Ben working from homeWorking from home may be the career path and reasonable accommodation that could help you succeed in the workplace. Today's blog post explores types of work-from-home jobs and discusses tips on how to talk with an employer about working from home.  

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Access to Employment Support Services for Social Security Disability Beneficiaries Who Want to Work
 
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Reach Your Career Goals through Work from Home

Sep 20, 2018

Ben working from homeHave you been thinking about going to work and wondering how your disability might affect your commute or your access to a workstation or other equipment? According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), working from home or telecommuting may be a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Finding a position that allows you to work from home may help you expand your employment options as you move toward financial independence.

Work from home as a reasonable accommodation

As the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) explains, reasonable accommodations are any changes to a job or workplace that enable an applicant to participate in the application process or an employee to perform essential job functions. Work from home can be considered a reasonable accommodation if it removes any of the following barriers to employment: 

  • Disability-related issues with commuting to work
  • Limited or no accessible parking
  • Limited worksite/workplace accessibility
  • Environmental issues that may increase a symptom of a disability, including exposure to chemicals, temperature sensitivity, and problematic lighting
  • Lack of facilities or privacy to manage personal and medical needs
  • Rigid work schedule
  • Exposure to viruses and bacteria
  • Workplace distractions affecting ability to concentrate

If you find any of these issues a barrier to work, then telework may be the opportunity you need to reach your work goals.

Types of work-from-home careers

If you want to work from home, you may want to consider some of these career options:

  • Transcription involves listening to audio files and typing what is said. This may require training, especially for transcribing audio files in specific industries, like the medical field.
  • Writing, editing and proofreading requires the ability to research and write content as well as review content for spelling, grammar and factual information.
  • Tutoring may be an option if you've taught before. You can connect with students online to help them improve their grades or prepare for an upcoming test, like college admission tests.
  • Customer service and support jobs are good options for people who have excellent communication skills and experience. You may need to be computer literate and willing to multitask as you help customers resolve issues.
  • Self-employment is yet another option. If you have a product that you make for sale or you offer services, like accounting, website design or other consulting services, working for yourself can also mean working at home.

Requesting work from home as an accommodation

If you are working and have found that the worksite includes one or more barriers to your ability to perform your job, you may consider talking with your supervisor, disclosing your disability and requesting an accommodation, like working from home.

Although your employer may be required to provide a reasonable accommodation to help you meet your responsibilities, they aren't required to offer or provide the exact accommodation you request as long as an effective accommodation is offered. In particular, employers are not required to offer a telework option, and you'll need to discuss with your employer whether your tasks can be handled remotely.

Questions you may consider discussing with your employer about the potential option of working from home include:

  • How frequently will I need to work from home? Are you requesting that you be able to work from home every day or just a few days a week due to transportation needs or having to go to doctors' appointments?
  • How will I be supervised and how will my performance be measured? Make sure you know how often you have to check in with your supervisor and have a clear understanding of your role and responsibilities.
  • Does my job require in-person interactions? There may be some jobs that require in-person interaction with customers, clients and supervisors. If your job doesn't include essential duties that require you to be there in-person, you can talk with your supervisor about alternative ways of communicating and interacting with the team, such as conference calls, Skype, email, etc.

Resources

Learn more about working from home and telework as a reasonable accommodation:

WISE up on working from home

If you're interested in learning more about working from home as a reasonable accommodation, join us for the next WISE webinar on September 25, 3 – 4:30 p.m. ET, My Employment Options will join us to discuss working from home as a path to reaching career goals. We'll also discuss self-employment information and share how Social Security's Ticket to Work (Ticket) program may help you pursue career goals. Register now at choosework.ssa.gov/wise.

Ticket to Work

Social Security's Ticket to Work (Ticket) program supports career development for people ages 18 through 64 who receive Social Security disability benefits (SSI or SSDI) and want to work.
The Ticket program is free and voluntary. It helps people with disabilities move toward
financial independence and connects them with the services and support they need to succeed in the workforce.

Learn More

To learn more about the Ticket program, call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 866-968-7842 or 866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Ask a representative to send you a list of service providers or find providers on your own with the Ticket program Find Help tool.