Does Receiving Social Security Disability Benefits Bar an ADA Claim?

Either receiving or having applied for Social Security disability benefits does not necessarily bar a claim under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), although most often and usually it will.  This is because a claim under the ADA requires that the employee be physically capable of doing his or her job, with or without a reasonable accomodation, and a Social Security disability benefits claim may be (and often is) inconsistent with this, since a disability claim is based on a person's inability (to some degree or another) to work.

But the Supreme Court has ruled that claims for Social Security disability benefits are not inherently inconsistent with ADA claims because a disabled worker might be able to perform essential job functions with reasonable accommodations in Cleveland v Policy Mgmt Sys Corp, 526 US 795, 797-98 (1999).

Keep in mind that it will be the rare case in which someone who is receiving or has applied for Social Security disability benefits will still be able to go forward with their ADA claim. 

Lexington, Kentucky disability rights lawyer Robert Abell represents individuals and employees in cases under the ADA; contact him at 859-254-7076.