Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities
The Social Security Administration is actively recruiting and hiring persons with disabilities. We offer a variety of exciting jobs, competitive salaries, excellent benefits, and opportunities for career advancement.
Special Hiring Authorities and Programs
Selective Placement Program/Schedule A
Individuals with disabilities may apply through the competitive hiring process, or in some circumstances, under the non-competitive hiring authority for individuals with disabilities (Schedule A).
For consideration under the non-competitive hiring authority (Schedule A), send a resume, description of your career interests, your geographic preferences, and proof of disability to the Selective Placement Coordinator in your region.
The ABCs of Schedule A For Applicants with Disabilities
In the non-competitive hiring process, agencies may use a special authority to hire individuals with targeted disabilities without requiring them to compete for the job.
Individuals that may fall under this special hiring authority include individuals with intellectual disabilities, severe physical disabilities, or psychiatric disabilities.
For additional information, please reference this guide to non-competitive hiring authority (Schedule A).
Ticket to Work Program
- The ticket to work program is voluntary. Through this program, individuals who receive Social Security disability benefits can increase self-sufficiency through a variety of support options.
- The Ticket to Work Program is a good fit for individuals who want to improve the earning potential and are committed to preparing for long-term success in the workplace.
- The YourTicketToWork.com website is for Employment Networks and State Vocational Rehabilitation agencies participating in the Social Security Administration's Ticket to Work and Self Sufficiency Program.
- Visit Social Security's Work Site for programmatic information about the Ticket to Work program.
- Visit Social Security’s Work Site web page for programmatic updates. Visit http://choosework.net/mycall/ to sign up for free information.
Vocational Rehabilitation (VR)
Social Security supports the State VR agencies in their efforts to help prepare people with disabilities for jobs and teach them job skills.
State VR agencies provide a range of services including:
- Vocational counseling & guidance
- Job placement assistance
- College/vocational training
- Supported employment services
- Skills training
- Job coaching/tutoring
- Interpreter services
- Services to transition-age youth
- Assistive technology and rehabilitation technology services; referral services; support, advocacy, and follow-up services.
For more information, visit:
Reasonable Accommodations are modifications or adjustments to a job or change in the work environment that enables a person with a disability to compete equally or perform the essential functions of the position.
Reasonable accommodation also includes adjustments to assure an individual with a disability has equal benefits and privileges of employment enjoyed by other similarly situated employees without disabilities.
The accommodation must be job related e.g. hearing aids, prosthetic devices, wheelchairs, and transportation to work.
Accommodations also include:
- Assistive Technology
- Readers and Assistants
- Interpreter Services
- Specialized Training on the use of Assistive Devices
- Modified Job Duties and Restructured Work Sites
- Provided Accessible Technology or other Workplace Adaptive Equipment
Reasonable accommodations can apply to the duties of the job and/or where or how job tasks are performed.
For more information, visit OPM's Disability Employment Reasonable Accommodations web page.
Job Search & Hiring Process
Know that the hiring officials are prohibited from asking questions about your disability unless the questions relate to your ability to perform the essential functions of the position and are consistent with the business needs of the position.
To review the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's guidance about questions hiring officials can ask about an applicant's disability, please visit the "Enforcement Guidance: Pre-employment Disability-Related Questions and Medical Examinations".
Read inspiring success stories featuring employees with disabilities here.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the types of positions within Social Security?
The Social Security Administration has a wide variety of positions available. Please explore our Career Paths page.
What is the Ticket to Work Program?
Ticket to Work is a voluntary employment program for individuals receiving Social Security and/or SSI disability benefits who are interested in working. Participants of this program can receive assistance from a service provider and also use a number of work incentives as they explore work options while still receiving disability benefits.
How does a person with a disability apply for Federal jobs?
Individuals may explore career opportunities via USAJOBS or contact an agency Selective Placement Coordinator to find out more information about qualifications. Additional programs exist for veterans, students, and ticket holders.
Where can college students with a disability get information?
The Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) is a recruitment and referral program that connects federal sector employers nationwide with highly motivated college students and recent graduates with disabilities who are eager to prove their abilities in the workplace through summer or permanent jobs.
As an individual with intellectual, severe physical, or psychiatric disabilities, what documentation must I provide when applying for a job?
If an individual competes for an appointment through the regular application process just as most non-disabled applicants must do, then no documentation is required beyond what is outlined in the vacancy announcement. Individuals with intellectual disabilities, severe physical disabilities, or psychiatric disabilities may also be eligible for consideration under the Schedule A hiring authority where, if eligible, he or she may be appointed non-competitively. To qualify for employment under the Schedule A hiring authority, a person must have proof of his/her disability.
Do disabled veterans receive any special consideration when applying for Federal jobs?
Yes, disabled veterans may qualify for a non-competitive appointment.
Is an agency required to provide a reasonable accommodation to an employee?
Yes, an individual is entitled to a reasonable accommodation if he or she is an individual with a disability, needs an accommodation to perform the essential functions of the position, and if an accommodation will not create an undue hardship for the employer. There is no requirement for the reasonable accommodation to be the exact accommodation that the employee requests; however, it must be an effective accommodation for the employee to perform the essential functions of the positon.
Has Social Security successfully employed people with disabilities?
Yes, we have successfully employed individuals with disabilities for many years. See our Success Stories section and learn more about how fulfilling a career can be with SSA!
Individual with a Disability: A person who (1) has a physical impairment or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of such person's major life activities; (2) has a record of such impairment; or (3) is regarded as having such an impairment. This definition is provided by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. 29 U.S.C. § 706(8); 29 C.F.R. § 1614.203(a).
Major Life Activities: Major life activities include, but are not limited to, the general activities of “caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working” as well as the operation of a major bodily functions. Reference: 29 U.S.C. § 1630.2(j)(l)(iv); 42 U.S.C. § 12102(2)(A)-(B).
Reasonable Accommodation: Any change made in the work environment or the way things are usually done that insures Equal Employment Opportunity for applicants and employees with disabilities. For applicants, accommodations are made to provide full access to the application process. For employees, accommodations are made to enable the individual to successfully perform the essential functions of the position. In addition, accommodations are made for employees to insure that they have full access to the benefits and privileges of employment.
Standard Form (SF) 256 (PDF file) [556.76 KB] This form is required when using Schedule A to appoint people with disabilities non-competitively to Federal jobs to identify, for data collection purposes only, the individual's particular disability. For non- Schedule A appointments, providing the information is voluntary for applicants.
Targeted Disabilities: These include severe disabilities, such as blindness, deafness, partial and full paralysis, missing extremities, dwarfism, epilepsy, intellectual disabilities, and some forms of psychiatric disabilities. Individuals with targeted disabilities many times have the greatest difficulty finding employment. As a matter of policy, the federal government has a special emphasis on recruiting, hiring, and retaining individuals with targeted disabilities.