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Feds keep focus on adding workers with disabilities to workforce

Last week, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management reported that the federal government succeeded in adding workers with disabilities to its workforce in the 2012 fiscal year. In fact, the addition of 16,653 employees with disabilities last year brings the level of such employment to its highest point in recent decades.

At the end of 2012, employees with disabilities made up just under 12 percent of the federal workforce, according to government officials. In 2010, President Barack Obama entered an executive order that pushed the government to bring 100,000 employees with disabilities into the fold in the next five years. The federal government's commitment to hiring and retaining workers with disabilities is critical, because as many Houston residents are aware, a number of private employers fail in this regard.

It is illegal to base hiring and retention decisions on a person's disability or on an employer's perception of a disability, but this type of discrimination still happens quite often. Disability discrimination forces a number of Texans out of the workforce before retirement.

When people do become disabled prior to retirement, they have the right to claim Social Security disability insurance benefits. Unfortunately, people with disabilities often run into obstacles and red tape when trying to obtain benefits. The Social Security Administration is notorious for making errors when deciding claims, and this leads a lot of people who are deserving of benefits to be denied.

It is possible to appeal denials, however, but this is a complicated process as well.

Texas residents with disabilities may benefit from talking to a skilled Social Security disability attorney about their rights and options in regard to Social Security disability benefits.

Source: Disability Scoop, "Feds Report Boost In Disability Hiring," Shaun Heasley, Dec. 20, 2013 

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