Returning To Work With Dyslexia

By / January 12, 2017 / Injuries & Illness / 4 Comments

Learn why people with dyslexia should consider getting a vision disorder diagnosis from a doctor, which can help with job placement and with finding tools that can help meet work requirements.

Dear Disability Advisor,

I am asking a question on behalf of my Son who has learning difficulties he has word blindness this has never stopped him holding down a job from age 16 till 29 unfortunately he has lost his job and finding it extremely difficult getting back into work He needs support as he can’t read or write or use a computer to job search I have been helping him with the job search He has signed up with an agency and had a induction for a factory job with an imitate start he had to tick boxes to do with health and safety unfortunately he could not read the questions and when told the safety officer he was told he could not have the job due to his reading difficulties my son was devastated during his appointment at the dole he asked his advisor if they had a dissability advisor as he needed support he was told they did not have a one. I have found a support group called remploy but he needs to be recommended  onto the programme through the dole. How do I get him a dissability advisor ? I can see my son slipping into depression if he does not get the support he needs and deserves to get him into work.

Lee in the UK

Dear Lee,

Thank you for sharing the issues your son is having with us. While there are many differences between the resources and benefit accommodations available to people with disabilities in the US versus the UK, I hope I can offer you some suggestions that will help you.

First of all, it is excellent that your son has been able to work so that he has a record of employment. You might want to contact the local office of the UK Department of Work and Pensions as a starting point to see what reemployment or other assistance they might offer. Has your son been diagnosed by a physician for his vision disorder? This, too, is a necessary step in the process of determining what accommodations might be helpful to identify jobs and potential employment opportunities. It is usually easier to explain to different offices and programs the circumstances your son faces as well as identify any treatments or tools that might help improve his ability to read or understand necessary work requirements when you have a detailed diagnosis from a physician.

Currently (from now until February 17, 2017) there is a large scale information gathering process ongoing in the UK to identify how best to get more people back to work, including those with disabilities such as the one your son has.  It is conducted by the Work and Health Team and you can access the questionnaire to provide your story at:

You can also email this team to ask about additional information related to your case at:

Finally, there is a website for an organization in the US that provides tools, assessments, and information for adults suffering from dyslexia and alexia with a focus for returning to work that might be helpful to you:

Again, the good news is that your son has the ability to work based on his employment history. Keep encouraging him while seeking advice from the organizations provided here and any others you encounter in your research. The process of returning to work and obtaining benefits or accommodations may sound daunting but there are resources available that should help make this a smooth transition.

Good luck!

Jackie Booth, Ph.D.

Returning To Work With Dyslexia
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  • You are welcome, Flo.

    Jane and Kay

  • Dear Flo,

    I suggest that you call Social Security to inquire where your claim is. If it is in the payment center, you have been approved medically. If you were approved, your benefits will begin the later of twelve months before the month you applied or the sixth full calendar month of disability as established by Social Security.


  • Dear Flo,
    If you the decision was made early in August contact your local Social Security and ask for status. Usually if you are denied, the notice is sent very quickly. It is difficult to determine the final decision until you receive your official notice. You have to be 62 for an entire month, which means (unless your birthday is October 1) you will not be eligible for benefits until November. Social Security payments are made the month after the month of eligible. Your first check would be paid in December for November. Hopefully you receive your office notice soon.

  • Dear Flo,
    You didn’t mention, if you applied for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits or just SSDI.
    If you are denied you should receive a denial notice by August 28,2017.
    If you were approved your SSDI claim will be sent to a central payment center, where they will double check that you were insured on the date of your established date of disability; calculate your benefit amount applying any offsets you might have, such as SSI, workers compensation, or public pension; and authorize payment. This can take two months or more. Back pay is typically paid a month or more after the first monthly benefit.
    If you filed for SSI and were approved, your local Social Security office will calculate and authorize SSI payment. Before payment can be calculated, a financial update will be needed from you . The office will contact you for a financial update so that benefits can be calculated for past months. Usually you will be paid within a month of the updateinterview and submission of any requested documents.
    If you were denied again, you can appeal the decision within 60 days from the date of your notice. The next appeal is a hearing (using form SSA-501).

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