Work Incentives: Job Searching for the Blind
John L. Keefe
Social Security Administration rules allow those who are legally blind to earn as much as $1,740 from work each month without losing disability benefits. These Social Security “work incentives” are attractive, but it can be hard for someone who is legally blind to find work.
Here are some tips:
- Focus on your strengths. What are you good at? Do you have any skills or talents? Are you good with people? Play up your strengths when looking for work.
- Determine the types of jobs you are able to do. Obviously, a person who is legally blind will not be driving a big rig truck, but there are hundreds of other jobs that those who are blind can do. If you are good with people, customer service might be an option for you. If you are good with a computer, you might be able to do a technical job.
- Determine the types of accommodations that you will need to do the jobs you are interested in. Will you need a well-organized workplace? A computer reading device? A potential employer will appreciate detailed information about what you will need to do your job.
- Look for jobs. It can be hard for a person who is blind to access job listings. Online listings and newspaper classifieds may not come in blind-friendly formats. You may be passing “Help Wanted” signs without even realizing it. Let your friends and family know that you are looking for a job. Ask them to “keep an eye out” for jobs you can do. If you are interested in a particular company, call their human resource department and let them know that you would like information about listings.
America’s Jobline is a free service provided by the states with help from the United States Department of Labor and the National Federation of the Blind. Job listings can be accessed by telephone at 1-800-414-5748.
While the Boston disability advocates at Keefe Law can’t help you find a job, we can answer your questions about SSDI and other disability benefits. To schedule a free consultation with a New England disability lawyer, contact Keefe Disability Law at 888-904-6847.
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