There were celebrations and moments of reflection around Georgia and the nation recently as the country marked an important milestone in the lives of millions. It was 25 years ago that the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, was signed into law.

The ADA has had a profound impact on many residents in Georgia and elsewhere. More than 56 million individuals around the country have a disability, including over half of those individuals who have a severe disability. Among other things, the law prohibits discrimination in employment for disabled individuals and grants those individuals access to public places and public transportation, as well as restaurants, hotels and other places.

While there are many reasons to celebrate the 25-year anniversary of the passage of the ADA, there are also a number of concerns that remain important for Georgia residents who suffer from a disability. One of the most important concerns for those unable to work is how to meet their financial obligations without the regular stream of income that would otherwise come from their job.

Fortunately, individuals in this situation may be eligible for SSDI benefits. These benefits provide much-needed financial help to those who suffer a qualifying disability. Accordingly, individuals with a disability should be proactive in determining whether they are eligible for benefits, and how they can obtain those benefits.

That being said, having a disability is often a process and might only be temporary. Individuals may be able to return to work at some point, and their ability to work may impact their continuing eligibility for SSDI benefits. Under these circumstances, individuals receiving benefits should understand the interplay between the ADA and their right to SSDI benefits.

Source: PBS, “25 years on, celebrating ADA’s advances while facing stubborn barriers,” Judy Woodruff, July 23, 2015