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How Do I Handle a Temporary Employment Gap Due to Disability?

by Scott Martens
(Boise, Idaho, USA)

Since I have been disabled, I have been out of work for going on three years now. I have now completed my first year of college. I am planning to attend three more years to receive Bachelor of Science in accounting. So my question to you is on my resume and at the interview how should I handle this?

Thank You for Your Time.

Comments for How Do I Handle a Temporary Employment Gap Due to Disability?

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Mar 17, 2010
You're Right... to a Point
by: Kathi

You are right, Anonymous, that he is not under an obligation to disclose a disability, per se. However, he is required to be honest about his abilities to perform the required duties of any job he applies for. If it's a problem, the employer is required to make a "reasonable accommodation" that will enable him to do it despite his disability. Of course, what is reasonable can be subject to debate and interpretation.

For instance, if you are blind and a job requires you to match colors of objects, then no reasonable accommodation will make that possible. Or if a back injury prohibits you from lifting anything over 10 pounds, then working as an inventory restocker in a warehouse probably isn't a good fit either.

So, when I advised him to discuss this with future employers, I guess that's what I was getting at. If no accommodation would be necessary for the types of jobs he'll be applying for, then certainly just saying "I had a health problem and decided to go back to school for a different career." would be a good option.

Mar 17, 2010
Disability Gap
by: Anonymous

He is not under ANY legal obligation to discuss his disability during the interview. I just want to point it out. He can say he had a "health problem" and leave it at that. I would not go into detail.

Mar 24, 2009
Disability Resources
by: Gail

I don't know what your disability is but there is an organization called Mobility International ( They may not have what you need but we have found them to be a wonderful resource. If they cannot help they may be able to direct you to someone who can respond to your inquiry. I am a gap year consultant and work with people taking time for whatever reason... to do something different (usually experiential but can be academic as well). I hope this is helpful and best wishes for your success.

Mar 22, 2009
Gaps Best Handled in Cover Letter & Interviews
by: Kathi

Hi Scott, Thanks for posting this question here. I find that employment gaps are best handled in your cover letter and during the interview, rather than on the interview.

Just list your job history, stopping with your last job. Then list your degree as pending 2012 under your education section. Then, in your cover letter, you can explain the 3-year gap during your disability and the fact that you are now in school for a new career path. And of course, be prepared to discuss your disability during interviews and how it might affect your ability to do the job you're applying for.

To your success,

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