What Are the Top 10 Disabilities? | SSD | John Foy & Associates (2022)

What Are the Top 10 Disabilities? | SSD | John Foy & Associates (1)

According to the latest information published in 2018 by the United States Census Bureau, 27.2% of people had a disability in 2014. Around 17.6% had a severe disability. There are various conditions, and injuries can cause many disabilities.

While there are too many types of disabilities to list, we can provide the top 10 according to the Social Security Administration (SSA). Our experts examined the SSA’s Annual Statistical Report on the Social Security Disability Insurance Program from 2018. Below are the largest groups of people with disabilities on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

What Are the Top 10 Disabilities? | SSD | John Foy & Associates (2)

An occupational therapist helping an injured patient. Several different kinds of disabilities can qualify you for SSDI and SSI.

1. Musculoskeletal System and Connective Tissue

This group made up 29.7% of all people receiving Social Security disability benefits. The musculoskeletal system includes bones, ligaments, cartilage, and other connective tissues. This system connects your bones and helps you maintain movements. No one can adequately sit, walk, or stand without the skeletal system.

Musculoskeletal system and connective tissue disorders include:

  • Arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Spine disorders
  • Scoliosis
  • Ruptured discs
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Degenerative disc disease

Musculoskeletal system disorders can make it near-impossible to work. Many people are on SSDI for these conditions because of how much they impact everyday life.

What Are the Top 10 Disabilities? | SSD | John Foy & Associates (3)

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2. Mood Disorders

Mood disorders made up 12.9% of those receiving Social Security Disability benefits. Mood disorders can include:

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Cyclothymic disorder
  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
  • Persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia)
  • Depression related to mental illness
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder

Mood disorders can distort someone’s mood or emotions. They might feel irritability, extreme sadness, or emptiness. Anxiety and depression can significantly impact someone’s ability to work.

3. Nervous System and Sense Organs

The nervous system helps all the body parts communicate. It’s also responsible for decision-making.

The nervous system includes the:

  • Brain
  • Spinal cord
  • Sensory organs
  • Nerves

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, the following are examples of nervous system disorders:

  • Infections like meningitis and polio
  • Functional disorders like epilepsy and neuralgia
  • Degenerative diseases like multiple sclerosis and Parkinson disease
  • Structural disorders like Bell’s palsy and brain or spinal cord injuries

Nervous system and sense organ disorders make up 9.7% of those receiving Social Security Disability benefits.

4. Intellectual Disabilities

According to the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disorders (AAIDD), an intellectual disability involves limitations in:

  • Learning, reasoning, and problem-solving
  • Adaptive behavior

Intellectual disabilities can make it challenging to learn, retain information, and communicate.

Types of intellectual disabilities include:

  • Fragile X syndrome
  • Developmental delays
  • Down syndrome
  • Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD)
  • Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS)

Intellectual disabilities often start before the age of 18. They make up 8.6% of those on Social Security Disability benefits.

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5. Circulatory System

The circulatory system brings nutrients, oxygen, and hormones to the body’s cells. It also takes waste products out of the body.

The circulatory system, which is also known as the cardiovascular system, includes:

  • Arteries that carry blood away from the heart
  • Veins that carry blood back to the heart.

Common diseases that affect the circulatory system include:

  • Heart attack
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Arrhythmia and dysrhythmia
  • Heart failure
  • High cholesterol or high blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Peripheral artery disease (PAD)

Circulatory system diseases disrupt this process and make up 7% of those on disability.

6. Schizophrenic and Other Psychotic Disorders

Psychotic disorders make up 4.8% of those on Social Security Disability benefits can include symptoms like:

  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Catatonic behavior
  • Disorganized speech

Symptoms can make it difficult to be social, complete activities, and engage in regular work. Delusional disorder, schizophrenia, and schizoaffective disorder are typical examples of psychotic disorders.

7. Other Mental Disorders

Just as there are too many types of disabilities for us to list here, there are too many mental disorders to specify them all. These disorders can include those not already listed. Mental health conditions are just one of the four hidden disabilities. “Other mental disorders” make up 4% of those on disability.

8. Injuries

Physical injuries can often lead to disabilities. SSA data shows that 3.5% of people became disabled because of injuries.

A sudden injury can change someone’s life forever. They might be unable to work as they could before — or unable to work at all. A total disability from injuries can lead someone to apply for SSDI.

9. Organic Mental Disorders

Another name for organic mental disorders is “chronic organic brain syndromes.” These disorders are brain afflictions that cause severe psychological or behavioral issues. They affect 3.3% of those on SSDI.

The problems could be temporary or lifelong. They do not include psychiatric disorders. Diseases, injuries, or defects in the body might cause organic mental disorders. Symptoms include brain function loss, confusion, and memory loss.

Examples of organic mental disorders include:

  • Dementia
  • Amnesia
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Delirium

10. Neoplasms

Finally, the 10th top disability comes from neoplasms. A neoplasm is an abnormal growth that affects 2.8% of those on disability benefits. It forms a tumor or lump in the body.

Cells that divide more quickly than usual can cause a neoplasm. Neoplasms can be benign, pre-cancerous, or cancerous. If the tumor grows uncontrollably, it can spread to other body parts. As it spreads, it can affect organs and become life-threatening.

The main types of neoplasms include:

  • Fibromas
  • Adenomas
  • Lipomas
  • Hemangiomas

What Should You Do if You Have a Disability?

If you’re disabled and cannot work, you might be eligible for SSDI. You can apply through the SSA. SSDI can help provide income for you and your family’s needs. You’ll need to show proof of your medical condition and work history. You must have worked enough hours at jobs covered by Social Security.

A Social Security Disability lawyer can help you with your claim. If the SSA denies your application, a lawyer can help you appeal. Don’t assume you don’t qualify without speaking to a lawyer first.

What Conditions Automatically Qualify You for Disability?

Some health conditions listed above may automatically qualify you for disability benefits. If your disability is severe, you may qualify for a compassionate allowance. This will allow you to start receiving disability payments right away, rather than waiting for the usual approval process.

You may also automatically qualify for SSDI if you have:

  • Cancer
  • Lou Gherig’s disease
  • Cardiovascular illnesses
  • Endocrine disorders
  • Muscular dystrophy

A social security disability attorney can review your case and determine whether your condition should automatically qualify you for disability. Your lawyer can explain how to apply for disability and advise you on what documentation you may need to prove the severity of your condition.

What Is the Most Approved Disability?

Arthritis and other musculoskeletal system disabilities make up the most commonly approved conditions for social security disability benefits. This is because arthritis is so common. In the United States, over 58 million people suffer from arthritis. If you have arthritis that makes walking or daily living difficult, you may qualify for disability benefits.

Do I Really Need to Speak with a Social Security Disability Lawyer?

The state of Georgia doesn’t make qualifying for social security disability benefits easy even if you have a serious disability. If you get denied and feel completely uncertain about the social security disability requirements, it’s best to contact a lawyer. There’s no need to feel intimidated. Hiring a lawyer can only help your case.

Your life is already stressful enough as it is. The last thing you need is financial pressure. Our attorneys will help you navigate through all of the legal processes to ensure that you get the money you need to move forward with your life.

Is It Expensive to Hire a Lawyer?

We understand that the thought of another expense may deter you from asking for help when you need it. If you have a disability that prevents you from working, you can’t afford to pay upfront fees or hourly attorney rates. Rest assured that in most cases, you don’t have to.

Lawyers will often offer free consultations and operate on a contingency basis. This means that if they can’t recover benefits on your behalf, you don’t owe your lawyer anything in return. You only pay if you get the benefits you need. Don’t worry too much about how much it will cost. Hiring a lawyer is an investment you make to get the money you need.

Talk to a Social Security Disability Lawyer for Free Today

If you need additional information about social security disability requirements, turn to a professional. has been helping disabled individuals for over 20 years. We can help if you’re struggling to get the benefits you need. Plus, we do not collect a fee unless we win you money.

Contact us today for a FREE, no-risk consultation. Give us a call or fill out our online form.

Call or text 404-400-4000 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form

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