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  • Depression. Fired?

    If you are already an officer and a military veteran and you are diagnosed with depression from the va will you be fired from your department ?

  • #2
    It all depends.

    Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (Federal Law) you cannot be terminated unless your illness leaves you incapable of performing the functions of your position.

    My first question is, given that the Health Information Practices Act (also Federal Law) prohibits your physician from sharing your medical records with others except under very limited conditions. how did your city/county/state police agency become aware of your VA medical records?

    Next, how did your police agency determine from those records that your medical; condition was such that you are no longer capable of performing you duties on a permanent basis?

    There are too many unanswered questions here before anyone can give you a meaningful answer.

    Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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    • #3
      Doubtful unless you've carried out some sort of act.

      Comment


      • #4
        There has not been a formal diagnoses. All job duties are able to be completed and there are no work related issues. I just want to make sure if I am going to speak to someone and be evaluated it will not interfere with my job.

        Comment


        • #5
          If you are diagnosed as being an imminent threat to yourself or others, notifications must be made. Other than that, its no one's business unless you sign a release. Only you know what's going on inside up there.
          Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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          • #6
            Honestly I'm not sure that's not something they might not have to pension you off for if push came to shove. I guess it depends on the situation.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Matt N View Post
              Honestly I'm not sure that's not something they might not have to pension you off for if push came to shove. I guess it depends on the situation.
              Two questions:

              1. How are they going to find out? (Remember HIPA.)

              2. If they somehow do find out, its debilitating enough that he cannot perform the duties of his position and it is not work related, there is no pension. It' just as if he lost his legs in an off duty traffic accident.
              Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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              • #8
                Originally posted by L-1 View Post

                Two questions:

                1. How are they going to find out? (Remember HIPA.)

                2. If they somehow do find out, its debilitating enough that he cannot perform the duties of his position and it is not work related, there is no pension. It' just as if he lost his legs in an off duty traffic accident.
                #1 It depends.....................surprisingly a lot of individuals are pretty proud of their VA disability payments and tend to brag about them

                #2 Not every pension is as strict as yours
                Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

                My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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                • #9
                  Everyone I worked with, myself included, are proud of our VA ratings... so, its not hard to find out...
                  Former Police Officer (Injured LOD)
                  USAF VETERAN 2004-2012
                  "The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day."-LTC Grossman
                  Emergency Services Dispatcher, APG MD

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                  • #10
                    Your department would not find out unless you told them. Even if your department asked the VA for your medical records they arent allowed to give them out.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thank you all.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by L-1 View Post
                        If you are diagnosed as being an imminent threat to yourself or others, notifications must be made. Other than that, its no one's business unless you sign a release. Only you know what's going on inside up there.
                        There lies the problem. Psych therapists are sort of placed in a position. On one hand, they must keep patient information confidential. On the other, they are supposed to report credible, imminent threats to self or others. There is some ambiguity in what makes a threat "credible", or just venting.

                        I knew one female who was a hard working conscientious officer. There was a period where she was going through a very rough divorce. High school sweethearts, the husband cheated numerous times, turned into a ***** about it and blamed her. She went into deep depression and took a medical leave of absence. During a therapy session, she related thoughts of self harm. Internal Affairs got ahold of it and fired her. Turns out the therapist called them directly. She went through a review board hearing, where she said she was lead to believe that she was free to vent in a confidential, controlled environment. She said she would never actually act on the things she said. They upheld the firing, but ended up offering her a different job within the government unit, NOT related to LE. She not only lost her marriage, her LE career was over.

                        She's only one example of several instances I've seen where therapists have taken it upon themselves to decide whether a threat is credible/imminent or just "talk". They cover themselves by claiming they're "erring on the side of caution", but wrong choices can cost good officers their careers. Medical confidentiality doesn't seem to apply.

                        Others can say what they want, but I'll never trust any therapist to keep what I say in complete confidence, HIPAA laws or not. I do not even trust the guys in the POST team in my area. I fully expect anything I say would appear on an IA memo the next morning. I am the only one (and maybe a private attorney) who ever will have MY best interests at heart.
                        You can trust just about every officer you work with to risk their life to save yours, but don't ever leave your lunch in the breakroom refrigerator.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I have been diagnosed with depression for years. At the time of my diagnoses my immediate supervisor, SWAT commander, and deputy chief of police had been diagnosed with depression for years. At this point we have all gotten promoted. When I was going through the NAMI CIT course this was brought up and the firing thing was brought up.

                          I said not only can you still work in law enforcement if it is properly managed and not debilitating. At the time my city was hiring so I gave the shameless plug "If you city does not care enough about your health to take care of you see me on the next break. The BLANK Police Department would love to talk to you." This only has a stigma because we allow it to have stigma.
                          1*

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Curt5811 View Post
                            She's only one example of several instances I've seen where therapists have taken it upon themselves to decide whether a threat is credible/imminent or just "talk". They cover themselves by claiming they're "erring on the side of caution", but wrong choices can cost good officers their careers. Medical confidentiality doesn't seem to apply.

                            Others can say what they want, but I'll never trust any therapist to keep what I say in complete confidence, HIPAA laws or not. I do not even trust the guys in the POST team in my area. I fully expect anything I say would appear on an IA memo the next morning. I am the only one (and maybe a private attorney) who ever will have MY best interests at heart.
                            Kinda amusing when I consider that a few years ago our department was harping on us after dispatch supervisors claimed that we were violating HIPAA laws by telling another officer via radio or computer to use caution with a person because they are know to have a disease. (Think the obvious ones)

                            We then said we'd limit ourselves to "Take medical caution" and were told that's also unacceptable. Then we tried coming up with a ten code and were also told this couldn't be done.

                            ... At that point we basically collectively gave them the finger and kept doing things the way we were doing them all along. Go ahead and sue me, I've got no problem explaining to a judge why I didn't want another officer to contract AIDS.

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                          • #15
                            We say 'high five' (ie: HIV) if appropriate.
                            Regarding depression, I don't trust out EAP. I would go to a private therapist if needed. Though in theory HiPPA is supposed to protect us.
                            Judge me by the enemies I have made----Unknown

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