Our Michigan readers may have hears about the increased number of people seeking Social Security disability benefits recently. Among those seeking out benefits are veterans. Unfortunately for vets, getting the disability help they need is not necessarily an easy process. And with employers hesitant to hire those who've been on tour multiple times with symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other disabilities, life can be downright difficult.
Although federal law prohibits many businesses from discriminating against disabled job applicants on the basis of their disability, our readers know that disabled persons often struggle to find work. Employers, in fact may not even ask about disabilities in a job interview, and applicants are not required to disclose them. In many cases, the difficulty lays not so much in their inability to get the job done, so to speak, but in employer bias against disabled persons. And veterans with disabilities may face an even harder time finding work.
Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., as our readers may have heard, is currently away from his work in order to deal with mental illness. According to the Mayo Clinic, where Jackson is being treated, he has Bipolar type II, a form of the illness marked by depressive and hypomanic episodes. Because the manic phases of the illness are milder than those in Bipolar type I, it often takes longer to diagnose.
For those with disabilities, keeping up on bills can be difficult when one is unable to work or hours are reduced because of disability. Programs like Social Security disability can help a lot, even if it has its limitations. SSDI is, truly, a fundamental protection against disability, and around 153 million workers are insured by the program through FICA taxes.
If you are one of about 179,000 people in Michigan who receive Social Security checks by paper check, you have a decision to make. Paper Social Security checks are being phased out by next spring, to be replaced by either direct deposit to a bank account or having the money deposited electronically onto a debit card.