In some cases, disability issues may seem to follow a pattern — or, at least, people assume they will. It’s not hard to imagine getting older and developing a disability because of the impact of aging on the mind or the body, for instance. People know they may have to face it eventually, but they do not think it is anything they will encounter in the near future.

That’s a problematic outlook. The Social Security Administration (SSA) specifically states that “Disability is unpredictable and can happen to anyone at any age.”

They go on to note that diseases like cancer, for instance, strike young and old people alike. These ailments can turn into a disability, even with proper treatment. Young people also have to deal with the onset of mental illness. Someone who has post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) could be incredibly young and simply have been through a traumatic event that changed their life forever. Someone who has always felt fine may begin to develop a case of schizophrenia in their 20s or 30s. These are not just issues faced by older Americans.

You also have to remember that a lot of physical disabilities come from unpredictable events. It could be a car crash or an accident at work. How old you are makes no difference. These events happen without warning. You may have no control over them and no way to avoid them. In mere seconds, everything can change.

Are you suffering from a disability? Maybe you always thought this was something that happened to someone else, but now you know how real it is and you want to know what legal options you have.