Invisible Disability

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What is an Invisible Disability?

Invisible Disorder is popularly known as a hidden disability. It is a term that covers various disabilities that are associated with neurological disorders. They are called invisible because often, especially in the early stages, these conditions and their symptoms are not visible. 

In simple terms, an invisible disability is any kind of disorder linked with mental, physical, or neurological conditions that are difficult to diagnose. Regardless of whether it is visible to others, these conditions may put limitations on the movement, activity, or senses of an individual sufferer.

Illnesses that are included in the Invisible Disabilities List

There is no comprehensive list of invisible disabilities. However, several invisible disabilities are commonly reported. 

Invisible DisabilityMany invisible disabilities are those associated with chronic illnesses and pain. Since these conditions are not obvious to others, they can make the suffering person feel lonely, unseen, and even unbelieved. Unfortunately, when a medical condition cannot be seen, some claim it to be fake or a put-on.

Some commonly-reported types of invisible disabilities are sleep disorders, chronic pain, renal failure, diabetes, fibromyalgia, mental illness vertigo, lupus, and arthritis. Some of these conditions, unfortunately, are chronic illnesses. Some of the categories of invisible disabilities include:

  • Chronic Pain: People suffering from back problems, bone issues, physical injuries, and other disorders may experience chronic pain. It may not be visible to the onlookers.
  • Chronic Fatigue: People who feel tired all the time may have chronic fatigue syndrome. This impairment is known to harm an individual’s life, despite remaining unseen by others.
  • Mental Illness: Mental illnesses such as depression, agoraphobia, schizophrenia, and others can qualify for disability benefits if they limit an individual’s ability to do any work. 

Chronic Dizziness: People who suffer from issues in the inner ear, walking, sleeping disorders, working, driving, and other day-to-day activities may experience chronic dizziness.

Invisible disability statistics in the US: An Eye Opener

The statistics for invisibility disability continue to fluctuate depending on the different reporting methods utilized. Statistics may even fluctuate among the different types of disabilities. This may be because various illnesses and impairments can range from mild to severe and reporting is subjective. 

42 million Americans are believed to have been suffering from some other kinds of extreme disability. It is also thought that 96% of people experiencing chronic pain remain invisible. Some people think that disability is a condition in which an individual has to sit in a wheelchair or use a walker. 

However, the presence of a  disability cannot be determined based on the lack of any assistive equipment. 74% of the Americans who are suffering from a fatal disability do not use any assistive equipment.

Invisible vs visible disabilities

Visible disabilities are the types of disabilities that are visible clearly by looking at the individual. Many medical conditions leave a physical change in the sufferer. Rarely are those physically changed by their illness accused of faking it. 

On the other hand, an invisible disability is when an individual’s hearing, speaking, or any other capability is affected and cannot be seen. Regardless of its appearance to others, an invisible disability may be tearing someone apart inside. Remember not to judge a book by its cover. Even if it isn’t readily apparent, the person you are talking to could be much sicker than they look.

How can employees with invisible disabilities be helped at the workplace?

It is believed that a large number of employees at the workplace suffer from invisible disorders. It is essential to help them so that they feel comfortable working in their workplace environment.

We must accept the fact that there are employees who are suffering from invisible disabilities. This is a reality of modern life, and there is no need to create a fuss about this fact. If you accept everyone the way they are, those struggling with an invisible disability may respond with greater vigor and energy. Acceptance of those with a disability will also close any communication gap between employees. In turn, it will increase the productivity and efficiency of the entire organization. 

According to the Center for Talent Innovation, people who work at places where clothes are accepting of their disorders are happier and more content. Employees with some kind of invisible impairments can sometimes be helped by providing them with suitable accommodations. Generally, accommodation is required by the Americans with disabilities act (ADA). There are any number of accommodations that an employer can make to help an employee without taking on an undue burden. Any employees suffering from any chronic illness can be given breaks for taking their medications, rest, or therapy. People with learning disabilities can be provided written instructions instead and verbal communication depending on what they respond better to.

Employees with disabilities can also be provided with medical health coverage or some employee benefits packages. It will boost the confidence and morale of the employees. This will also help them to succeed in their work and create an open environment for them to work comfortably.

Can people who suffer from invisible disabilities apply for benefits?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has specified specific disability impairments that will qualify for SSDI benefits. To apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits must satisfy specific requirements. 

Generally, your disability must have been present for at least 12 months continuously. Further, you must demonstrate that your health condition is preventing you from doing day-to-day work and participating in any substantial gainful activity (SGA). If you meet all of the eligibility requirements of SSA, you may qualify for disability benefits.

Consult an experienced disability lawyer to get the help you need in applying for your social security disability. We can answer all of your questions about eligibility and the documents required during the SSA evaluation process. Call us today to schedule your free consultation.