Health care and cash benefits can be important factors that help you lead an independent life. However, the biggest key to being independent is getting a job. When you’re employed, the money you earn, combined with disability income you may be eligible for, will help you better take care of yourself and your family. A career also gives you more choices about how you want to live and how you want your life to be in the future.

There are laws that protect disability benefits so that you can find a job and work without worrying about losing your health or cash benefits or having to reapply for benefits if you need them in the future. You can read more about those laws in the DB101 article on Work Incentives.

In this article, we are going to talk about the laws that protect you when you are looking for a job or after you get one, so that you can have an equal opportunity for career success. The most important of these laws is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA and a state law called the Missouri Human Rights Act (MHRA) make it illegal to discriminate against people with disabilities.

We will explain the legal responsibilities of employers who interview and hire people with disabilities, focusing on the job supports and reasonable accommodations that can allow you to enjoy the same benefits of having a job that employees without disabilities can get. Job supports and reasonable accommodations are modifications or adjustments to the hiring process, job functions, and the work environment that make it possible for qualified jobseekers or employees with disabilities to get equal access to a job and its benefits.

We will look at how to get a reasonable accommodation, including how to disclose your disability so that you can get an appropriate accommodation. This article also explores the different types of reasonable accommodations and other job supports that may help you be successful at your job and keep it, even as your needs change.