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Office of Disability Employment Policy
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ODEP - Office of Disability Employment Policy

Disability Employment Policy Resources by Topic

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are Questions we receive often, and we hope they address your concern. If your Question is not addressed, please feel free to contact us at the InfoODEP@dol.gov.

Individuals




Are there any specific financial assistance programs or scholarships available for individuals with disabilities who want to go to college?

There are many types of assistance for people with disabilities who want to attend college. A good place to start is HEATH, a national clearinghouse on post-secondary education information for individuals with disabilities. Other sources for information include your state vocational rehabilitation agency and Disability.gov's Education section.




What can I do if I am having difficulty with disability payments from my insurance company?

DOL does not have jurisdiction over disability insurance programs. Rather, these programs are overseen by state agencies. For assistance, contact your individual state's insurance department or commission.




I am a person with a disability. Where can I get information and financial assistance to start my own business?

The Job Accommodation Network (JAN), a free service funded by DOL's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), offers assistance to individuals with disabilities interested in self-employment and entrepreneurship. JAN's website is AskJAN.org. Live phone service is also available 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET by calling (toll-free) 1-800-526-7234 (Voice) or 1-877-781-9403 (TTY).




Can DOL's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) help people with disabilities find jobs?

ODEP does not directly help individuals find jobs. Rather, it works to influence national policy and promote effective workplace practices to ensure that today's workforce is inclusive of people with disabilities.

However, in carrying out this mission, ODEP does work closely with the workforce development system funded by DOL's Employment and Training Administration (ETA) and delivered through the nationwide network of One-Stop Career Centers. These "One-Stops," located in communities across the U.S., do provide direct employment and training services to job seekers, including those with disabilities. To find your nearest One-Stop, visit America's Service Locator or call (toll-free) 1-877-US2-JOBS (1-877-872-5627) (Voice) or TTY.

In addition, the Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN), a free service funded by ODEP, offers a list of resources, including job banks, specifically for job seekers with disabilities.




I'm a person with a disability and I would like to work for the federal government. How do I get a job with the government?

As the nation's largest employer, the federal government has committed to modeling effective employment policies and practices that advance America's ideal of equal opportunity for all people, including people with disabilities. A good place to learn more about related initiatives is the Federal Government page of DOL's Office of Disability Employment Policy's (OPEP) website. Specific information about how to learn about and apply for federal employment is available on the Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) web page for job seekers with disabilities.




I have recently become disabled and cannot do the work I had been doing in the past. Where can I get financial assistance for training or retraining?

Financial assistance for persons with disabilities preparing to enter or re-enter the workforce may be available through your closest One-Stop Career Center. These "One-Stops," located in communities across the U.S., provide direct employment and training services to job seekers, including those with disabilities. To find your nearest One-Stop, visit America's Service Locator or call (toll-free) 1-877-US2-JOBS (1-877-872-5627) (Voice) or TTY.




What can I do if I think my employer or supervisor is discriminating against me because of my disability?

If you feel you have been or are being discriminated against on the basis of a disability, you may file a complaint under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA is administered and enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). To explore further, read the EEOC's fact sheet titled The ADA: Your Employment Rights as an Individual With a Disability, which includes information about how to file a complaint. There may also be applicable disability nondiscrimination laws in your state. For more information, contact your state Department of Labor.




Does the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) give grants to individuals with disabilities?

No, ODEP does not award grants to individuals. However, in support of its goal to increasing employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities, ODEP does award grants on a competitive basis to non-profit organizations, state and local government agencies, and academic institutions. When such grants become available, they are published in the Federal Register and on ODEP's website. More information about ODEP's current and past grants can be found on ODEP's Grants webpage. Information about a wide range of grants from various federal agencies can be found on Grants.gov.




Is there anything that my employer must provide to help me do my job and accommodate my disability?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other disability-related nondiscrimination laws have specific requirements regarding reasonable workplace accommodations for people with disabilities. The Job Accommodation Network (JAN), a free service funded by ODEP, is the leading source of information on workplace accommodations and can assist both individuals and employers in understanding their related rights and responsibilities. JAN's website is AskJAN.org. Live phone service is also available 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET by calling (toll-free) 1-800-526-7234 (Voice) or 1-877-781-9403 (TTY).