WASHINGTON (AP) -- While President Bush wants the nation's primary disability law to be strengthened, a study concludes that a U.S. enforcement agency rarely wins benefits for disabled workers filing discrimination claims and allows most cases to "grow stale."
The University of North Carolina study showed less than 12 percent of the claimants received any monetary benefits or job adjustments in the past five years, but the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission contends the study does not present a balanced picture.
Past backlogs have been reduced, positive results for claimants have recently increased and the study fails to account for cases that have little legal merit, said EEOC spokesman Reginald Welch.
"Doling out undeserved benefits is not what we're about. That's not the way Congress expected us to enforce the Americans With Disabilities Act," Welch said.
The chief UNC researcher, Dr. Kathryn Moss, said the federal agency has not lived up to expectations.
"Complainants expect their cases to be investigated, but for most it is just a place for their case to grow stale," she said, adding most people filing claims "are simply getting into a line to nowhere."
President Bush focused on the disabled in his weekly radio address last Saturday, urging Congress to strengthen the 11-year-old Americans With Disabilities Act signed by his father.
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