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Getting Disabled Working-Age Veterans Back to Work

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

According to Daily Finance, the unemployment rate remains high for certain people, such as those without a high school diploma and of course, for military veterans.

Working-age veterans, those aged 21 to 64, currently (as of February 2011,) have an unemployment rate of nearly 30 percent according to the Census Bureau. Within the general population, veterans with disabilities have an even higher unemployment rate at 41 percent in comparison to 27 percent of veterans who have returned without a disability.

Unfortunately, the 41 percent estimate is potentially a conservative estimate especially for veterans who return with undiagnosed disabilities such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD,) or TBI (traumatic brain injury.)

Cornell University researchers released a study noting that approximately 20 percent of returning service members potentially had PTSD or depression, and 19 percent had potential TBI. Overall, approximately 30 percent of veterans have at least one disability.

Disabled veterans are at a disadvantage for returning to the workforce, as many employers are simply unable to meet the needs of disabled vets; even if the employer has good intentions of recruiting, hiring and accommodating this population.

Though intentions may be good, employers have been misled to believe that accommodating disabled veterans or disabled workers in general as an expensive endeavor, costing upwards of tens of thousands of dollars when in reality, it may cost only up to $500.

Furthermore, businesses are only required to make accommodations if the worker brings a disability to attention, as per the Americans with Disabilities Act. Unfortunately, businesses are not required to accommodate disabled persons who impose a hardship on operations of the business.