Don’t Render Workers With Disabilities Obsolete

Target: Gail Ennis, Inspector General of the U.S. Social Security Administration

Goal: Update guide for determining employment eligibility of individuals with disabilities.

People with disabilities already face immense challenges and prejudices in the job market, being three times less likely to be hired for a position than a worker that is not differently abled. The unemployment rate for these individuals typically lingers around 12 percent, much higher than the average. And when people with disabilities seek unemployment benefits, they face even more challenges in securing these aids. One incomplete form could mean rejection. And a badly outdated system for determining eligibility denies countless Americans needed assistance every year.

The Dictionary of Occupational Titles is a guide used by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to determine theoretical jobs that a person with a disability could complete. If such jobs are matched to the applicant, then the application for benefits will more than likely be denied…a fate that befalls thousands of applicants annually. The problem: this guide has not been updated in more than three decades, so it includes a sizeable percentage of jobs that are essentially obsolete today. Unfortunately, many applicants are still getting matched to these unavailable jobs and being denied benefits as a result.

Sign the petition below to demand the agency tasked with looking out for individuals with disabilities get its own paperwork in order.


Dear Ms. Ennis,

The Social Security Administration is meant to be a security net and a helping hand for Americans experiencing hardship, yet looming investigations suggest this agency is failing in its duties. At least one major and continuing problem could be easily addressed if the SSA would take the initiative: updating the Dictionary of Occupational Titles to reflect today’s labor market. This book is more than just a document. It determines the fates and fortunes of thousands of Americans trying to overcome the challenges of living with a disability.

These Americans already have the scales weighted against them in obtaining employment, facing passive and active discrimination that soars their collective rates of unemployment. They do not need more hurdles from their own government who punishes them for not securing jobs from decades ago that are now obsolete. Please create a stronger and more modern template that gives every American in need a fair shot at real and meaningful help.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Marcus Aurelius

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