There has been much talk lately about disabled workers and their struggles in getting back to work. Much of this talk ignores what some have called the "elephant in the room", the great recession, which has resulted in millions of lost jobs. This shortage of employment opportunity is pitting the able against the disabled in the race to find a new job. Clearly the disabled are at a disadvantage in this competition. This makes some to look at trying to change the Workers' Compensation system because of the stress placed upon it by this very competition. In a thriving economy, many more opportunities are available to return to the workforce once they are able to do so. Currently, one may stay in the system longer because those jobs are no longer as readily available.
In our last two posts, we have been writing about the record-high number of individuals in Ohio who have been awarded Social Security Disability benefits. While it is important that disabled individuals receive the financial support they need, it is also critical that there are opportunities for them to transition back to the workforce if they are able or interested.
In our last post, we discussed the increasing number of individuals in Ohio who are receiving Social Security Disability benefits. Currently, about one in 21 Americans between the ages of 25 and 64 receive benefits. The increase in the number of applicants the government is approving is good news for the individuals who need support.
The United States Department of Labor (DOL) is taking the month of October to raise awareness of disabled employees in the workplace and celebrate the contributions workers with disabilities make to society. In a press release on the DOL's website from the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) Assistant Secretary Kathy Martinez, she details how our government has been raising awareness of disabled workers since the creation of the National Physical Disability Employment Awareness Week in 1945. Since then, the event has been expanded from a week to a month and now aims to shed light on the ways people of all ethnicities contribute to the workforce.