“Employment” refers to an activity in which a person engages for financial gain, and it must be
substantial gainful employment.
In determining whether a person is totally disabled for employment, his work experience
or his capacity for work must be considered. For example, a man may be a logger who
is no longer able to do that kind of work because of his impairment. He may not have
the training or experience to qualify him for lighter employment such as clerical
work in an office, or appropriate employment may not in reality exist in his community. Another example is a young man or woman who has never been employed because of his
or her impairment. In such instance, the disability decision must be based, in part,
upon an evaluation of the person's capacity for employment, considering his or her
Since a man's role in society is usually that of an employed person, the disability
decision about a man is made from the standpoint of employment or competition in the
labor market. A woman may have a dual role in society. A single or lone woman, therefore,
is considered from the standpoint of employment or competition in the labor market.
A married woman who lives in her family group is considered from the standpoint only
if she has recent employment experience which indicates that she would be employed
full-time if she did not have an impairment.
A person who is working as part of a training program is not “employed” . Such activity may be in the person's own home, in a school, a sheltered workshop,
a factory, or other training setting. The determining factor is not the location of
the activity, but the presence or absence of supervision, a training goal or objective,
and the economic value of the item produced or service provided by the person. The
person should be supervised in his training setting.
Employment in a sheltered workshop such as Goodwill Industries usually is not considered
to be “employment” in the context of this section even though such training is not part of a training
program. One determining factor in such situation is whether the person is capable of competing
with nondisabled persons in the labor market. Another determining factor is whether
the person's employment activity in a sheltered workshop involves production or service
of real economic value such as work on a contract basis for private industry.
To be engaged in useful or gainful employment refers to the production of goods or
services which demand the time and attention of the employed person for the ultimate
benefit of others and to which the public attaches a money value. Work which is made
available to an individual because of the interest or compassion of interested persons
in the community, but which would not ordinarily exist or which the person would not
be able to do in sufficient quantity to maintain himself, is not considered to be