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Is DI out of sync with the Americans with Disabilities Act?

HomeSocial Security Disability InsuranceIs DI out of sync with the Americans with Disabilities Act?

Social Security Advisory Board, which Congress created to advise the President, the Congress, and the Commissioner of Social Security, posed whether the DI program and its test of disability are out of “sync” with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

In April 2004, NASI drew on findings of its Disability Policy Panel report, Balancing Security and Opportunity, to testify before the Board as follows:

“The need for a disability wage-replacement program does not go away because we have the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Nor is the need for such a program eliminated by advances in medicine, changes in the demands of jobs, new assistive technology, or other environmental accommodations.

These developments may increase employment opportunities for some categories of individuals with disabilities.

For example, the ADA expands opportunity for people who have highly valued skills whose main impediments to work had been based on discrimination, architectural barriers, or other impediments that the ADA alleviates.

But other individuals may face increasing impediments to work as the work environment and demands of work change.

For example,

In an increasingly competitive world of work, emphasis on versatility and speed may impede employment prospects for people with mental impairments.

Because the phenomenon of work disability will remain with us in a competitive economy, wage replacement programs remain essential.”

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