Dispelling the Myth That Some SSD Recipients Don’t Want to Work
February 16th, 2018 by Attorney John Colvin
Some people believe that recipients of Social Security Disability are lazy – that they’d rather stay home and collect benefits instead of work. But that’s not true.
A recent Washington Post article may help reverse this harmful stereotype. The article featured stories from five SSD recipients in different parts of the United States, highlighting the struggles they face in daily life. These people want to work, but their disability limits what they can do. Some are able to work part-time. One man whose disability prevents him from working still engages in volunteer work, when he’s able to.
For most adults, having a job means getting out of the house every day, and it may fulfill social needs, too. People whose disability prevents them from working may feel isolated, bored – and even embarrassed or ashamed. SSD benefits can’t fully replace a salary or regular hourly wages, and SSD checks are often barely enough to make ends meet. It’s wrong to assume that people prefer collecting SSD benefits to gainful employment.
A Lack of Opportunities
A disability that interferes with one’s ability to move unassisted will significantly limit the type of work someone can do. While employers may be able to modify the workplace to enable people with disabilities to work, there’s not much that can be changed about certain occupations. Assembly line work, for example, requires manual dexterity, and usually the ability to stand for hours – an employer would likely have difficulty modifying that environment to suit someone in a wheelchair or someone whose hands weren’t fully functional.
As people age, and the body begins to deteriorate, they become more likely to suffer from a disability. Companies may simply not want to hire older workers, especially if they have a disability.
While employers cannot legally discriminate on the basis of age or disability, at least one study has shown that age discrimination does occur.The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco conducted the study, in which researchers created fictitious resumes, adjusting details that employers would likely associate with these three age groups:
- 29 to 31
- 49 to 51
- 64 to 66.
They used the resumes to apply for 13,000 jobs in 11 different states, in the fields of administration, sales, security, and janitorial work. In all fields except security, the 64-66 age group received far fewer calls from employers than the other age groups.
Workers with a limited education or background may also have trouble finding work. For example, a construction worker with a high school education who suffers a debilitating back injury might physically be able to work in an office, but likely won’t have the skills necessary for the job.
People who accuse SSD recipients of laziness often claim there are “plenty of jobs” available. That may be true; however, it doesn’t mean workers with disabilities are qualified for those jobs.
It’s important to remember SSD is not charity. Workers pay into the SSD fund throughout their lives, and they should be able to receive benefits when they need them, without criticism.
John R. Colvin, Attorney at Law, has successfully represented clients throughout Tennessee and Alabama who needed help with their SSD benefits. For over 20 years, he has been helping disabled individuals put their lives back on track, and he is ready to help you. For advice on how to proceed next, or if you have any questions about this topic, call 1-931-962-1044 or submit our online form. Put his bold approach and client focus to work for you.
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