Your Rights as a Disabled Renter – What You Need to Know

If you live with a disability, it is essential for you to know your rights when you rent a home or apartment. Disabled renters are protected by the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Landlords and owners must not treat renters with a disability unfairly or infringe on their rights to live in their home with a disability.

The ADA and FHA cover a wide range of disabilities. The FHA considers mobility, hearing and visual impairments to be disabilities and also protects renters with chronic alcohol problems and mental disabilities.

A person does not need to be disabled and unable to work to be protected by these federal laws.

A landlord may not ask for more information about disability than they are entitled to by law and may not evict a tenant or reject them for housing by a disability. If you are being evaluated as a candidate for the house, a landlord can look at criteria such as financial information to determine whether or not they believe you will be a good tenant but may not consider information about a disability.

Landlords must make reasonable accommodations for tenants with disabilities. For example, a landlord should provide wheelchair-accessible parking to tenants who need it.

Landlords do not have to provide accommodations that would be unreasonably expensive or substantially alter the structure of the housing unit.

If a tenant requires expensive modifications, landlords must allow the tenant to make reasonable changes at their own expense. A tenant must request prior approval before making changes to their dwelling.

In many cases, discriminatory practices come in the form of policies that affect people with disabilities disproportionately. For example, many people need to live with a service animal or a therapy animal to assist them with their disability.

Service animals are trained to do a specific task to assist individuals with disabilities while therapy animals help individuals with emotional disabilities enjoy their quality of life. A “no pets” policy can affect individuals who need an animal to live with them adversely.

There has been a lot of litigation in the last several years over service animals and therapy animals. If you are concerned about how your landlord has treated you based on a no pets policy, contact a disability rights lawyer for more information.

If you are being threatened with eviction, you may be able to assert a disability as a defense. Tenants who are aged 62 and older or who are blind or disabled may not be evicted after the expiration of their lease if the landlord owns five or more units but instead may only be removed “for the cause.”

A landlord may not ask for an extensive medical history and is only entitled to enough information to be put on notice of the nature of your disability.

An attorney experienced in disability law litigation may be able to assist renters who have questions about their rights. If you believe that your rights have been violated or if you have a question about disability law and renter’s rights, contact Wagenseller Law today for a consultation.

3 Eye Opening Facts About Disability Benefits and the U.S. National Debt

In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the Social Security Act that created a system of federal benefits for old-age workers and their families. The Social Security Act was amended in 1956 to include disability benefits.

Under Social Security federal law, disability is defined as the incapability to participate in any substantial gainful activity due to mental or physical injury or impairment that has been medically determined. The said disability can be predicted to continually last for not less than 12 months or to result in death.

It is also defined as a condition of blindness that produces the aforementioned disability but one that requires abilities comparable to those of any gainful activity in which the individual has previously engaged over a substantial time period and with some regularity.

Generally, disability benefits are received after the individual has been identified as disabled for a full five-month period.

In 2017, about $142.9 billion of benefits have been distributed among disabled workers and their families. This makes about 15% of the total Social Security benefits. Depending on the inflation rate, the disability benefits are generally increased once a year.

Impact on National Debt

This has an impact on National Debt since trust fund assets consists of federal debt and all finances of the Social Security program are handled through trusts fund in the U.S. Treasury. This includes a trust fund for the U.S. Disability program.

Loan Plus Interest

By law, surplus money collected by the Social Security program can be loaned to the federal government. Under federal law, the federal government is required to pay back to Social Security any monetary value that it has borrowed plus interest.

It is this federal government borrowed money from the Social Security that becomes part of the national debt.

Intergovernmental Debt

The money owed by the federal government to trust funds like the Social Security Trust Fund is identified as an intergovernmental debt. As of 31 May 2018, about $5.7 trillion of intergovernmental debt alone comprise the national debt.

For more clarification on disability benefits and the U.S. national debt, don’t hesitate to contact us at the Southwest ADA Disability Legal Center. We’ll be happy to hear from you.

2017-2018 Labor Force Statistics for Persons with a Disability

Under the law, all persons should be treated equal including but not limited to access to employment. The sad reality is that this is not always the case.

Persons with a disability are generally regarded as the non-contributing forces in the labor force but have you ever wondered just what percentage of the labor force do they constitute?

The United States Department of Labor has been conducting surveys among its residents regardless of sex, race, ethnicity, age, and disability status.

In 2017, about 19% of persons with disability were employed while about 66% of persons with no disability were employed. Based on the 2016 statistical data results, there was an increase in the employment rate for persons with disability alone.

Based on the 2017 statistical data, the persons with disability workforce comprised:
Higher Age Groups

Persons aged 65 and above comprised more than half of the employed population for persons with disability, which is significantly thrice than the non-disabled persons. This indicated that disabilities tended to manifest as the person grows older.

Higher Unemployment Rate

Persons with disability that were unemployed were significantly higher than the persons with no disabilities due to the difference in educational attainment.

Self Employed

As a means to earn a living, most persons with disabilities choose to take the self-employment path compared to persons with no disabilities.

Part Time Employment

Comparatively, only about 16% of the persons with no disabilities were employed part-time while about 33% of the persons with disabilities were employed part-time.

This would be due to the fact that the persons with disabilities would either have been unable to find a full-time job or their working hours were reduced.

As of June 2018, statistical data from the United States Department of Labor showed:

The labor force participation rate for persons with disability was 25.8% for ages 16-19 and 40.6% for ages 20-24.

Persons with no disability showed a labor force participation rate of 42.1% for ages 16-18 and 75.2% for ages 20-24.

On the other hand, for the unemployment rate, the persons with disability had a higher unemployment rate compared to persons with no disability.

More detailed information for the employment status of the persons with disabilities and persons with no disabilities are also available. Interested parties may contact the Southwest ADA Disability Legal Center.

Disability from A Workplace Injury – Here’s What You Should Do

No matter how safe a workplace is, even if it is just an office setting, there is still the possibility that you may get injured.

For example, your daily office routine might be as simple as sitting in front of a desk and typing away on the computer the entire day. This can actually cause a repetitive motion injury such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

In the event that a workplace accident that leads to injury does occur, here are the keynote factors that you should keep in mind:

Report the Injury or Accident

 

Under normal circumstances, an injury at work would get reported. However, this is not always the case. There are some instances that the injury does not require medical attention thus the injured individual would rather wait to see if he or she would experience pain later on before mentioning the incident to their employer.

Prevent potential problems in the long run by properly reporting your injury or accident. Not doing so might result in your employer denying you out of work benefits or medical treatment.

If you are a member of a worker’s union, reporting the accident to your union representative is also recommended.

Find a Witness

Nothing works best in proving that an accident happened than having a witness to corroborate the facts. This is where your co-workers would come in. They can act as witnesses as to the cause of the accident and when it happened.

Seek Medical Attention

Companies generally have in-house medical departments or clinics to tend to workplace injuries. Do not hesitate to seek medical attention as soon as you feel pain while completing your assigned task. This holds true particularly if the accident requires medical assistance.

Seek Legal Advice

In Michigan, workers can claim worker’s compensation due to disability up to two years from injury date. Take note that it has to be within two years from injury date and not more than two years.

For best advice, contact individuals who are well-experienced in this field. Contact us at the Southwest ADA Disability Legal Center for legal consultations.