Many professionals with disabilities receive disability/health benefits income and many do not. (This is discussed further in the section titled, Not Every Person with a Disability is Treated Equally in Terms of Income and Supports)
For many professionals with disabilities the fear behind accepting employment is the fear of losing disability/health benefits (supports) and current disability income and that they will be poorer off financially. There is also the fear that they may not be able to get back on to such supports (and if they can, how long will it take to get back on) if their position ends.
Another financial disincentive is the costs incurred to “buy one’s way into employment”. If the costs incurred to work at a particular job far outweighs the benefits, a professional with a disability may have to think twice before accepting or continuing in the position. Even if a professional with disability is eligible for the disability tax credit (and not all are because of the tax credit criterion used to define disability and eligibility), they may not be able to take advantage of the credit because of not earning enough income.
Furthermore, there is sometimes a disincentive to save and build a secure nest egg (i.e. whether it is for rainy days, saving for disability supports, medication, modified van, assistive technology, treatments, planning for the future, retirement funds) when one is working. At times, the criterion used to get disability income and/or disability /medical supports is to prove that one has used up most of one’s savings to survive or does not have much in savings (and then if one does meet the criteria, they are often restricted on how much they can save once they have been approved.). That means, in many cases, if one loses their job, cannot continue working, or can only work on a limited basis, whatever they have saved must be spent (or most of it spent). In some cases, they may even have to pay penalties and/or lose on their original investments for withdrawing them out too early or when markets go down such as in retirement savings plans if they are in need of disability/medical supports. Indeed, so many of the financial savings plans touted as long term security to professionals in general are of no benefit to many professionals with disabilities who live in poverty or income instability. For a multitude of professionals with disabilities, the instability of having a regular income causes them to cash out their savings and investments repeatedly just to sustain themselves and/or to obtain support. This only perpetuates a cycle of poverty and dependency, and as a result, the light at the end of the tunnel for them to break out of this cycle (and/or improve their lives) seems to become even more remote.
Another disincentive to employment happens when a professional with a disability may be ineligible to certain health coverage provided by an employer’s insurer if they have a pre-existing medical/health condition. They must weigh that into accepting a position if they are getting those medical/health benefits now but may lose them if they accept work. They must also determine whether the same stipulations exist if they become injured on the job and whether they would be eligible for coverage if an injury happens.
Rising insurance premiums for employers is another financial disincentive. Often, an employer sees dollar signs in regards to how much their insurance premiums are going to rise by hiring a person with a disability even though it may be unfounded.