Have you ever heard of a "sheltered workshop?" These workplaces hire people living with disabilities, which is a noble intention indeed. But the problem with these sheltered workshops is that they pay their employees mere pennies on the dollar of other employees. In other words, people with disabilities are paid substandard minimum wage during a time when there has been a national outcry to raise the minimum wage. In fact, the president recently agreed to increase the minimum wage of workers under federal contractors. That order includes people living with disabilities.
More Americans than ever are currently receiving Social Security Disability benefits because of illnesses and conditions that leave them unable to work full time. In March 2013, a record 10,939,936 were receiving SSD benefits, which represented a 42 percent increase in enrollment since 2004.
In our Saint Louis Social Security disability law blog, we have said before that a disability isn’t something a person is but something that they have. This differentiation isn’t always that easy for other people to see. A disability such as epilepsy, cerebral palsy, paralysis or even dementia is often visible to the public.
With the recent predictions that the Disability Insurance Trust Fund could become bankrupt at some point in the near future, concern over fraud within the program has also become an issue. Administrative law judges with high claim approval percentages -- up to 99.7 percent in one case involving $2.5 billion in total lifetime benefits awarded from 2005 through 2011 -- have come under scrutiny.
Our bodies aren’t indestructible, and we can suffer injuries that hinder our performance at work. In some cases, it makes it downright impossible to earn a living in St. Louis, whether it is for a temporary period or permanently. When an injury is expected to last for a year or longer, an individual may be able to obtain Social Security disability benefits to cover certain costs.