We know that for many people in the united states, working may lead to economic empowerment, which allows individuals to exercise their agency, and the ADA states that Americans with disabilities have the same right as all Americans to achieve that economic empowerment. However, in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people, including many Americans with disabilities, are forced to make career decisions based on new economic realities. This may be especially true for young people with disabilities who are just entering the labor force.
Job seekers with disabilities, regardless of their career status, require clear and accurate information to understand their opportunities. To help, a new resource, provided by the Unites States Department of Labor, Secure Your Financial Future: A Toolkit for Individuals with Disabilities explores common concerns and provides resources for people with disabilities as they strive to obtain or maintain employment and the financial stability and freedom it provides.
The toolkit is organized around the five stages of the employment lifecycle:
1. Preparing for a job.
This section contains resources for individuals of various ages who are just starting out in the workforce. This section discusses budgeting, how much someone needs to earn, and the impact work will have on any present public assistance they receive.
2. Starting a job.
When someone gets a job, they have decisions to make about their new pay and benefits, if and when to disclose a disability, and how to save for retirement. The resources in this section help people navigate those choices.
3. Maintaining a job.
The longer someone works for an organization, the more likely they are to receive a raise or promotion. Over time, they may also experience new needs for accommodations, whether due to a new disability, because they have changing responsibilities or because COVID-19 restrictions have changed the nature of their work. This section provides resources to help workers maintain a job, including how to request accommodations to help them perform their best.
4. Changing or losing a job
Many people, both with and without disabilities, have lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic. This section covers options for future directions.
Planning for retirement can come with a lot of questions. This section helps people understand employer-sponsored retirement and healthcare benefits, and other savings programs.
We all need clear and accurate information to secure our financial well-being, especially in uncertain times and periods of transition. The toolkit provides a path forward for people to determine and achieve their personal financial goals in the months and years ahead.
Secure Your Financial Future: A Toolkit for Individuals with Disabilities was developed collaboratively by the Office of Disability Employment Policy and its Employee Benefits Security Administration.
Please have a look at the new toolkit, which addresses common problems and provides resources for persons with disabilities seeking or maintaining job and financial security.