The Right Steps to Take When Losing Your Job Due to a Disability

  • The Americans with Disabilities Act offers legal protection to individuals fired due to their disability.
  • Social Security Disability Insurance provides benefits to those unable to work due to their disability.
  • Unemployment compensation, though potentially limited by disability status, offers financial support for job-seekers.
  • Workers’ Compensation Benefits are available for disabilities caused by work-related injuries.
  • Laws like the Rehabilitation Act and the ADA defend against disability discrimination in the workplace.

Disability can cause many changes in a person’s life. If one is put in a situation where they suddenly become unemployed due to their disability, it can be a tough transition. Fortunately, there are ways to adapt to unemployment following a disability and legal ways to make the transition much smoother. This post will discuss legal tips for adjusting to unemployment due to a disability.

The Americans with Disabilities Act:

It’s essential to understand the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and how it protects the rights of those living with disabilities. Under this act, individuals who become disabled and are fired can seek protection if they can still perform the job’s essential functions. If someone is let go from their job due to their disability, they may have grounds to sue under the ADA.

Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits:

holding an envelope with money

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are for those who have worked enough to pay into Social Security. These benefits may be available to anyone who meets certain criteria and cannot work due to disability. The amount and eligibility for benefits vary depending on the person’s earnings and other factors.

Seeking legal help to apply for SSDI can be helpful as it can be a complex process. Counting on Social Security Disability experts and lawyers is recommended to ensure the application process is done correctly. They can also provide insight into the timeline of the process and offer guidance on what benefits one may qualify for.

Unemployment Compensation:

Unemployment compensation is temporary financial assistance given to people who lose their jobs and are actively looking for new ones. The qualifications for receiving unemployment compensation differ from state to state. Researching and determining if you’re eligible and what the payments will be is essential. This can assist one financially through the transition of being unemployed.

However, because disability and unemployment are often related, it’s important to understand that states may deny or reduce the amount of unemployment compensation for individuals with a disability. Here are some common reasons why this may happen:

Not meeting the state’s criteria

If an individual does not meet the state’s criteria for unemployment compensation due to a disability, they may be denied or have their amount reduced. For example, too severe of a disability may not be considered “short-term,” or it could affect their ability to search and find new employment.

Lack of experience or skills

If an individual has limited skills and experience due to their disability, it can be difficult to find other eligible jobs. This lack of experience or skills can lead to a reduction or denial of their unemployment compensation.


The income received from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) may affect an individual’s eligibility for unemployment compensation. Many states mandate that the income received be below a certain amount for one to qualify, so SSDI or SSI payments can put them over the limit and disqualify them.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits:

Workers’ compensation benefits are another option for people who may have a disability due to their work. These benefits are designed to provide financial support to those who have suffered a work-related injury. It is crucial to remember that workers’ compensation benefits only help with work-related injuries, not any other disability-causing injury. Some states also require that the injury or illness must have been caused by the individual’s job or work environment to be eligible for benefits.

Once again, seeking out legal help when applying for workers’ compensation benefits is recommended because the process can be intricate. Different states have different laws and guidelines regarding workers’ compensation, so having a lawyer familiar with these laws to guide you can be beneficial.

Discrimination Laws:

men at work

Because many individuals become unemployed due to their disabilities, it’s important to understand laws and regulations that protect them from discrimination. Here are some basic employment laws that apply to those with disabilities:

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

As mentioned, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) aims to protect those with disabilities from discrimination in employment, public services, and accommodations. This law also requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities.

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (RA) prohibits corporations that receive federal financial assistance from discriminating against those with disabilities in any of their activities. This includes hiring, firing, and other aspects related to employment. If an employer has violated any of these laws, it’s important to get legal help to fight for justice.

Unemployment due to disability can be a daunting adjustment for anyone. While this is not an easy topic to discuss, it is essential to understand the legal protections available to help you manage this transition. With the help of legal guidance, you can navigate unemployment due to disability and ensure that your rights are not violated. Start seeking out the best options for yourself and begin adapting to a new life.

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