Disabilities can look vastly different from one person to the next. A common assumption is that a disabled person has some sort of injury or condition that limits mobility, like a spinal cord injury that means they’re confined to a wheelchair. These issues do happen and they are serious, of course, but it’s never wise to assume that all cases look even remotely the same.
To see how wide the range of disabilities can be, let’s take a look at the top reasons for disability in the United States. They are:
- Back pain
- Heart disease
Again, these are just six of the top reasons, and they barely scratch the surface of all of the potential reasons. Even so, you can see how different the cases are. Something like cancer may be incurable, even with treatment. Some cases, such as those involving heart disease and arthritis, involve chronic pain that can be managed but also may never be cured. An issue like depression may be “invisible” to everyone else, but could still lead to a disability. Something like diabetes may be genetic or a result of lifestyle choices. The same could be said for heart disease.
Disabilities also impact people in different ways. Brain cancer may limit mobility and cognitive function, for instance, while other types of cancer have very few symptoms, and the main reason for the disability could be the intense treatment and chemo. Someone with depression could be physically in terrific shape, but the disorder can still make it impossible to work.
What is important is that all people, with all types of disabilities, know exactly what legal options they have and what benefits they may be able to obtain.