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Understanding the Common Causes of Disability Claims (Part I)

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Understanding the Common Causes of Disability Claims (Part I).png

When you think of a disability, what comes to mind? Many Americans have misconceptions about what restrictions and limitations constitute a disability. In addition, there is often confusion regarding what legally qualifies as a disabling sickness or illness.

According to the Council for Disability Awareness, one in three women and one in four men will have a disability that keeps them out of work for 90+ days at some point during their working lifetime.

In honor of Disability Insurance Awareness Month, we take a look at five of the ten most common causes of disability claims.

1. Musculoskeletal conditions

Examples include: Arthritis, herniated or degenerated disc, back pain, spine/joint disorders, cartilage sprain, tendonitis, scoliosis, osteoporosis

The musculoskeletal system is comprised of all of the bones and the muscles in the body that allow movement; because it includes so many different parts and areas of your body, a severe problem within the system can render you disabled.

Muscle, back, and joint disorders count for more than one-in-four long-term disabilities. According to the CDC, one in three people say arthritis alone affects their ability to do their job in some way.

2. Cancer

Common types of cancer: lymphoma, leukemia, testicular, melanoma, and breast cancer

It's estimated that more than 70,000 people in their 20s and 30s are diagnosed with cancer.

In fact, cancer is the fastest-growing cause of disability claims, likely for two reasons: a rising rate in cancer, and more effective treatment, that is helping people live longer after diagnosis.

Although cancer itself can be debilitating, its treatments - like surgery, radiation and chemotherapy - can also make it difficult or impossible to work for a significant amount of time.

3. Injuries

Examples include: Fractures, sprains and strains, dislocations, burns, poisoning, allergic reactions

While they're a less common cause of disability than illnesses are, injuries and poisonings still account for approximately one in ten long-term disability claims.

4. Cardiovascular conditions

Examples include: Hypertension, Heart Disease, Heart Attack, Stroke, Coronary Artery Disease

According to the American Heart Association, about 92.1 million American adults are living with some form of cardiovascular disease or the after-effects of stroke.

Therefore, it is unsurprising that heart disease is responsible for nearly one in 10 new long-term disability claims.

It strikes unexpectedly and can affect your ability to work for a few weeks or ever a few years.

The American Heart Association estimates that a person who suffers a heart attack may miss anywhere from two weeks to three months of work. However, more severe cases may affect one's ability to work for years.

5. Mental Disorders

Examples include: Depression, schizophrenia, drug/alcohol/substance abuse, bipolar disorder, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in five adults in the U.S. experience a mental illness in any given year. The effects can be devastating, and may even prevent you from living a fulfilling life and earning a reasonable living.

While one does not automatically think of mental illness when considering the causes of disability, it accounts for nearly 10 percent of long-term disabilities.

Filing a disability claim?

If you're seeking long-term disability insurance benefits, consult a top rated disability insurance attorney for a free consultation to determine how to proceed with your claim.

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