People in the Portland area who have disabilities are not always able to work. An option for people who cannot work, of course, is to seek benefits via Social Security disability insurance. In many, if not most, cases, people would work if they could; depending on what their physical limitations are, in fact, some people are able to interview for and accept employment without their employers even knowing that they have a disability.
However, this might be a risky strategy. It depends on the job and the situation, of course, but it is possible that telling a potential employer up front about a disability might not be the best course of action. One hearing-impaired columnist wrote recently about a woman with hearing loss who wrote to her about her experience trying to land a job.
The woman reported that her interview went well and she thought she was in line to receive an offer. However, her last encounter with company executives didn’t go as well. They took her out for drinks at a noisy bar, and because of her hearing loss — which she hadn’t disclosed — she couldn’t take part in the conversation very well, and she ended up not getting the job. The columnist suggested that the woman could have requested that the final conversation take place in a quieter setting instead of a loud public place.
There’s no single right answer when it comes to these situations; it all depends on the individual. An experienced Social Security disability attorney can offer advice to people in these sorts of situations.
Source: The New York Times, “Quandary of Hidden Disabilities: Conceal or Reveal?” Katherine Bouton, Sept. 21, 2013