Your employer is responsible for providing reasonable accommodations for your disability. Those accommodations are left up in the air, though. Because there aren’t many specific laws outside of the ADA requirements that guide employers on what to do. Additionally, the employer may give vague information such as, “Just let us know when you need help.”
What you need to do is establish that the accommodations are reasonable, knowing that if you begin working full-time, you may lose part or all of your SSDI benefits. While you may be able to retain some benefits, it’s usually in the best interest to replace SSDI or SSI benefits with a job that can offer more pay and benefits.
Of course, if this employer can’t accommodate you, then it would be a short-lived stretch of financial freedom.
Are There Preset Reasonable Accommodations They Must Meet?
There aren’t necessarily preset accommodations, but there are guides and resources for employers and employees. You can get help in understanding what is or is not reasonable. For example, it may be reasonable to change your chair or desk type, move your location within the office space, or change your hours to accommodate recurring appointments.
However, it may be unreasonable for you to request a certain parking space. An employer can deny your accommodation request, but they often have to site a reason for why. That essentially means that you should discuss the request, the denial, and then negotiate on the options available.
For example, the request for the parking spot may turn into a reserved employee handicap spot, when they were previously reserved for customer use.
Employers and employees should work together to find established resources for guidance here. The Job Accommodation Network, part of the U.S Department of Labor, is a free resource that helps provide practical advice and feedback on negotiating reasonable accommodations.
Working as a Disabled Person
You have a right for your employer to make reasonable accommodations given that you’re skilled, experienced, and meet all other job qualifications. The struggle is that most employers don’t know where to start, and most people feel that it’s on the employer to figure out what accommodations are necessary.
You need to take charge of these issues and tackle the challenge of getting the accommodations that you require. Put in a formal accommodation request shortly after you get the job or after you receive the diagnosis for your disability. A formal request should go through your HR department, and if your employer doesn’t have an HR department, then go through the top manager or owner. In writing, explain your request, and why it’s necessary. The “why” isn’t necessary as part of any law, but it does help explain why you’re making this specific request and how it will better enable you to do your job.
Will You Still Receive SSDI?
SSDI benefits depend largely on your ability to perform your past work, and if you will need adjustments to get into new employment. Your benefits will likely change if you’re already on SSDI or have received benefits for some time.
Largely the benefits are to help people get through the time period until they can reenter the workforce or find employment that accommodates a person’s needs. It is possible to still receive benefits through either SSDI or SSI if you meet specific criteria. The criteria are very strict, and there’s a huge denial rate.
It is possible to get information about training for new employment or expanding education. The SSDI office looks at not only the past work experience, but also education level, training, age, and your ability to hold gainful employment.
If you’re trying to maintain your benefits for some time, you might expect to go on partial release or disability. That can be a complex situation, and you should consult a Milwaukee SSI attorney.
How to Get in Touch with a Milwaukee SSDI Attorney
Those who have disabilities may spend a substantial amount of time trying to determine if they can or should apply for SSDI. The common belief is that receiving SSI or SSDI benefits will prevent you from working or that working will prevent you from receiving benefits. While it’s true that you can’t collect full disability while you’re working full time, you can still continue to receive aid when your disability impacts your work life.
Getting in contact with a Milwaukee SSI attorney at Tabak Law is a great first step toward understanding your SSI options while your employer makes reasonable accommodations for you.