Some colleges have begun offering options for people with intellectual disabilities to earn their degree, according to The Atlantic. In many cases, the mentally disabled have a difficult time finding work, which can leave programs, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and the ABLE accounts system, as their only source of income. However, earning a college degree can help disabled individuals acquire knowledge and learn skills that can help them land jobs.
In the Atlantic article, a program at Clemson University called ClemsonLIFE was highlighted. The goal of the ClemsonLIFE program is to enable men and women who are developmentally disabled to earn two-year and four-year certificates. The students are taught employment skills, learn how to live independently and get a taste of the college experience. While many of these students have IQs that range from 40 to 70, after going through ClemsonLIFE, they are often able to successfully live on their own for the first time in their lives.
Unfortunately, of the nearly 5,000 degree-granting institutions nationwide, less than 300 have programs to help people with intellectual disabilities earn degrees.
Can I Work and Still Collect Disability Benefits?
As Tulsa disability benefits attorney Steve Troutman explains in the following video, if you cannot work because of your disability, then you may be able to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or SSI. However, if Social Security can determine there is a job you could perform with your disability, your SSDI or SSI claim could be denied.