Setting the disabled property of a form field (help needed)

Has anyone ever seen a case where you can't use JavaScript to change the disabled property of a form field? I've used this exact same code elsewhere but for some reason it isn't working for me. I get no error, but the property never gets updated. Here is the JavaScript I'm using:

if(offset == 0) { alert('set it to disble');$("prevbutton").disabled=true;} else { $("prevbutton").disabled=false; }

To be sure I wasn't doing anything stupid, I did alert $("prevbutton") to confirm it was an input field. I also alerted the disabled status and it correctly said true for this button:

<input type="button" id="prevbutton" value="Prev" onclick="UpdatePage(pageOffset - pageSize);" />

As I said - I get no error at all - but it is almost like the button's disabled field is readonly when it should be read/write.

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