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What Are Hidden Disabilities?

December 28, 2020 Disability

Hidden disabilities (also known as invisible disabilities) are disabilities from which individuals suffer that are not immediately apparent and recognizable to others but limit one’s daily activities and ability to function.  An example may include someone who has a visual disability who does not wear glasses. Simply looking at that individual without interacting with him or her, you may not notice that the individual has a visual impairment.  Below are some additional examples of common hidden disabilities:

Although invisible to others, hidden disabilities often significantly impair or substantially limit major life activities such as sitting, walking, working, and sometimes eating or sleeping.  Some common factors that hidden disabilities have in common include:

  • One is unable to see the disability 
  • The disabled individual is not using a visible support device to indicate a disability (such as a wheelchair or glasses)
  • There is some physical or emotional pain
  • There needs to be medical documentation of the disability to prove it exists

Individuals living with hidden disabilities sometimes struggle with many daily obstacles.  Some struggle from chronic pain that is not visible or apparent to the naked eye. Unfortunately, when a disability is not apparent visually, some may not believe an individual has the disability or may think they are exaggerating. Some may even think the individual is lying about the disability or pain.  

If you or a loved one have a hidden disability, don’t be ashamed to reach out to an experienced Baltimore disability lawyer at the Law Office of Emmett B. Irwin.  Some individuals affected by a hidden disability may not file for SSD when their disability entitles them to benefits because they think that no one, including the SSA, will believe them.  However, our experienced disability lawyers are here for you.  We can help you build your case and apply for the SSD benefits you deserve.

Hidden Disabilities and Social Security Disability

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is a federal agency that administers federal benefits programs such as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).  SSD pays benefits to individuals who have a qualifying disability and have acquired enough work credits by paying into the Social Security program. SSI pays benefits to an individual who has a qualifying disability and also has limited income and resources. Both programs require applicants to medically qualify for assistance from the SSA. 

To be found medically disabled, an applicant must prove that he or she is out of work or expects to be out of work for at least 12 months.  The applicant must also make less than the amount stemming from what the SSA determines to be a “substantial gainful activity.”  This is a monthly amount set by the Administration, and it changes periodically. The amounts set by the SSA that are considered substantial gainful activity for 2020 is $1260 a month for non-blind individuals and $2110 for statutorily blind individuals.

If you have a hidden disability, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits.  The SSA uses their own medical guide to evaluate disability conditions known as the Blue Book.  The Blue Book contains medical criteria that apply to the evaluation of impairments to determine whether an applicant’s condition qualifies as a disability for purposes of SSD benefits.  If you are unsure whether your hidden disability qualifies you for SSD benefits, contact a Baltimore disability lawyer at the Law Office of Emmett B. Irwin today for a free case evaluation.

Contact a Baltimore Disability Lawyer at The Law Office of Emmett B. Irwin Right Away

Whatever your disability issue is, even if you have a hidden disability, the experienced disability lawyers at the Law Office of Emmett B. Irwin are here to help you with your SSD case every step of the way.  If you would like to learn more about how we can assist, contact a Baltimore disability lawyer today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case. We work with clients throughout Maryland and surrounding states.