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Federal office changes application requirement for disabled applicants

A new rule issued last week by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management will make it a little bit easier for people with disabilities to apply for jobs with the federal government. Prior to the rule's passage, those with physical, psychiatric or intellectual disabilities were required to certify that they were ready to work when applying for a federal job.

The old requirement was referred to as the "job readiness" requirement, and required applicants to provide a letter from a medical professional, vocational, rehabilitation specialist or disability benefit agency verifying that the applicant has the ability to perform the job satisfactorily.

Those with disability often have work, educational or other experience than federal agencies can use to determine whether they are likely to be successful in that particular job environment. Because of this, the job readiness requirement was unnecessarily burdensome for disabled applicants.

The change will apply to applicants going through Schedule A, a hiring process allowing the government to hire those with specific, "targeted" disabilities without going through a competitive hiring process.

Changes aimed at making the job market more accessible for disabled people are always welcome. As our readers know, finding and keeping work can be difficult for disabled folks. Because of this, disability benefits available through the Social Security Administration can be vital for disabled people.

Those who are unsure whether they are eligible for Social Security disability benefits should get in contact with a Social Security disability attorney to inquire about their eligibility and find out more about the application process.

Source: Disability Scoop, "Hiring Requirements Eased For Those With Disabilities," Michelle Diament, February 25, 2013

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