Abromson & Carey, Attorneys at Law
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Less than half of disabled New Jersey residents find work

Although many New Jersey residents who are drawing SSD benefits legitimately want to find meaningful employment, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to do so. The trend both throughout the United States and the developed world is that people suffering with a disability have a hard time ever getting back to work for a variety of reasons.

Across the United States, a little over one-third, or 34 percent, of people who are of "working age" but who have a disability are actually employed. Many of these people are not even looking for work for a variety of reasons. New Jersey's employment rate among disabled people is about on par with the national average, but in some states, fewer than one quarter of those who have a disability are working.

Although to some degree people do not expect a disabled New Jersey resident to be able to work, the low employment rate is not necessarily a good thing. In addition to draining government budgets, living solely on disability and other benefits also tends to leave the beneficiaries either in poverty or close to it. Moreover, many see the physical and emotional benefits of holding down a steady job, even if it is not the some work a disabled person was for at one time capable of doing.

Some blame the government's laws about disability benefits for this problem, pointing out that it is hard to prove one is not able to work, and thus is entitled to disability, when he or she is managing to hold a job. Furthermore, once a person gets on disability, taking a job may actually reduce their income in the short term since benefits are often restricted or cut off.

Others rightly point to the fact that, due to economic changes, it is just more difficult to find work when one is disabled. To the extent this is the case, it would seem a robust benefits program would be a good solution.

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