Everyone knows that finding a job has been difficult for the past several years. But finding a job can be extremely difficult when you have a disability. Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that even though there were 162,000 jobs added to the U.S. economy last month, most of the jobs were out of reach for Americans with disabilities.
It seems that the unemployment rate among the nation's disabled population only continues to rise, even as the country's economy and job market make improvements. In fact, the Department of Labor reported that the unemployment rate among Americans with disabilities increased from 14.2 percent in June to 14.7 percent in July.
That means the unemployment rate among the disabled population is now nearly double the rate of the general population, which was 4.7 percent last month.
While the Social Security Disability program has come under attack recently, it's important to acknowledge that the benefits serve as a lifeline for many Americans. While it is true that SSD is not supposed to be used in lieu of unemployment benefits, the bottom line is that many Americans remain on disability because they cannot find a job that allows them to transition back into the workforce.
Most people receiving SSD would rather work that collect government benefits, but when there are no suitable jobs available, that is simply not an option. Until this issue is examined and resolved, the country will likely continue to see an increase in the number of disabled Americans applying for benefits as well as an increase in the unemployment rate among this demographic.
Source: Disability Scoop, "Labor Department Finds More With Disabilities Unemployed," Shaun Heasley, Aug. 2, 2013