What Disabilities are Covered Under the Americans with Disabilities Act?

What Disabilities are Covered Under the Americans with Disabilities Act?

Category: Disability Law

In this article, we want to review what a disability is and which disabilities are covered under the legislation known as the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). We will use exact language from actual government documents to further clarify what a disability is and what the government considers a disability.

From the CDC’s website, a disability is defined “a disability is any condition of the body or mind (impairment) that makes it more difficult for the person with the condition to do certain activities (activity limitation) and interact with the world around them (participation restrictions).”

From the ADA’s website, the following disabilities are covered under their law:

Post-traumatic stress disorder
Cerebral palsy
Deafness or hearing loss
Blindness or low vision
Mobility disabilities such as those requiring the use of a wheelchair, walker, or cane
Intellectual disabilities
Major depressive disorder
Traumatic brain injury

This is not an exclusive list. Some other impediments may be considered a disability as well.

Three Dimensions

The law states that there are three dimensions when it comes to disability.

  1. Impairment affecting a person’s physical makeup or abilities, or their mental state; limb loss, vision loss, or memory loss are a few instances of impairments.
  2. Activity limitation includes things like trouble walking, hearing, seeing, or solving problems.
  3. Participation restrictions in day-to-day activities including working, going out socially and recreationally, and getting preventative care and health care.

As you can see the law is well defined and a great deal of thought has been placed into its creation. The nature of the ADA is to clearly define what a disability is so that a person knows if they will likely qualify for disability payments or not.

The clearer the documentation is, the less likely there are to be misconceptions about what is considered a disability and who may qualify.

The spirit of the law is to provide assistance for those truly in need and not for those who simply want financial assistance to make life easier. More than 2/3 of all applications are denied initially. Whether the applicant was deemed to not be truly disabled or they simply did a poor job of documenting their disability, the odds of them receiving a rejection notice are much greater than receiving an approval. This is where a disability attorney may be their best bet.

An attorney who specializes in disability law improves a person’s chances of getting approved on an appeal by over 50%. That is a huge jump in their approval rate. Hiring an attorney for the initial application improves their odds about the same.

An attorney gets a portion of the disability payments for a time then payments to the attorney cease. Most disability attorneys do not charge anything up front and only get paid if the applicant is approved.

Please feel free to read all of our resources on this topic for a clearer understanding of disability law.

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