When is a disability disabling?
July 21, 2008 6:27pm CST
I'm posting this under politics since we're in the political season when every politician (regardless of party) is promising everything to everyone: At what point does a disability become disabling, preventing a person from working and thus necessitating public assistance? In our diversified industrial society, isn't there a job for everyone who wants a job?
• United States
21 Jul 08
Mainly, someone getting disability pay is someone that the government has determined who cannot hold a self-sustaining job for whatever reason. Self-sustaining is the key phrase here. I work in human services and most physical disabilities which restrict someone from working are pretty cut and dry. The more difficult cases are those with mental health issues which prevent someone from being able to be gainfully employed. Sometimes it is a crapshoot as far as how social security determines who is disabled and who receives a disability check. There are also people out there who collect a disability check, but choose to develop another job skill or receives some type of therapy to a point in which they can be gainfully employed. For example, someone who became paralized from an accident who worked in a factory can get training in a career which would not require any physical work (such as a desk job of some sort). At this point, the person can elect to discontinue the disability check and work for themselves again or continue to collect their disability. It doesn't happen very often, but it does happen. Hope this helps.
• United States
22 Jul 08
Thanks for the insight. However, for the sake of argument, aren't there people out there who could work but do everything in their power to collect disability? I guess I'm thinking specifically of those young people who collect SSI for a reading disability. And there very physically fit and able.
• United States
22 Jul 08
Absolutely! There are many people who work the system and are perfectly capable of working, but due to laziness or lack of motivation choose not to. I've seen it. But there are also many I have worked with that honestly cannot hold down a job due to a disability (physical and/or mental) but keep getting denied for years for social security. Sometimes it makes no sense!
• United States
24 Jul 08
I happen to manage a group home for mentally challenged individuals and I would definately like to touch on this subject. throughout our company we have many different levels of challenges. I am not talking bipolar either. although bipolar can be a severe diversion in life most of the time there are meds that can contain this and help you to maintain a full time job. As much as we want to believe that America has accepted the disabled which lots of times come with deformities and verbal outburst. Lets come to realization here lots of American fear what they do not understand. They do not want to expose thier children to these people, some fear that the child will ask questions that they do not know how to answe. The old saying what I do not see won't bother me applies here. I take my individuals everywhere I go and if people feel uncomfortable around them then they can walk out. I once took an elderly down syndrome gentleman that had alzheimers on the ferry to Martha's vineyard. He was in the bathroom and he began to scream when the boat moved so I opened the door and assisted him to help him to understand what was going on and to comfort him. I took this gentleman on my trip with my husband and my son. A man approached me and said he should not be allowed on trips like this because it scares the children. I looked at him and said well honestly sir when children are screaming because they want something or they are tired it scares him so should I insist that you leave your children HOME? It wasnt the child that was scared it was the parent. I am a huge advocate for the physically and mentally challenged people but lets face it you own a business lets take walmart for instance something as simple as being a greeter many of what we call high functioning people could definately do this. I tried to get one of my individuals a job there he has brain injury but dont let that fool you can go to college and get any degree he put his mind too. He is also physically challenged in a wheelchair. Sometimes he may drool and because he does not have the motor skills in his arm he can not wipe it before noticed. As a customer would you want to be greeted my someone like him? It is the fear that the public has that stops companies from hiring these individuals. Friends of mine were just complaining the other day that they would not grocery shop at a certain store because they hire the challenged to bag groceries and they take way to long. My answer was... ask them how they are today as you help them to bag your groceries, thank them for thier hard work and wish them a good day. Acknowlege them as an equal and as a good person. Is it really that hard for us to spend a few minutes with someone that is challenged to put a smile on thier face? So as you can see I can go on and on about this subject because it is very passionate for me. People with disabilities are strong strong people at heart it just saddens me that "normal people can not get past this" They are constantly being descrimated against and shame on us huh! Instead most of our individuals are sent to day programs to do arts and crafts, count money and to socialize outside the home. They have human rights which are broken everyday, they do not get special privilages nor do they request them they just want to be able to have what everyone else has. Recently I was able to speak to a group kitchen that has agreed for me to organize a group of our individuals to help set tables, clear them and to even serve food. This is good for them after all they feel they are doing something good. They just need a leader and someone to mimmick which I will be happy to do. So to answer your question NO there is not jobs for everyone, or at least not paying jobs.