When you think of someone who suffers from a disability, you more than likely think of a person who has a physical limit or physical manifestation. However, it’s possible for people to suffer from a disability that might not be easy to see with the naked eye. Those who suffer from invisible disabilities will struggle with skepticism and doubt from others. This can make it difficult to collect Social Security Disability, especially is your disability isn’t one of the conditions listed.
Why are invisible illnesses tough to prove?
An invisible disability is one that is challenging to quantify. It affects the physical, mental or neurological aspects of the patient’s life. The Invisible Disabilities Association explains that “Symptoms such as debilitating pain, fatigue, dizziness, cognitive dysfunctions, brain injuries, learning differences, and mental health disorders, as well as hearing and vision impairments” are often common factors.
The main reason why invisible illnesses are tough to prove is that they cannot be seen by the naked eye. Your doctor, therapist, or psychiatrist can help diagnose you with one of the diseases mentioned here today. However, others might have trouble believing or understanding why you suffer from such a disease or illness.
What can I do to make sure the SSA doesn’t think I’m committing fraud?
In 2018, the Social Security Administration (SSA) opened up more offices to help combat fraud. Those offices weren’t in Tennessee, but perhaps they should have been: early this year, The Tennessean reported on widespread fraud on behalf of doctors who reviewed SSD claims for the state.
To ensure that you keep your Disability benefits, and that you are not accused of committing fraud, you should do a few things:
- Make sure all of your illnesses and symptoms are documented. Try keeping a journal about what you experience, and always attend all of your doctors’ appointments.
- Avoid social media. When you live in chronic pain and you have a pain-free day, you might be tempted to share that good news with your friends online. Don’t. Your social media accounts may be reviewed if your claim is disputed, and a few posts of you doing things you can’t normally do could really hurt your case, even when you’re not doing anything wrong.
- Be honest with your doctors, your employers, and the SSA. Make sure you’re clear and honest about what you’re experiencing, and avoid the urge to make it seem worse than it is. You shouldn’t try to minimize your pain and suffering, either, because you think it’ll make you “look good” to your boss. Just be honest, and let people know what you can and cannot do each day.
- Consider seeking therapy or counseling. Living with an invisible illness is tough. It might help if you speak to someone about your condition and how it affects your life. This can also be used to help bolster your claim if you are accused of making up your illness.
- Keep taking your medication and/or attending appointments. Don’t skip out on any medical appointments you have, or stop taking any prescribed medication without speaking to a doctor. The SSA will see that you are genuinely trying to find a method that works for you.
- Speak with a Nashville Social Security Disability lawyer. If you are struggling to obtain benefits, or have had an investigation opened into your case, seek legal help ASAP.
If your invisible illness has led to a denial or an accusation of fraud by the Social Security Administration, don’t panic: Rocky McElhaney Law Firm wants to help. Our SSD attorneys help clients throughout Tennessee get and keep the benefits they need. Call our office at 615-425-2500 or complete a contact form on our website to schedule a free consultation. We operate offices in Nashville, Hendersonville, and Knoxville for your convenience.