Some disabilities are obvious, some are not. The good news for Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) applicants is that the Social Security Administration (SSA) provides some leeway for applicants with conditions that are not immediately apparent. SSA calls these disabilities as “invisible conditions,” and the agency has a process in place so that those who suffer from such conditions may still receive benefits.
Invisible conditions are those not listed in the SSA’s Blue Book due to lack of obvious symptoms, but are just as debilitating. Chronic pain, chronic fatigue, chronic dizziness, and mental illnesses are among the main types of invisible conditions. Applicants must furnish persuasive medical evidence from physicians, particularly in the form of a residual functional capacity (RFC) assessment.
The RFC assessment must include as much medical evidence as possible, including written statements and evaluations from physicians and medical records. Evaluations can come in the form of MRI and CT scan results, X-rays, and list of prescription medications. Information and documents about therapies taken to manage pain may also be included in the application. These may include steroid treatments, injections, electrical stimulation, physical therapy, and even alternative options such as reflexology and acupuncture.
The RFC assessment reveals to the SSA how your disability affects your ability to perform meaningful work. The SSA may then use this information to determine if you qualify for benefits without meeting a listing in the SSA Blue Book
Applying for benefits with an “obvious” condition is already challenging, and the process can be more difficult when you have an “invisible condition.” Legal counsel from a Social Security disability lawyer can prove beneficial in this regard.
Disability Claims for an “Invisible Condition”, HG.org
How Do I Apply for Disability Benefits with an Invisible Disability?, DisabilityBenefitsCenter.org