Many Americans are living with disabilities. Some children and adults have been disabled since birth, others have suffered a life-changing accident, and some have faced the effects of a degenerative condition or natural aging. 

Several federal and state programs provide disability benefits to disabled people and their families. Workers’ compensation provides benefits for workers who are hurt on the job. Veterans Affairs (VA) provides disability benefits based on a veteran’s rating. Social Security provides the largest nationwide programs. 

About 7.6 million disabled workers receive benefits through Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Benefits are earned based on work credits. About 7.4 million people receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) which is based on income, disability, and age. 

Below are the ten top disabilities based on the 2022 SSDI Annual Statistical Report, as well as workers’ compensation statistics. 

1. Musculoskeletal Disorders

There are more than 150 musculoskeletal disorders or MSDs affecting the joints, muscles, bones, and connective tissues. These conditions may be short-term or long-term, causing pain, reduced mobility, and loss of function. Common examples that may be disabling include: 

  • Arthritis
  • Fractures that are non-healing or complex
  • Degenerative disc disorder
  • Tendonitis
  • Chronic back pain
  • Severe burns
  • Loss of limb or amputation

About 30% of SSDI beneficiaries qualify due to a musculoskeletal disorder. MSDs are also involved in about 65% of workers’ compensation claims. According to the CDC, work-related MSDs are more severe than the average non-fatal injuries and illnesses. They cause significant costs in lost productivity, health care, workers’ compensation, missed work days, and disability.

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a profound and persistent form of depression. It affects relationships, hobbies, employment, and daily activities. When it substantially limits the ability to work or other major areas of life, it can be a disability. 

About 12% of SSDI beneficiaries have MDD or other depressive disorders like bipolar disorder and dysthymia. 

3. Nervous System Disorders

There are two primary parts of the nervous system. The central nervous system (CNS) is the brain and spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system (PNS) is composed of the nerves that branch away from the spinal cord. The nervous system transmits signals to and from the brain and the rest of the body. 

Nerve cells or neurons come in different forms. Sensory neurons detect heat, pressure, odor, taste, light, and sound. Motor neurons transmit signals to muscles to control movement. 

Many conditions can affect the nervous system and sensory organs, including: 

These sensory and nervous system disorders account for 10% of SSDI beneficiaries. 

4. Intellectual Disorders

Prader-Willi syndrome, Down syndrome, and other intellectual disabilities account for 9% of SSDI beneficiaries. Nearly 14% of working-age beneficiaries of SSDI and SSI have an intellectual disorder. 

These conditions are generally diagnosed in childhood. They result in well below-average intelligence, impaired adaptive functioning, and learning problems. 

5. Circulatory Disorders

Circulatory diseases affect the veins, arteries, and heart. Stroke and heart disease are two common examples, although “heart disease” is a broad term. 

It can refer to many conditions, including: 

  • Coronary artery disease (CAD)
  • Peripheral artery disease (PAD)
  • Heart attack
  • Heart Failure
  • Atherosclerosis, the hardening of the arteries caused by a buildup of plaque
  • Arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat

One out of every five deaths in the U.S. is caused by heart disease. These disorders are also a leading cause of disability, accounting for 6.7% of SSDI beneficiaries. 

6. Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders

Schizophrenia, psychotic depression, postpartum depression, and other psychotic disorders can be disabling and difficult to treat. These disorders cause an altered perception of reality, disordered thinking, delusions, hallucinations, and confusion. About 4.7% of SSDI beneficiaries qualify with a psychotic disorder. 

7. Other Mental Disorders

Other mental disorders not already listed account for 4.5% of SSDI beneficiaries. This includes anxiety disorders, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder. 

8. Injuries

About 3.4% of SSDI beneficiaries and 6% of workers’ compensation claims involve acute injuries. This includes a range of conditions like lacerations, sprains and strains, contusions, puncture injuries, crush injuries, and more. 

Most disabling injuries are caused by car accidents, falls, and workplace accidents

9. Neoplasms (Tumors)

Tumors are responsible for 3% of approved SSDI claims. These disabling tumors are usually malignant cancers like prostate, lung, and breast cancer. They may also include certain benign tumors like brain tumors. 

10. Dementia

About 3% of SSDI beneficiaries have major neurocognitive disorder (MND) or dementia. About 70% of cases involve Alzheimer’s, but vascular dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and Lewy body dementia also qualify. 

A Vista Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help With a Disability Claim

Social Security benefits and workers’ compensation help disabled adults, children, and families. However, these benefits are capped and do not compensate victims for all their losses. After a disabling injury, many people struggle to provide for themselves, even with these benefits. Disabled adults are twice as likely to live below the poverty level compared to non-disabled adults. 

If you have been seriously injured due to someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, you may be entitled to compensation outside of these programs. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you explore your legal options.

Contact the North County Personal Injury Lawyers at Petrov Personal Injury Lawyers for Help Today

For more information, please contact the Vista personal injury law firm of Petrov Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation today.

We serve in North County, CA and its surrounding areas:

Petrov Personal Injury Lawyers Vista, CA Office
380 S Melrose Dr Ste. 201
Vista, CA 92081

(619) 344-0360

Petrov Petrov Personal Injury Lawyers – Oceanside, CA Office
702 Civic Center Drive Ste. 105
Oceanside, CA, 92054

(619) 678-1016