Savvy Tips & Helpful Hints

Changing Jobs with a New Disability

There are nearly 48.9 million Americans that are considered disabled, either from mental or physical conditions. Of those of working-age, only 35% are employed. Although the word Disability may carry significant connotations, it does not leave a person helpless. Though employers may think that making the accommodation is challenging or expensive, studies have found that these costs are often lower than $500 and can create a better environment for all employees.

What Can A Worker Who is Considered Disabled Do to Re-enter the Workforce?

Regardless of whether the person with a disability was injured at a previous job, he or she can take steps to join the workforce once he or she feels ready to do so. The biggest step may be for the individual to accept and accommodate new limitations that an injury may have created. The injury may cause the worker to seek new training in an easier-to-manage, or less physically demanding, field. The worker with a disability needs to present his or her strengths and limitations to the potential employer. If this change reduces an individual’s earning capacity, these deficits may be covered in a workers’ compensation claim if the injury occurred in the workplace.

A job working from home could be a good opportunity for persons with disabilities as they can work from the comfort of their own space, which will likely be designed to accommodate their limitations. If the disabled employee has an SSDI attorney, he or she may need to consult his or her attorney before getting a job to ensure all potential impacts on benefits are understood.

What Sorts of Accommodations Do Employers Need to Provide for Employees with Disabilities?

When seeking a new job it is important for individuals to know what sort of accommodations that the place of employment provides for disabled employees. This allows the individual to self-advocate when necessary. The ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) requires that employers make reasonable adjustments to the job or work environment and potentially change how the hiring process is usually done to help include applicants with disabilities. This way an applicant with a disability has an equal chance to be hired and perform the job as well as any person without predisposed limitations. These accommodations requirements relate to:

·   Making sure there is an equal opportunity during the application process.

·   Slight adjustments to the workspace allowing an individual to perform the required tasks for the job.

·   Allowing the possibility for an employee with a disability to enjoy all of the same benefits and privileges of employment as other employees.

These accommodations should not be viewed as special treatment, as some changes enhance the work environment for all employees.

When is the Best Time to Try to Re-enter the Workforce?

When a workplace accident leaves the injured employee unable to continue his or her current line of work, it can seem daunting to try to get a new job. It’s important for victims to stay positive and focus on what skills can still be utilized. Training for a new career is something that the newly disabled person can look into and provides an explanation for a gap in between jobs if a potential employer should ask.

One Comment

  • Lauryn R

    This is very helpful advice, thanks for sharing! It helps to have guidance when returning to work after a disability.

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