Millions of people have some form of disability. It could be the result of injury, illness, congenital conditions, or other factors. There is also considerable variety in the types of symptoms experienced. The types of disability claims filed in Canada indicate which conditions are most widespread in the country.
Ongoing issues with pain represent 9.7% of disability claims. These are usually the result of injuries or illnesses that have been treated to the fullest extent possible but still cause discomfort for the patient, to the point that it impairs function. Other cases can be the result of congenital conditions that create lifelong pain.
Loss of Flexibility
Another 7.6% of claims are the result of loss of flexibility This impairment reduces the patient’s range of motion to the point that routine work tasks and personal care activities are difficult or impossible without assistance. Various birth defects could be involved here, but many of these cases are the result of injuries that can never be fully corrected.
Disability claims for mobility represent 7.2% of the total. This category includes paralysis and other conditions that prevent the patient from being able to work by reducing the ability to move from place to place. Spinal cord injuries, damage to joints, and nerve problems can all be the underlying cause of mobility issues.
Mental & Psychological Issues
Mental and psychological conditions represent 3.9% of disability claims. According to Dairn Shane from PreszlerLawBC.com, the Canadian Mental Health Association states that mental health claims are the fastest-growing category of disability costs in Canada. This category encompasses a very large variety of conditions, any of which can severely impair the person’s ability to work or have normal social interaction.
Loss of Manual Dexterity
Another 3.5% of disabilities involve loss of dexterity. This typically means the person cannot utilize his or hands and fingers fully, making it difficult or impossible to write, type, operate a car, or otherwise use fine motor skills. These patients can often improve their independence with a variety of interventions designed to help them compensate for their loss of dexterity.
Diminished or Lost Hearing
Hearing loss represents 3.2% of disabilities. Workplace and combat injuries often damage essential ear structures so severely that the person cannot function normally. Hearing aids may help some of these patients, but other types of hearing loss cannot be corrected with technology. Others can also be treated with advanced surgical techniques.
Loss of Vision
Close behind is vision impairment at 2.7%. This can be the result of problems during birth, or it can be a complication from conditions like multiple sclerosis, diabetes, or macular degeneration. In certain cases, major medical intervention can help. In others, advanced corrective lenses can help. Many others must simply accept their vision quality and utilize adaptive technologies to cope.
Learning disabilities total 2.3%. These conditions, such as dyslexia, create educational challenges for the person, making it more difficult to learn academic and life skills. These individuals often improve their skills with intensive therapy and alternative learning strategies. There are many success stories about dyslexics and others with learning disabilities who have overcome the challenges and been able to lead a productive life, but these stories are the result of many years of work by highly-trained professionals.
Issues with memory represent 2.3% of disability claims in Canada. Some of these cases are due to dementia, including early-onset cases. Others are the result of head injuries or an interruption of blood flow to the brain. There are some medications on the market that may help with chronic conditions like Alzheimer’s, but most other memory loss cannot be treated. Even the drugs that show the most promise in treating dementia can, at best, slow its progress but never reverse it.
The final category is developmental disabilities, which are 0.6% of disability claims. Individuals in these situations are unable to progress academically due to a limited ability to learn or retain knowledge. They often require lifelong assistance with basic skills. Their conditions may need to attend specialized schools with constant assistance with basic activities. Their homes may require extensive modification for safety and functionality as well.
These categories represent a small percentage of the total claims in Canada. As you have seen, some of these conditions can be treated or managed with help. If you or a loved one have a disability of any kind, it is important to have legal representation to get that person the assistance and compensation needed to live the most normal life possible.