What is your risk of disability? How will it affect you? What is most likely to cause disability? If you become disabled, will you be able to receive disability payments? Will I qualify for workers’ compensation if I become disabled?
These questions and more will be answered in this article and the accompanying informational graphic. Click on the graphic to the right to see a pie chart identifying the most common disability causes in the United States.
Identifying the Leading Causes of Disability
It may surprise you that your risk of disability by injury is very low; only 7.2% of disability claims in 2009 were injury or poison related. While they are one of the top five sources of disability claims, it does not compare to the top three:
- Musculoskeletal/Connective Tissue-Related — 28.5%
- Nervous System-Related — 13.7%
- Cardiovascular/Circulatory-Related — 13.1%
New cancer and neoplasms also topped injury- or poison-related disabilities at 8.4%.
Although still one of the leading causes of disability, accident-related claims (injury or poisoning) dropped significantly as a cause of new disability claims from 2008 to 2009. Click on the graphic to the right to see other common causes of disabilities claims.
How Will Disability Affect You?
Obviously, disability is going to interfere with your normal daily activities and probably your job, thus reducing your income significantly and making life less enjoyable.
But there are some additional effects you need to be aware of:
- 3 in 10 of todays’ young workers will become seriously disabled before retirement
- Only 1 in 10 of all workers receiving disability qualify for Workers’ Compensation
- Medical problems contribute to half a million bankruptcy filings each year and half of all home foreclosures
- Only 65% of initial social security disability claim applications were DENIED in 2009
Reducing Your Risk for the Leading Causes of Disability
You can reduce your risk of disability by making the following lifestyle changes:
- Achieve and maintain a healthy body weight
- Avoid use of tobacco products
- Consume moderate amounts of or no alcohol
- Avoid use of illegal drugs
- Exercise regularly
- Maintain healthy sleep habits