Living in Disability Limbo
According to the US Department of Labor, nearly 19.1% of people with disabilities are employed. Many more, especially with Long Covid, are employed without realizing they qualify as disabled.
Asking for accommodations is a process fraught with complications, and even if your employer grants them, they can be revoked at any time.
At my previous job with a large, well-known financial firm, my simple accommodation, which cost them nothing and I took full responsibility for, wasn’t so much as denied, as the disability specialists in HR decided to ghost me.
Kit Caelsto lives on her homestead in the Ozarks where she focuses on the intersection of disability, yoga, meditation, and equine science. Find her patreon at https://patreon.com/kitcaelsto
I gave up seeking this simple accommodation as the ADA has no teeth
I gave up seeking this simple accommodation as the ADA has no teeth and the only way to force compliance is to sue. That’s something that takes money and resources many of us, myself included, don’t have. My health suffered. This was twelve years ago and my health has worsened to the point where I physically cannot work a full 8-hour shift without resting, mentally and physically.
Should my current job which allows me to do this by the nature of the workflow go away, what choice will I have except to get a new job which will cause potentially more degradation of my health.
I’m not disabled enough
Why? Because I’m not disabled enough to count to those who are supposed to grant supports. The disability system in the US requires someone to make below a certain threshold for two years. Whether this is for a single individual or someone, like myself, who is the sole provider for their family, doesn’t matter.
The amount isn’t enough to live on; it’s less than minimum wage for a 40-hour week job, and minimum wage isn’t enough to live on either.
I’m not alone in being too sick to work, but not sick enough (assuming I had medical experts who would complete the paperwork required) to seek disability income, which even if I could isn’t enough to live on.
What are we to do?
For many of us it means struggling with a shift toward self-employment, often without resources as many local small business incubators deal with more traditional businesses. We do what we can and try to make it through, but all the while, we remember that we’re doing the disability limbo—not disabled enough to stop working, not disabled enough to get real accommodations and help at work.