Woman with chronic pain, laying on couch.

Do “Invisible Illnesses” Qualify for SSD Benefits?

For millions of Americans, others can easily see their disabilities. This visibility helps others to understand why they receive the necessary accommodations. However, for millions of others, their disabilities cannot be seen, but are rather considered to be “invisible.”

Millions Suffer from Invisible Illnesses

If a disability cannot be seen just be looking at someone, it does not mean that it has any less of an impact on their life. Sometimes these invisible illnesses may even impact them more. 

Invisible illnesses cannot be seen through blood or diagnostic testing. This becomes concerning when considering that according to Disabled World, approximately 96 percent of all individuals with chronic medical conditions suffer from invisible illnesses. 

Common Symptoms of Invisible Illnesses

Invisible illnesses do however have many common symptoms. Such symptoms include:

  • Brain injuries
  • Cognitive dysfunction 
  • Difficulty learning
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Hearing or vision impairment
  • Incapacitating pain
  • Mental health disorders

Invisible Disabilities Commonly Approved by the SSA

It’s important to understand just how much these invisible illnesses can impact those struggling with them. In fact, the Social Security Administration now considers many of them as approved conditions covered under Social Security Disability (SSD). Such conditions include:

  • Chronic pain
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Renal failure
  • Bipolar disorder Sleep Disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Anxiety
  • Workplace stress
  • Epilepsy 
  • Schizophrenia
  • Lupus
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic dizziness
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Arthritis
  • Major depressive episodes
  • Traumatic brain injury

Requirements for Receiving SSD Benefits

If you suffer from any of the above invisible conditions (or possibly others), you may be eligible to receive SSD benefits. However, it is dependent upon the facts and circumstances of each individual case. You may be eligible for these benefits if:

  1. Your disability is expected to last a minimum of 12 months or is expected to cause your death; 
  2. Your disability prevents you from partaking in any kind of work; and
  3. You are under the care of a physician, are following their treatment plan, and are willing to participate in recovery when that’s possible.

In order to receive approval for SSD benefits, it is necessary that you obtain documentation of your symptoms, their severity, and how your condition impacts your ability to participate in work. You can acquire this documentation through your treating physicians and medical personnel. 

The PA SSD Attorneys at Nikolaus & Hohenadel, LLP Can Help

When you are struggling with an invisible disability that prevents you from working, you may not know what to do. Luckily, the attorneys at Nikolaus & Hohenadel, LLP can help. We understand the impact that a disability can have on your ability to make ends meet. That’s why we’re here to help you. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, contact us today!