Be disabled for work . Do you say it like this? If doctors tell the government you cannot work because you have a mental illness or suffered an accident , do you use' disabled'? And the sentence , 'be disabled for work' is right ? Because some disabled people can work . In Spanish there is a difference between being 'incapacitado' ( can never work , it's against the law because you receive benefits) or 'discapacitado' ( sometimes you can work , like blind people in special positions Thank you very much
Jul 11, 2019 4:56 PM
Answers · 8
I am a British English speaker from Australia. To me, 'disabled' has the connotation of a physical impairment. You can be disabled and be a productive, full-time worker. If for any reason - physical or mental - you are unable to work, then you would probably be described as 'unfit for work'. I think someone who was suffering a mental illness - such as PTSD or severe depression who was unable to work as a result might be quite offended to be described as 'disabled'.
July 12, 2019
From a linguistic point of view, Americans would generally say "disabled". The United States has laws protecting the disabled from discrimination which require public and private institutions to make accommodations to allow the disabled to work. The disabled here are eligible for some government payments whether or not they have ever worked. I'm sure there is a vocabulary to describe the various conditions, but it isn't widely known and, at any rate, would vary from country to country.
July 11, 2019
That's an excellent question. It probably depends on the country, but in Canada an employer and doctor would use the phrase "incapacitated for work" to describe a person who cannot work due to an injury or a mental illness.
July 11, 2019
“Disabled for work” is not a natural phrase, no. In the US and therefore with American English, we talk about being “on disability” or “receiving disability” meaning the public payments to workers who were able-bodied *until* they were injured/disabled on the job and became unable work anymore. In American culture there is a very strong bias towards work. And there is no universal definition of “disability”. There is very little social recognition of people who were born disabled. To receive disability payments in the US, you really have to provide evidence of a work history, because the assumption is that disability is some condition you get as a worker. And there is little support for, yes, that very common situation where disabled people can work somewhat, maybe part-time, but still need health benefits or some public assistance to live independently. There really isn’t a phrase for them.
July 11, 2019
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