Disabilities and impairments suffered from an injury or illness may not always be permanent or prevent workers from ever being able to return to the workforce in Minnesota. Some physical or mental impairments may only severely affect workers for a few months or years. And in some cases, workers discover that there are other jobs they can do, even when they do suffer from serious injuries or medical conditions that may prevent them from returning to any of the previous jobs they held.
Although disabled workers are often encouraged to enter the workforce when they begin to show signs of improvement, returning to the workforce may be challenging. Some workers may need to work in a completely different industry while others may need to work in a position that they held 20 years ago when they were less experienced. In addition to these challenges, workers may also face discrimination or other hurdles during the hiring process. To make things less complicated for disabled individuals who are looking to work again, the federal government has decided to ease some of its hiring requirements.
Until recently, disabled workers who applied for jobs with the federal government were often required to prove that they were physically and mentally capable of working. Disabled workers had to obtain proof by having their conditions assessed by a doctor, a vocational rehabilitation specialist or a disability benefit agency. Last month, the federal government announced that disabled workers will no longer need to do this before being hired through the Schedule A process.
When disabled workers are awarded Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, they should understand that these benefits are not always permanent, and their conditions may allow them to return to work in the future. However, before returning to work, disabled workers need to have a discussion with their doctors and attorneys to determine whether it is safe to go back to work.
In some cases, doctors may advise disabled workers to not go back to work in order to prevent workers from causing additional harm or impairments by aggravating their medical conditions. Going back to work before a disabled worker is truly ready to have a steady job may also cause a worker to lose his or her disability benefits. Before returning to work, disabled workers will want to understand the disadvantages and advantages of working while receiving disability benefits.
Source: Disability Scoop, "Hiring Requirements Eased For Those With Disabilities," Michelle Diament, Feb. 25, 2013
- Our firm provides counsel to workers who are suffering from disabling physical and mental conditions. We provide counsel to those who are interested in applying for SSDI benefits as well as those who are interested in working while receiving SSDI benefits. To learn more about our firm and practice, please visit our firm's web page about working while receiving disability benefits.