Health issues for the ex-offender

Being an ex-offender often means people will tell you how you must use your skills, abilities, and ambition to gain employment as soon as possible. What is many times overlooked is the health issues for ex-offenders. Knowing your abilities and handling the work are two different concerns when looking for work. There are two ways to handle the health issue:

  • Be honest with yourself
  • Be honest with the employer

Your Health First

Knowing your abilities with regards to your health is a key factor in knowing the work you are able to handle. This counts for both physical and mental health. If you can not handle being around people in confined spaces, you would be very ineffective in a factory setting or crowded storefront. On the other side, if you have physical problems which limit the amount of weight you can handle without strain you would be ineffective in a warehouse or many delivery jobs. Consider the ability to handle the work before you consider which jobs to apply for. Health issues, for ex-offenders or any applicant, require an honest assessment of knowing your abilities and how you can handle the work when it comes to landing the job and keeping the job.

Be Honest With Employers

One questions which almost always is asked on applications or during the interview is if you have any health problems which could prevent you from performing the job effectively. Some employers will ask about certain ailments and diseases. The reason behind this is so the employer can filter out applicants which would not be able to perform the job. Two excuses people use for not disclosing health issues most often are:

  • It is not the employers concern
  • The health issue is not that severe

Both of these theories are false and can lead to possible greater health problems and liability issues for the employer.

Health issues for ex-offenders can often range through a variety of problems because of either incarceration or low health maintenance. Some of the more relevant types of health problems are:

  • Mental issues
  • Addiction
  • Physical impairments due to trauma, wounds, or lack of proper medical care

If, on the other hand, an employer denies you a job because of health reasons they are most often required by law to prove the reasoning of the decision. Federal and state laws require equal treatment for applicants with both physical and mental disabilities which are no fault of their own.

The best way to handle health concerns is to be fully aware of them and let employers be fully aware of them as well. Do not apply to jobs which would put your health at risk. If you believe you were honest with an employer about your health, and you believe you were disqualified from a position because of it, you have the right to ask for the reasoning and possibly a ruling under anti-discrimination guidelines.