Living with a disability can be a lifelong reality for some people or something suddenly sprung upon someone. There are steps to take to make it all easier.
Living with a disability is different for everyone. For some people this is what’s normal; they’re born into their disability and they spend their lives going about the world after a childhood of adapting. For others, it’s not as simple.
If you came into your disability later in life (or even if you’re freshly an adult) there are some things that you may want to know.
Keep reading to learn about what to know and expect as a person with a disability.
You’re Not Alone
The media represents people with disabilities as if they were an extreme minority, but this isn’t the case.
Unfortunately, it can make many people feel isolated. It can also make those with invisible disabilities feel as though their conditions don’t qualify them as “disabled”.
In reality, nearly a quarter of the people in the United States have some kind of disability. Many of these people live with invisible disabilities and they are underrepresented in media, politics, and the workforce as a whole.
Your Health May Be More At Risk
Health complications (unrelated to the disability) are more common amongst those with disabilities than of abled people.
Over 38% of people with disabilities end up also dealing with obesity. Almost 12% suffer from heart disease and over 16% manage diabetes.
Historically, this is because people with disabilities often have a harder time getting quality healthcare and health insurance. The Affordable Care Act helped to provide more people with coverage, but this is something that should be noted going into the future should that act be repealed.
Your Benefits Are Legally Protected
If you decide to claim disability benefits it can be a rocky road. There are several avenues through which those benefits can be claimed, but often the disabled person needs to have been in the workforce long enough for social security to have kicked in.
Benefit claims can be denied. This can be debilitating for those who are no longer able to work due to their condition but still need to have some kind of income to survive on. If you feel as though your claim was falsely denied, contacting a law firm that’s experienced in disability law may help you get back on track.
Your Workplace Can Not Discriminate
It’s illegal for a workplace to discriminate against people with disabilities. You also don’t have to disclose your disability to a prospective employer (though you can voluntarily do so).
A workplace is required to offer reasonable accommodations to you if you need them in order to do your work. These range from special parking spaces all the way to a change in position if there’s a vacant one available (especially if the disability begins or gets worse while you’re already working).
You can not be fired as a result of your disability. This is often masked by something else such as exaggerated claims of poor work. If you’re worried that you’ve been a victim of wrongful termination, you can reach out to a lawyer in order to retaliate and protect your rights.
Living With a Disability Doesn’t Have to Be a Struggle
There aren’t enough resources for those who are living with a disability, but there are paths that you can take to make things a little bit easier.
Remember to protect your rights and your health and remember that there are many other people on this journey with you, even if they’re going about it in different ways.
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