People receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can work if they feel up to it, and the Social Security Administration’s voluntary Ticket to Work program provides complimentary support for beneficiaries transitioning back into the workforce.
Unfortunately, people with disabilities can be particularly vulnerable to employment discrimination, during both the application and hiring process and as an employee.
The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and laws enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) provide vital protections for disabled workers. Additionally, Ticket to Work’s wide-ranging free services includes Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS).
Do you work and collect disability? Here’s what you should know if you’re experiencing workplace discrimination, including how Disability Services of America, an SSA-approved Employment Network, can help you understand your rights and make the most of your Ticket to Work.
The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) Protects Against Discrimination
Enacted in 1990, the ADA is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against disabled individuals in various areas of public life, including employment.
Under the law, employers must provide people with disabilities equal access to employment-related opportunities, such as recruitment, hiring, training, promotions, pay, social activities, and other privileges of employment.
The ADA also requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for the known physical or mental limitations of otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities. These accommodations may include:
- Providing or modifying equipment or devices
- Part-time or modified work schedules
- Job restructuring
- Providing readers and interpreters
- Reassignment to a vacant position
- Adjusting or modifying examinations, training materials, or policies
- Making the workplace readily accessible to—and usable by—people with disabilities
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Enforces Laws Prohibiting Employment Discrimination
If you’ve experienced disability-related discrimination in hiring or employment that runs afoul of the ADA, you can file a title I complaint with the EEOC. The commission has the authority to thoroughly investigate complaints and resolve confirmed cases of discrimination when possible. It can also file a lawsuit against a discriminatory employer if it can’t agree on a satisfactory solution, though this only occurs in a small percentage of cases.
However, if you wish to file an employment lawsuit before the EEOC has completed its investigation, you can request a Notice of Right to Sue from the investigating office. This notice provides the legal permission you need to file your lawsuit in federal or state court.
Ticket to Work Helps SSDI and SSI Beneficiaries Ease Back Into Employment
Ticket to Work is a voluntary program the SSA administers offering free career development and support services for individuals who want to work and collect disability. The SSA contracts approved Employment Networks like Disability Services of America to provide these essential services for SSDI and SSI beneficiaries who want to try easing back into the workforce without jeopardizing disability benefits.
In addition to helping you prepare for and find fulfilling employment, we can also help you understand your rights as a worker with disabilities.
How Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS) Helps Disabled Workers Facing Discrimination
Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security, or PABSS, is a key component of the Ticket to Work program providing free legal support, advocacy, and information to help disabled workers resolve employment-related concerns.
In addition to removing unfair barriers to employment, PABSS can also help individuals:
- Understand, protect, and assert their rights under the ADA, such as the right to reasonable accommodations
- Obtain job support services from Ticket to Work-approved Employment Networks or community agencies
- Secure vocational rehabilitation and employment-related services and supports
- Navigate Ticket to Work incentives and issues with SSDI or SSI benefits
- Protect transportation rights
- Safeguard access to housing assistance
Get Vital Guidance and Support for Disability-Related Employment Discrimination Claims
People who work and collect disability can get free legal advocacy and support services through an approved Ticket to Work PABSS provider. Have questions about your rights as a disabled worker? Our knowledgeable and skilled Social Security disability specialists have answers.