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What are the different types of disabilities?

When people in New Jersey and elsewhere hear the word disability, they often have a specific image in their mind. This might be a person in a wheel chair or one that is noticeably disabled by the naked eye. The truth of the matter is that disabilities can take on many forms, impacting a person in a wide variety of ways. Some disabilities are manageable, allowing a person to lead a normal life. On the other hand, others find it challenging to carry out the day-to-day activities, making it even impossible to hold down a job.

Living with a disability can present challenges. Depending on the type of disability, an individual could seek out assistance through a program such as Social Security disability. These benefits could help an individual cover the costs of their basic needs. However, one must be suffering from an eligible disability to obtain these benefits.

What are the different types of disabilities? While there is a wide variety of disability, it is likely that a disability will fall in one of seven categories. The first is a physical impairment. This includes disabilities that impact the upper limbs, lower limbs, cause manual dexterity or a disability in coordination with different organs. The next is a spinal cord disability. The third is a brain disability. This can cause individuals to suffer increased fatigue, difficulties in learning and communicating, changes in behavior and personality and trouble concentrating.

The fourth category is intellectual disability. These include disorders caused by genetic conditions, fetal alcohol syndrome, childhood diseases, malnutrition and infections while in utero. The next category is psychiatric disabilities, which includes disorders such as bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression, stress, eating disorders, sleep disorders and schizophrenia. The remaining two categories are vision and hearing disabilities.

Depending on the disability, the severity of the disability and whether it meets the SSA's definition of disability, an applicant may qualify for SSD benefits. These benefits are often necessary for those living with a disability and unable to work.

Source:, "7 Types Of Disability And Examples," Kingsley Felix, Oct. 28, 2017

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