What if you cannot get a job because a criminal record? If no one will hire you, does that affect how Social Security will view your disability case?
I have a felony record from a stupid thing I did years ago. I did my time and I have not gotten in trouble since. When I was younger I did jobs that did not require a background check. Now, I’m older and I can’t do construction work any more. But I can’t get lighter work because I can’t get hired because of my record.
This is truly a “between a rock and a hard place” situation. There is no doubt that a criminal record affects an individual’s ability to get hired for jobs. Many jobs are completely foreclosed. Other jobs are at the discretion of a hiring supervisor – who may not want to hire someone with a criminal record.
These issues fall into the category of “hire-ability”- a way of describing the likelihood that an individual will actually get hired for a job they are physically and psychologically capable of performing.
The problem is that in disability cases, Social Security does not consider hire-ability into consideration when deciding if an individual is disabled. In Social Security disability and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) cases, Social Security only looks at whether an individual is able to perform the duties of the job. Social Security does not consider whether an individual is actually likely to be hired for a job.
That means that all of the issues of hire-ability: a person’s looks, their age, and any criminal status, are not considered by Social Security in deciding whether an individual is disabled.