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How common is having a disability in America?

Disabilities are not something that only impacts a very small portion of the country's population, but rather are something that affects millions upon millions of Americans. Having a disability is actually a rather common thing here in the United States. According to a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, around one-fifth of adult Americans are disabled.

Disability rates are not uniform across the country, but rather vary quite a bit from region to region. The South has some of the highest disability rates in the country. As a note though, here in Georgia, the disability rate is lower than it is in many other states in the South.

Now, individuals with disabilities are not some monolithic group, but rather are a group with a great deal of variation within it. Individuals with disabilities come from many different backgrounds and circumstances. Also, the types of disabilities individuals have vary in many ways, including in: the root cause of the disability, what exactly the disability impairs and the level of impairment caused by the disability.

Individuals with disabilities also can vary considerably in their work capabilities. Many disabled individuals are able to be active members of the workforce as long as employers provide them with the accommodations the law requires and refrain from wrongfully discriminating against them. However, some individuals have disabilities that are so severe in the degree to which they impair functional abilities that they are unable to hold regular employment.

The vastly different forms and intensities disabilities can take are among the reasons why it can be very important for individuals with disabilities that have been displaced from the workforce who are considering applying for Social Security disability benefits to seek out legal help with the SSD claims process. Attorneys can help disabled individuals with understanding whether the disability they have is likely to meet the SSD eligibility requirements and with properly preparing for the various different steps of the process of making a claim for SSD benefits.

Source: USA Today, "CDC: 1 in 5 American adults live with a disability," Jennifer Calfas, July 31, 2015

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