Employment and MS: Introduction

Living with multiple sclerosis (MS) and staying in the workforce can present many challenges. Thinking about one’s needs, in advance, is important when trying to cope with these challenges. To help avoid a crisis, individuals may consider how much their symptoms are currently impacting their daily life and how personally meaningful their work is for them.

Clearly, most people work to sustain themselves, and not all are able to ask if their work is meaningful or brings joy and a sense of purpose to their lives, beyond paying the bills. However, in this day and age, you will find many different ways to work by exploring alternatives and accessing resources that can extend your participation in the workforce – regardless of your personal motivations. Doing so will help you adjust to your “new normal.”

The purpose of this booklet is to help people assess their current work situation and to conceptualize where they are, where they might want to make changes, and how to access available resources if choosing to alter their employment path. In addition to providing information on the work environment, this booklet also focuses on one’s personal work identity, the impact of symptoms, improving communication with one’s neurologist, life outside of work, the Americans with Disabilities Act, reasonable accommodations, and Social Security benefits while working. Insightful questions and helpful resources are also included at the end of this booklet.

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