The Complexities of Unseen Disabilities: Common Misunderstandings and Legal Remedies

By Michelle Shvarts
Principal Attorney

Individuals with unseen or invisible disabilities face unique challenges in many areas of life, including at home, in the workplace, and in public and commercial spaces. These disabilities may make it difficult or impossible to work. While individuals living with unseen disabilities may be entitled to disability benefits through Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), accessing those benefits can be difficult when the nature and extent of your disability isn’t visibly apparent.

At Disability Advocates Group, our skilled SSI and SSDI disability benefits attorneys understand the unique challenges that those with unseen disabilities face. Numerous common misunderstandings can hold up the benefits you deserve. We want to help you understand the legal remedies available to you.

What Are Unseen Disabilities or Invisible Injuries? 

Unseen or invisible disabilities are illnesses or medical conditions that are not apparent to the naked eye but still limit a person’s physical or cognitive capabilities. Since the symptoms of these conditions can’t be seen, many people living with them face misunderstandings, false perceptions, and cruel judgments from others. 

Numerous health conditions can fall under the umbrella of unseen or invisible. Some of the most common conditions that can cause physical and cognitive disabilities include: 

  • Chronic pain
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • ADHD
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Mood disorder
  • Autism
  • Schizophrenia
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Celiac disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Interstitial cystitis
  • Lupus
  • Narcolepsy

Many of these conditions can prevent an individual from working, leaving them struggling to make ends meet and enjoy financial stability. Social Security benefits like SSDI and SSI can provide these individuals with a necessary financial safety net. However, receiving benefits for an unseen disability can be a challenging process.

Common Misunderstandings About Unseen Disabilities

People living with invisible illnesses and injuries often have to contend with misunderstandings and judgments from others. It can be hard to get other people, even many medical professionals, to understand the depth of your pain and suffering when you appear otherwise healthy from the outside. Many question whether you are “actually disabled” or genuinely suffering. Others may believe you’re living with a disability but not be able to truly understand its effects.

The assumptions and mischaracterizations of an unseen disability can cause frustration and heartache. They can also cause problems when your disability prevents you from working, and you apply for Social Security benefits like SSI or SSDI.

How an Attorney Can Help

Although many invisible conditions qualify individuals for SSDI or SSI benefits, obtaining approval can be an uphill struggle. You need extensive medical documentation of your condition and how it affects your life and ability to work. One of the hurdles those with unseen disabilities face is getting the medical community to listen and document their illness, injury, or medical struggles in a way that helps strengthen their Social Security disability benefits claim.

A knowledgeable and experienced disability attorney in Tarzana, CA, can help. A compassionate lawyer will review your situation, outline your options for recovering Social Security disability benefits, and help you build a claim with the best chance of achieving a favorable outcome. 

Minor errors, missing medical documentation, or a lack of information can derail your claim and may result in its denial. Those with unseen disabilities often face even stricter scrutiny when applying for federal benefits, which is why you need an experienced disability benefit attorney to help you through the process. 

Contact a Los Angeles Disability Attorney for Assistance 

Having an unseen disability shouldn’t prevent you from recovering the benefits you deserve. Let the knowledgeable and compassionate team at Disability Advocates Group fight for you. We have a comprehensive understanding of the complex Social Security disability system and understand the eligibility requirements and application process. 

Discuss your situation with our legal team today. Contact our office to arrange a free consultation.

About the Author
Ms. Shvarts is the managing attorney for Disability Advocates Group. She opened Disability Advocates Group to assist individuals who became disabled and unable to work to obtain the benefits they need and deserve.  Ms. Shvarts and the rest of the team at Disability Advocates Group are dedicated to assisting individuals obtain Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.