Looking for Employment While Living With MS


Multiple sclerosis is rarely an easy illness to live with as it is, but those diagnosed with MS looking for work can have an especially tough time. It can be very difficult for those diagnosed with MS to know when and how to disclose their illness when looking for work, as the potential for discrimination is well known in a wide variety of industries. Plus, compromised self-esteem can erode a desire to seek work out at all. In this blog we aim to demonstrate ways to strategically disclose your diagnosis, and offer some excellent information related to job-seeking strategies. If you’ve been discriminated against before, it’s important to remember it’s all about you present your situation that often influences how others perceive it.

Knowing what to disclose to employers

When you’ve landed an interview, you will have to carefully decide what to disclose in relation to your MS and employment. If you are able to for the most part successfully manage the symptoms of MS, you may not have to initially disclose that you have multiple sclerosis to your employer. There are some instances, however, where employers will ask you for a pre-employment medical assessment or questionnaire.

Although you may panic and refuse to complete this questionnaire, such a decision may actually be more detrimental than if you decided to disclose your illness, as it will raise red flags with your prospective employer. Instead, it’s a wise idea to speak directly to the employer about your multiple sclerosis and discuss any relevant symptoms and your management strategies. It’s a good idea to be selective about the information you disclose, as you may raise things that your employer doesn’t necessarily need to know. You should approach this from a positive slant – emphasis your strengths and demonstrate proven strategies for symptom management in the workplace. 

Support networks to help those looking for a new job

If you’ve been having issues finding work, there are some excellent options for job seekers in mind. The Multiple Sclerosis Employment Support Service offers people with multiple sclerosis the opportunity to help identify suitable employment, apply for jobs, write a resume and practice interview techniques. This support through the entire recruitment process means you won’t just be lumped with a job you’re indifferent about. Instead, once you’re satisfied with your new employment, the Multiple Sclerosis Employment Support Service continues to offer support.

This program works, as well – according to MS, the representing body of multiple sclerosis in ACT, NSW, Victoria and Tasmania, 91% of people who access the Multiple Sclerosis Employment Support Service secured employment within 3 months. Plus, people living with MS and looking for long term employment are 3 times more likely to find a job with the Multiple Sclerosis Employment Support Service than if they accessed other Disability Support Providers. 

Seeking the help you need

Whether you’re having difficulty finding a job or knowing how and when to disclose your multiple sclerosis, it’s a good idea to keep in mind the wide assortment of solutions out there to help. It’s also very important to remember that you’re not alone. Experienced teams of allied health and employment consultants are always available for those diagnosed with multiple sclerosis to access, ensuring you the opportunity to find rewarding work, no matter the situation.

Article Submitted By Community Writer

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