Originally Posted by pek64
A family lives together with one person receiving disability payments, though shows no signs of being disabled. Let's assume this person had a job that involved heavy lifting and has a back injury. That would still have other job options available.
Should the person collect disability? Should the person be retrained for a different kind of job and be required to work (having received assistance during the retraining process)?
What do you think?
Permanent disability or short-term?
If the person above filed for short-term disability, it seems unreasonable to expect them to train for a new job when they should be back to work within a year or two (as in, by the time they are done training lol). Plus short-term disability is often structured as insurance rather than strictly a public welfare program.
OK, so permanent disability... I believe this should be (and is) determined on a case-by-case basis. For someone who has hurt their back, not only do they need to avoid jobs with heavy lifting, but they may also need to avoid sedentary work (desk jobs). I don't even have a back injury and right now my back is killing me from sitting in my chair for the last 20mins! And standing in one place (cashiering) might also be unmanageable. So I think it's very possible that someone in the above scenario would have a hard time working a huge array of jobs, depending on the nature of their injury.
If it is possible for this person to physically work another job, then he wouldn't likely be approved for disability. If their injury was temporary, they also wouldn't be approved for disability. From what I've researched, it's actually pretty hard to get approved for permanent disability, and most applicants are denied initially (sometimes several times) and have to go through lengthy court processes, have multiple medical reports, etc. before they are approved. I believe that if they are capable of working some kind of job -- any job -- then they usually can't collect disability.
But yes, in theory, I would think that the first course of action should be to provide assistance and training in an alternate job if they were capable of doing it (physically/mentally/etc.) I don't think this is something you can tell by looking at someone though... lots of people struggle severely but to all appearances seem perfectly healthy and able to work. Disabled doesn't always "look" a certain way.