If you ask around enough, while someone in your immediate group of friends may not be on disability, it’s likely that they have a friend or relative who is.

The reasons that people became disabled and receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) may surprise you.

If you were to meet people who the Social Security Administration (SSA) has declared as disabled, you might be surprised. Some disabled individuals have an obvious impairment that affects their ability to work — but most do not.

Individuals who suffer from musculoskeletal disorders including arthritis, back pain and other joint or spine disorders are the top recipients of disability benefits. Those with diabetes, those who’ve had heart attacks and people with cancer may end up becoming long-term disability recipients as well.

Most individuals who draw disability payments weren’t injured on the job. This means that they couldn’t receive any workers’ compensation benefits for their injuries.

Many people become gradually disabled. Age, genetics and lifestyle choices can all affect long-term health. Drinking, obesity and smoking are some of the leading factors that result in a deterioration in a patient’s health. Those things can aggravate their genetic predisposition toward illness and cause a disability.

An individual’s ability to qualify for disability benefits is, in part, contingent upon them having been diagnosed with a condition that Social Security recognizes as disabling. Some conditions have an easier time being recognized than others. In addition, a person’s condition must also be expected to last at least 12 months or to be terminal in order to qualify for benefits.

If you believe that you’re disabled, a Social Security Disability attorney can advise you about filing a claim for a serious impairment and how to start.