Cleveland, August 6 – Sen. Lindsey Graham has a plan for getting people with disabilities back to work and let them keep their government disability benefits too.
“If I were president, you could receive government benefits and work too. I don’t want to punish people who want to work,” Graham said to The RespectAbility Report after participating in the Fox News debate. “I want you to get back up on your feet if you can. I want you to enter the workforce and not have to worry about losing your benefits.”
“In this global economy there are things you could do that you couldn’t do years ago,” Graham continued. “One of the purposes of my presidency would be to take people who are disabled – been down and out physically – find a place in the workforce where they don’t have to choose between their government benefits and work.”
The Republican presidential hopeful credits his sister with educating him about the needs and desires of people with disabilities.
“My sister works for Voc Rehab in South Carolina helping people who have been disabled by the workforce,” he said. “My sister has taught me a lot about people who have been disabled, how they desire to get back into the workforce, the dignity of work.”
The senator is considered to be close to the disability community and veterans in the state of South Carolina. However, only 30.7 percent of South Carolina’s working age individuals with disabilities are employed. This lack of opportunity creates powerlessness, dependence, and can even increase the likelihood of developing a mental health condition. Today in South Carolina 15,700 youth with disabilities between the ages of 16 and 20 are preparing to enter the labor pool.