Qualifying for SSD with an Invisible Disability






The concept of disability is an interesting one, mostly because when people think of disability, they think in terms of the physical inability to do things that come naturally to most people, without some sort of aid. However, there are disabilities that cannot be seen as such, and yet they impact as much on the sufferers as those that suffer from ‘seen’ disabilities. These are often referred to as hidden or invisible disabilities, and limit the earning capacity of the person who suffers from these unseen conditions.

Conditions for Qualification

In order for a person suffering from an invisible disability to successfully qualify for a social security disability, or SSI claim, there are certain conditions that must be met. These conditions are very straightforward.

First, you must have worked in jobs that are covered by social security. Basically, you have to have worked long enough in order to qualify for SSD. Besides that, your employment must have been recent, and self-employment is covered by this as well. The reason for this is that your Social Security work credits are determined by how much your yearly income was. Each year is about 4 credits. The number of credits you require will depend on the number of years you have worked, as well as your age when you stopped working. Second, you must have a medical condition which actually meets the definition of disability as specified by the SSA. According to the Social Security Administration, this means that you are unable to work. You would most likely qualify if you are unable to do the same work you did before you incurred your disability, and are unable to adjust to another type of work. Additionally, if it is clear that the disability has gone on or is expected to go on for a year or more, then you would probably meet the conditions.

What are invisible disabilities?

Many people with invisible disabilities either do not realize that they are suffering from hidden disabilities, or do not consider themselves as such, and so there are many people who would ordinarily qualify for SSD that do not apply. The problem might stem from the fact that society at large, and some Social Security officers, that find it difficult to accept conditions such as extreme fatigue, chronic pain or sleep disorders as disabilities. However these are invisible disabilities. According to the Center on Disability Studies, other conditions which fall into this category include:


– Asthma

– Epilepsy

– Diabetes

– Traumatic Brain Injury

– Psychiatric Disabilities which include bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder   major depression, etc.

– Chronic fatigue

– Learning Disabilities (LD)

– Attention Deficit-Disorder or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD)

Common Factors with Invisible Disabilities

Although there are so many invisible disabilities, they do have certain things in common. Chief to them is the fact that the disability is not ‘seen.’ Another thing they have in common is that there are often no visible supports; sufferers do not have the support of wheelchairs, canes, hearing aids or other support aids used by people with ‘typical’ disabilities. What is true about such disabilities is that they are often permanent and those who suffer from them have to cope with them on a daily basis. In order to qualify for SSD, there has to be documented evidence on the disability. In most cases, the sufferer is dealing with some sort of physical or emotional pain as well. There should also be evidence that this disability has been managed through medication or behavior.

Are you living with an invisible disability that no one seems to understand?


WRITTEN BY – Amy Patterson – https://medium.com/@910amypatterson


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