As Social Security Administration disability benefits have become politicized in the media and by politicians, there has been a popular, yet unfounded, belief that many who receive disability just want to sit at home and not work. A recent report from the Kessler Foundation sets the record straight, finding that more than two-thirds of adults with disabilities are “striving to work” and many are working despite their health troubles.
This, of course, makes complete sense. It’s very rare to encounter a human being who simply wants to sit at home and collect checks. But as this issue has been debated in the open, many politicians have seen fit to cut benefits from those who truly need it due to a perception that some benefit recipients may be just in it for the money.
The Kessler Foundation interviewed 3,000 people and found that fewer than 6 percent of those with disabilities have never worked, while approximately 43 percent are fighting through and continuing to work. Another 9 percent are looking for work and 17 percent have worked since the onset of their disability.
People suffering from disabilities who are currently employed average 35.5 hours of work per week, with more than have working more than 40 hours per week and another 40 stating that they would be willing to work more hours over the course of the week.
Kessler Foundation President Rodger DeRose told The Associated Press that he hopes these results will help the development of better strategies and programs for those with disabilities, such as a fresh look at SSA disability benefits from Congress.
“If you look 10 years into the future, as baby boomers have gone out of the job force … people with disabilities are going to be a population that will finally be recognized as a workforce that can make the transition into the workplace and be successful in overcoming barriers,” DeRose told AP. “This workforce — the disability community — and business have not made the connection yet.”
The Social Security disability benefits program allows for people to successfully transition from benefits to work over a nine month period. Contrary to the belief of many, the program encourages claimants to become employed again as soon as possible. The Law Offices of Harold W. Conick and Associates has helped many attain the disability benefits they deserve; as we have seen time and again, most can and will go back to work as soon as they can.