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What are the common causes of disability in the United States?

An article on the respected website WebMD outlines the most common causes of disabilities that leave people unable to work. These impairments force workers to retire early, seek Social Security Disability (SSD) payments, or file for benefits from their employer-provided disability insurance. Although workers have different options available to them, they share the same problem: An injury or illness has made it impossible to continue working. 

The most common disabling conditions include:

  • Arthritis: According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one in three workers say that arthritis or other musculoskeletal conditions affect their ability to do their jobs in some way.  Related causes of disability include bad backs, broken bones that healed incorrectly or hip and knee problems.
  • Heart disease and stroke: Although people live with heart disease for many years, it eventually limits their ability to work. Some studies estimate that heart disease is the reason behind 17 percent of all health costs in the United States.
  • Cancer: Both cancers themselves and the debilitating treatments available - chemo, radiation and surgery - can make it very difficult to work.  One expert says that cancer is the fast-growing reason that people seek disability payments. The primary reason for this is that cancer rates are growing.  However, more effective treatment keeps people alive longer, but still unable to work.
  • Mental health problems: Depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia can make working impossible. According to experts, mental conditions such as these are the most common reason people file for SSD benefits. 
  • Diabetes: Like cancer, diabetes is a growing cause of disability.  It is often linked with other conditions, such as heart disease and high blood pressure.
  • Nervous system disorders: Such conditions include multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), epilepsy and Alzheimer's disease.
  • Accident-related impairments: When many people think of disability, they think of conditions resulting from car or work-related accidents. In reality, injuries from accidents account for only 10 percent of disability claims.

If you are disabled and unable to work because of one of these conditions - or any other condition - learn about your options.  Do what many others have done: Contact Binder & Binder®, America's most successful Social Security Disability advocates.  Call them for a free consultation to find out whether they can help you get the benefits you need and deserve.

Source: WebMD, "Leading Causes of Disability," Mar. 4, 2013.

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