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What are the most common disabilities in the United States?

Disabilities take many different forms. Some are mental, some are physical. Some are temporary, while others are permanent. Understanding the makeup of disabilities in the United States — which are more common than many people realize — can be helpful when thinking about health care, financial concerns and other related issues.

With that in mind, here are the most common categories for disabilities:

  • Mobility
  • Cognition
  • Independent living
  • Hearing
  • Vision
  • Self-care

There are a few things to note about these categories. The first is that age plays a role. Older individuals have mobility issues most often, and it is the most common category overall. Young adults, however, have cognitive disabilities as their main category. So, while the list above is accurate overall, you can change some things when you filter for specific ages.

The second thing to keep in mind is that someone could certainly fall into multiple categories — or, in fact, all of them — at the same time. For example, someone who suffers a brain injury at work could have both cognitive disabilities and mobility issues after the injury, and those issues could make it harder for them to take care of themselves or live independently. This can make it a bit more difficult to read the statistics, as there is overlap in the groups.

What is most important is for all people living with disabilities, along with their family members and caretakers, to be aware of the legal options they have. They may qualify for Social Security benefits that can truly be life-changing when facing these issues.

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