Can those with unseen disabilities qualify for Social Security?

Some disabilities are not easily seen and are known as “invisible” illnesses. These may be eligible for Social Security benefits.

There are many disabilities that can be covered by Social Security benefits. These include conditions that were present at birth, as well as long-term or permanent disabilities resulting from an illness or injury. In many cases, people can see someone's disability and understand that he or she suffers from a chronic condition. However, other conditions that many people in Michigan and elsewhere suffer from are more difficult to see. These are known as "invisible" illnesses, but those who have them can suffer from as much emotional and physical pain as those with more apparent conditions.

An invisible illness may be particularly challenging because others might question whether a person is actually suffering. Family members, friends, employers and even doctors might believe the person is making up his or her pain. It can also be difficult for some unseen disabilities to be diagnosed or treated, which may further contribute to difficulties in qualifying for disability benefits. However, invisible illnesses are not rare - according to Disabled World, as much as 10 percent of America's population suffers from some type of condition that others cannot easily perceive.

Invisible disabilities can be emotional or physical

These conditions, according to the U.S. Social Security Administration, may include such impairments as fibromyalgia, depression, lupus, Lyme disease and post-traumatic stress disorder. Physical injuries, such as head trauma and damaged muscles or nerves, might also be considered invisible disabilities if others cannot easily see the sufferer's pain. However, these conditions usually result in significant physical or psychological pain that can impact every aspect of a sufferer's life. The symptoms may make it impossible for a person to work and enjoy life.

It is not unheard of for doctors to misunderstand or misdiagnose an invisible illness. Much is still unknown about the effects that fibromyalgia or depression has on the mind and body - however, this does not mean that people do not suffer immensely from these conditions. Adding to the stress is the fact that insurance companies may not pay to treat an invisible illness, and employers may not be willing to accommodate the needs of someone with a disability they cannot see.

To qualify for benefits for an invisible illness, patients will need to provide documentation from medical professionals. This may make the claims process particularly difficult. In some cases, appealing a denial will be necessary.

Living with an invisible illness can be challenging at best and excruciating at other times. It may be necessary to speak with an experienced disability attorney in Warren to apply for disability benefits.