A disability is severe illness, a physical injury, or a mental condition that prevents an individual from taking part in normal or routine activities. When an individual is suffering from a disability, his/her condition may prevent him/her from working, and therefore, he/she will not have access to the income that is necessary to support him/herself. In addition, a disabled individual may not have the physical capabilities necessary to support him/herself.
Disabilities vary greatly. An individual may be suffering from a temporary disability that requires him/her to stop working for a short period of time. On the other hand, a disability can be permanent and affect an individual for his/her entire life. A disability may present an individual with some minor challenges, or it may completely hinder an individual's ability to care for him/herself. In order to help address and reduce some of the adverse complications faced by disabled individuals, disability law and legislation has been created in the United States and in many other countries throughout the world.
Disability law provides disabled individuals with the same rights that all individuals have. They have the right to purchase property and acquire employment without being subjected to discrimination. Discrimination against a disabled individual due to his/her disability is illegal in the United States. In addition, federal legislation requires companies and public buildings to ensure that their facilities are accessible to disabled individuals.
Perhaps the most widely recognized types of disability law focus on providing disabled individuals with compensation and financial support. Disabled individuals are often entitled to financial assistance, provided by the government. The type of disability an individual is suffering from may determine if he/she is eligible for disability benefits, and what type of assistance he/she qualifies to receive.
Disability benefits are generally intended for individuals who are suffering from long term or permanent disability. However, it is possible for an individual to suffer from a temporary disability that prevents him/her from working for a few weeks or even for a few months. In instances such as these, an individual will likely lose his/her income for the time that he/she is unable to work. This can be devastating to his/her livelihood.
Without a stable income, individuals who are suffering from temporary disabilities may not be able to purchase basic necessities, such as food, or successfully pay their bills. This can create serious complications for these individuals. In order to ensure that individuals who are suffering from temporary disabilities continue receiving the income necessary to live, some states have established Temporary Disability Benefits.
Only five states within the United States offer residents Temporary Disability Benefits, including New York, New Jersey, California, Hawaii, and Rhode Island. Within these states, Temporary Disability Benefits provide individuals with financial assistance, if they are suffering from an injury or an illness that prevents them from working for a significant duration of time.
In order to qualify for this assistance, the injury or condition that has hindered an applicant can not be work related. Therefore, if an individual is injured at work, it is likely that he/she will not be eligible for this type of assistance. In most instances, a qualifying individual will be provided with roughly two-thirds of his/her normal income. He/she can continue to receive Temporary Disability Benefits for about 52 weeks, depending upon the state in which he/she resides, however, he/she must re-qualify for these benefits every two weeks.