Monday, February 7, 2011

Help knock down the barriers of misconception and misinformation

"Disabled worker" really sounds like a contradictory term. Yet at many companies (including RCIL), we have colleagues with some type of disability. They are very productive in roles from administrative assistant to directing programs.

There are 13.5 million1 Americans who currently receive either Social Security Disability (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability payments with much potential that is being stymied by misconceptions and misinformation. A sobering fact is that about one in three persons who are disabled lives below the poverty level.

Can we still be the "land of opportunity" for all?

The recent economic environment has made it difficult for anyone to obtain a job. However, as our businesses begin again to hire, persons with disabilities who have the will should be able to pursue their life’s goals.

Prospective workers should be aware there are actually many tax advantages that employers can obtain by hiring persons with disabilities. These include the Disability Access Credit, Barrier Removal Tax Deduction, and the Work Opportunity Credit.

Persons who return to work can continue to receive much of their benefits under what are known as work incentives. The Social Security Administration is under pressure from Congress to improve the rate of those who progress from the disability roles to self sufficiency through employment. As a result new incentives are being made available. We will bring these to you in future posts.

RCIL, like other Independent Living Centers across the country, runs programs named Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) and Ticket to Work. They can provide a range of supports from information about how monthly benefits would or would not be affected, to job coaching. You may also contact The Social Security Administration at 1 (800) 772-1213 or search

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Be in the know.

And help others be in the know.

- Dave L.

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