Some myths say work isn’t a realistic option for people with disabilities. These myths aren’t true: Your child can work, even if he or she has a significant disability.

Myth #1: Employers won’t hire your child because of a disability

Actually:

  • There are other ways to get a job. Not all jobs go through the regular job application process.
  • Your relationships in the community can lead to job opportunities. Most people get their first jobs through personal and family connections.
  • Many employers actively seek employees with disabilities, because they know that people with disabilities can do excellent jobs.
  • It is illegal for an employer to discriminate against a job applicant who has a disability.

Myth #2: Your child can’t work because of a disability

Actually:

  • Everyone has skills and talents. It’s a matter of finding the right work for your child.
  • With an individualized employment search, the goal is to look for a job that matches your child’s interests and abilities. You and your child can do this on your own, and you can also get help from employment specialists at your child’s school or from other organizations like Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS).
  • Assistive technology and other reasonable accommodations can help your child succeed.
  • Employment doesn’t have to be half-time or full-time. Even working a few hours a week helps your child build job skills and work experience.

Myth #3: Your child will stop getting disability benefits because of a job

Actually:

  • No matter how much he or she earns, your child can get Medical Assistance for Employed Persons with Disabilities (MA-EPD).
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is designed so that your child will always have more total income after getting a job.
    • Depending on your child’s situation, a job may not affect SSI at all.
    • Work income will only cause your child’s SSI benefits to go down to zero if your child makes a lot more money than he or she would get in SSI benefits.
  • Some programs, like the Ticket to Work program and Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS), are designed to help people with disabilities who want to work.
    • Your child does not have to complete any training or skills programs before starting work. Your child can start a job right away and still qualify for these programs later.