Having a happy and healthy team of employees is a major achievement for business owners; once you’ve reached that goal, it can be difficult keep it going due to circumstances beyond your control.

The health condition of an employee can change overnight, without warning. Once an employee is unable to work, due to a mental or physical impairment, it can change the whole structure of your company. With luck, your employee may be able to receive Social Security Disability benefits (SSDI) to assist them through their difficult time. Unfortunately for you, as a business owner, you may lose one of your most valuable employees.

How Can You Help Your Employees?

Do you have an employee that is sick often or visibly struggles with some mental health issues? This employee may be one of your hardest working team members, but maybe you are worried for his or her well being and ultimately, work might suffer. Your employee might be suffering from an illness that may make him or her eligible for SSDI benefits. “Many people have medical conditions that they may not realize are qualifying conditions for Social Security Disability benefits,” says Marks & Harrison, Attorneys at Law.

As an employer, if you notice that an employee might be suffering, you can be an advocate and assist him or her with a SSDI application. While it might mean losing an employee for an indeterminate amount of time, your action speaks volume as an employer.

My Employee Receives SSDI benefits, Now What?

If your employee’s SSDI application was accepted and is eligible to receive benefits, he or she will either be required to quit working or limit his or her hours. Even if he or she wants to continue to work, the disability must be so severe to interfere with working and in order to continue receiving benefits he or she cannot make a profitable gain.

Once you have found out that your employee has a disability, you cannot legally fire or lay him or her off strictly due to the disability. If his or her work performance is terrible (and not related to the disability in anyway) you have a viable reason for termination or layoff. This applies to hiring employees as well. Individuals, with disabilities, are protected by the Americans With Disabilities Act.

If your employee is able to return to work at a later date, hopefully you can alter a task or modify their previous job position to make their job better suited for their abilities, if required.

I want to be an Advocate and Employer for People of All Abilities

Maybe assisting your employee with a SSDI application really opened your eyes to the struggle and frustration that can occur with a new disability. Maybe you want your employees to have the opportunity to work with people who have a variety of abilities. Perhaps you just want to make sure that everyone has an opportunity to fair employment. By becoming part of the Employment Network (EN), you are giving employees with disabilities a fair chance.

Staff (63 Posts)