Frequently Asked Questions
What is a disability?
The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) defines a person with a disability as someone who has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
Do I have to disclose my disability?
You do not have to disclose your disability in relation to employment. However, the majority of employers and employment services would encourage it. By disclosing it in a positive manner (see below) you can avoid misconceptions by an employer.
How can I disclose my disability in a positive way?
You can be positive by giving examples of how you overcome your difficulties, being honest and focusing on your abilities. You can also provide them with information on your disability to raise their awareness and let them know that you are supported by a local service.
What are an employer’s responsibilities under the Disability Discrimination Act?
Workers with a disability share the same general employment rights as other workers, but there are also some special provisions for them under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA). One important aspect of this is the right to reasonable adjustments being made to the workplace in order to assist a person with a disability to perform their duties. More information of the DDA can be found here.
If I disclose my disability do I gain protection under the Disability Discrimination Act?
Yes. But an employer needs to know about your disability so that they can make reasonable adjustments and ensure that they are adhering to the law.
How will an employer make adjustments to help me with things I find difficult?
Employers are bound by the Disability Discrimination Act to make reasonable adjustments to the workplace in order to assist people with disabilities to continue to work effectively. This may be as simple as modifying work tasks, providing aids, adjusting hours or making changes to the work environment itself. Should an adjustment have financial implications it is possible to get help via the Access to Work scheme, which is a JobcentrePlus service.
What help is available if I become disabled during my working life?
If you remain in employment, your employer should make reasonable adjustments, where necessary, to enable you to stay in your position or a similar one. See the Retention page for a list of services which will assist you in retaining your current employment.
Should you become unemployed there are various benefits available through the Department for Work and Pensions. There are also local services which can support you back into employment.
Will my benefits be affected by starting work?
If you start voluntary work your benefits should not be affected but you will need to contact the Department for Work and Pensions to make them aware. If you start paid employment it is likely your benefits will be affected. The Jobcentre or supporting services or can carry out a “better off calculation” to work out which benefits you may be entitled to whilst working.
What is the benefit trap?
The benefit trap is where paid work leaves you with less income than being on benefits. It is possible for the Jobcentre or support services to carry out a “better off calculation” to ensure that you are not going to lose out before you commit to a job. You may also find that you are entitled to claim other benefits such as Working Tax Credits (see the Benefits page for more information) to boost your income.
Can I choose who supports me to find work and if so, how do I go about it?
You should be able to choose who supports you from a range of local services. Their contact details and referral process can be found here.
Who do I need to refer me to a support service?
This will depend on the service see the Contacts page for further details.