Applying for a job while disabled is a challenge in any environment. Throughout history, employers have preferred to hire non-disabled job applicants over disabled ones. But disability is a liability that you can turn into an asset if you know the right tools to use.
Get Help from a Disability Office
Your city should have a local disability office available to assist disabled people with job applications, training programs, and employment searches. The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) has a Workforce Recruitment Program that connects disabled individuals with interested employers. Find large online communities that connect companies, organizations and individuals with qualified job candidates.
Seek Job Recruiters
Seek the services of recruiters who work for employers and job applicants. Recruiters are found online, at job fairs, and in employment offices. Work with them when you have trouble finding disability-related jobs and employers. Get a head start on your job search and increase the chances of meeting your employment goals.
Know When to Disclose
Employers cannot ask you about disabilities or medical issues before hiring you, but if the disability is obvious — wheelchair for example — plan the right moment to discuss this disability. You might mention it on a job application or during an interview. Reveal any disability subtly while emphasizing the skills that you perform well.
Employers are more willing to hire people based on their skills and experience, whether they are disabled or not. They do not pay more for insurance when they hire disabled workers. Workers’ compensation cases are based on injuries that are made on the job and not directly related to a disability.
Defend Your Rights
Social security/disability law allows you to file claims for disability benefits. Find a list of protections for disabled employees on the Social Security Administration website.
Also, become familiar with federal and state anti-discrimination laws. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), all employees are protected from discrimination without becoming entitled.
If needed, a disability lawyer can help explain your rights and work-related laws, as well as provide additional pointers on finding employment. If your claim is denied, use this lawyer to start an appeal in your favor. Contact a disability lawyer to find out if one or more employers has violated an anti-discrimination law.
The right employers are willing to hire disabled individuals and provide them with full benefits. Disclosing your disability to an employer is not your biggest concern. Continue to develop your skills, write the resume, and be willing to do a little more work than the average applicant to land the job you want.
Author Info: Shae Holland is a professional copywriter with expertise on a range of topics. She’s passionate about healthy living, loves hunting, and relishes philosophical conversations.