Thinking about Social Security Disability might invoke images of people who have obvious disabilities, but many people have disabilities that are invisible.
Getting SSD benefits with an invisible disability can be hard.
Difficulties for applicants with invisible illnesses
There are a number of problems people face when they have an illness that isn’t easy to spot:
They may have bounced from medical provider to medical provider over the years looking for a reason for their health issues. During that time, their may be misdiagnoses placed in their medical records that create confusion.
They may have given up on treatment. If they’ve had a difficult time finding a diagnosis and feel dismissed by their doctors in the past, a patient with an invisible illness may lose hope for an effective treatment. That can leave them with gaps in their medical records that can make it hard to prove their claim.
They may be hesitant about filing in the first place. When someone with an invisible illness has encountered doubt and prejudice related to their condition, it can make them touch-sensitive about asking someone to believe them — especially in such a formal situation.
Denials are common
Anyone who needs to apply for SSDI should learn about the application process. These applications are often denied, which triggers the need to appeal the decision.
Working with someone who’s familiar with the process is beneficial because you can get help putting your claim together — including anticipating the potential questions or objections SSA may have. A good initial application may prevent you from needing to go through lengthy, frustrating appeals.