Could An “Invisible” Disability Qualify For SSD?

The answer is yes. Typically, when you mention the word “disability” to somebody, one of the first thoughts that comes to mind is a wheelchair – a universal symbol of disability in many places. However, numerous other disabilities and chronic health issues may not be obvious at first glance and are overlooked by many, but can be just as limiting.

Someone with an invisible disability could experience a variety of symptoms daily, such as debilitating pain, dizziness, fatigue, cognitive dysfunction, learning difficulties, as well as auditory and visual impairments, according to the Invisible Disabilities Association. As a result, the Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes that qualifying conditions for Social Security Disability can take form in a spectrum of different ways. If you struggle with the following invisible disabilities, you may be entitled to disability benefits.

Autoimmune Diseases

The chronic pain and flare-ups of an autoimmune disease could make it especially difficult for a sufferer to work and go about their daily life. Those struggling with the following autoimmune conditions may be eligible for disability benefits.

Examples of Autoimmune Diseases Include:

  • Lupus
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Type 1 Diabetes
  • Hashimoto’s Disease

Mental Health Conditions:

Invisible disorders like anxiety, depression, and autism can often be managed with the right therapy and medication. However, in more severe cases, the symptoms can be so acute that it prevents the sufferer from working as a result.

Examples of Mental Health Conditions Include:

  • Schizophrenia
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder 
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

How Does the SSA Determine Disability?

Besides autoimmune diseases and mental illnesses, there are plenty of other “hidden” disabilities eligible for benefits found in the SSA’s Blue Book. If you don’t find your specific condition listed, you still may be eligible for benefits if the hardship you have faced due to the symptoms of your condition is equal to that of another condition listed, rendering you unable to work for at least a year.

Per the SSDI standard, your disability must be severe enough to prevent you from performing and carrying out Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA). Social Security sets an amount every year that they consider to be “substantial.” Consistently working over this amount indicates to Social Security that you have the ability to work competitively and may preclude you from being eligible for benefits. Often times individuals with “hidden” disabilities often have flares or exacerbations of their conditions. This can cause them to call out of work frequently, be off task and unproductive at work, or to lose jobs after a short period of time. This, we often argue that while someone may have engaged in some substantial gainful activity, that they have not and could not sustain it, or that their conditions have worsened to the point they could not work on a full-time basis. For assistance in the application process, you should consult with a reputable attorney who specializes in Social Security Disability.

Kerr Robichaux & Carroll are your Social Security Disability experts. We understand how complex the application process can be – particularly to those unfamiliar with the process. Even communicating with the SSA following approval can prove to be difficult and overwhelming when you’ve recently become disabled. We know the ins and outs of Social Security Disability and work tirelessly to advocate for our clients in the Pacific Northwest, helping them win the benefits that they not only need but deserve.

Have you or a loved one recently become disabled or had an existing health condition render you unable to work and carry out everyday tasks? The SSD attorneys at Kerr Robichaux and Carroll are here to help every step of the way. Submit a contact form on our website or call our office at 503-255-9092 for a free consultation today.

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