more.

    When approaching a doctor, I suggest you not ask for an FMLA waiver. First, establish a relationship with a doctor and then ask for an FMLA note when you get to know them.

    To be clear, FMLA is a federal program administered by the employer. How it works is that your doctor says you need extra time away from your work to tend to your health. Any doctor can do this, provided you have a need. You do not need an FMLA if you do not yet have a job. Regardless of what your prior employer did, it is impossible to have an FMLA unless you have a job.

    An ADA filing is different. It is that you cannot be denied a job as a result of a protected disability. That means if you are working and you have a disability or a current disability. Except for accommodation, you can do the job and be hired; the employer must make the accommodation to help you work.

    An employment counselor can offer some help in making these arrangements. First, if you need 12 weeks off in 12 months (FMLA), which sounds like it is not continuous, then consider a part-time job to ensure a full-time job will work for you and the employer.

    A second way might be to look for a job share arrangement. Indiana has an excellent vocational employment agency. They can advise about rights, companies looking for such employees, and most importantly, training programs to help you have better skills.

    Here are two Indiana places that might help out.

    I am certain others will be correct my misinformation about FMLA and ADA. It has been several years since I administered these laws but I am reasonably close. I wish you the very best. I believe you will be successful.

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