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Not all physical disabilities are visible disabilities

Depression, lupus, fibromyalgia, Crohn’s disease and diabetes, amongst many other varying conditions, all have one thing in common; they are not visible to others. People dealing with conditions such as these look like everyone else. They look like they should be capable of performing any task required of them.

“I kind of call it being able to pass,” said one young woman struggling with Crohn’s disease and fibromyalgia. “So I can pass as a normal, healthy, average person, which is great and definitely helps ease my everyday life.” She notes that this ability to blend in helps when it comes to getting jobs. Keeping a job is not as easy.

On the inside, these people are suffering. Diseases such as these can make even the simplest chore feel like an incredibly painful experience. The truth is that the invisibility of their conditions often contributes to disability discrimination and other issues in the workplace.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission data, analyzed by Cornell University’s Employment and Disability Institute, shows that from the years 2005 to 2010, conditions that fall into the “invisible disabilities” category were the most common type of claims.

Many people dealing with these conditions are unable to work at all due to the physically, mentally and emotionally painful symptoms. Many of these individuals in Ohio qualify for benefits under the federal Social Security Disability Insurance program, but it is not an easy road for them.

Proving an invisible but very real disability is very difficult. Social Security disability attorneys know the process and can work with doctors to ensure that the proper medical evidence is included in their applications.

Source: ncpr, “People With ‘Invisible Disabilities’ Fight For Understanding,” Naomi Gingold, March 8, 2015