Can You Work in Healthcare with a Disability?

by Maggie Hammond

Those who have suffered from some debilitating injury or illness know what it’s like to find themselves ‘disabled’ by a legal definition.

While some people are born with disabilities, physical limitations to what they can and should be doing, others suddenly find themselves unable to work the same kinds of jobs they once held and for as many hours as they are used to working.

If you are one of hundreds of students looking to see if an ADU Online bachelor of science in diagnostic medical sonography would lend itself well to a job you can handle, the following information may prove useful.

How the Americans with Disabilities Act Affects Healthcare Workers

No matter what field of work you are in, you can be assured that you are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act. You cannot be discriminated against because of a disability and any employer who does so is subject to heavy fines and other types of penalties. That being said, you must be treated like any other applicant with an online medical sonography degree, meaning that if you can’t meet minimal physical limitations, you would automatically be disqualified.

So What Can You Do If You Are Disabled?

Again, only your doctor can qualify you or disqualify you for certain tasks based on your physical limitations. The Disability Act sets up regulations based on those equally qualified for a job. Again, if you are deemed healthy or fit enough to do certain jobs, then you must be treated equally with those who have not had a disability diagnosed.

When it comes to getting a bachelor of medical sonography degree and seeking to work in the field, it would be up to your physician to say whether or not you could do the types of tasks required of you daily. There may be some tasks that are beyond your ability and some may be well within what you can safely do.

Number of Hours You Can Work

Another part of the ‘problem,’ if there is one, is in terms of how many hours you can legally work and still maintain your benefits if you are getting Social Security Disability benefits such as SSI or SSD. There was a time when the maximum number of hours you could work was 20 hours per week and for some jobs, that would automatically disqualify you if they were in need of a full-time employee. Now it is based on the amount of money you can make. For those receiving benefits, it equates to the amount you are receiving in your monthly ‘check.’

So, the short answer is, yes, you can work in healthcare with a disability, but there are stipulations and conditions that must be met. Ultimately, it all depends on what your doctor says you can safely do and whether or not you will disqualify yourself for federal payments(pdf document) under Social Security. If you feel that you have been discriminated against because of your disability, contact a lawyer or legal aid in your community. At the very least, the Labor Board should be of help.

About the Author

Maggie Hammond is a retired nurse and freelance writer, exploring and writing in the U.S. in retirement. An advocate for public health and nursing qualifications, she feels passionate about raising awareness of the current strain on public health organisations.