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What Disabilities Are Hard to Prove?

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While some disabilities are relatively easy to identify, others are harder to prove. This can be difficult for those with these hidden disabilities who are trying to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). If you have a hidden disability, you may need additional documentation to prove that you meet the requirements for benefits. Our Roseville Social Security disability attorneys can assist you in proving your disability today.

Requirements to Receive Social Security Disability

In order to receive SSDI, a person must meet certain requirements. First, they must have a medical condition that hinders them from performing work-related tasks. This disability must have lasted at least one year. If the one-year mark has not been reached, then it must be reasonably believed that the disability will last at least one year. This can be determined by medical professionals.

Lastly, the condition must prevent you from earning a certain amount of payment. The dollar amount is determined by the Social Security Administration and it is referred to as your “substantial gainful activity” level.

Additionally, you must have worked for a certain number of years and have paid social security taxes during that time. The exact number of years that you’re required to have worked will vary based on your age. Other factors that may be considered include how your disability affects your ability to perform other basic tasks such as walking, lifting, bathing, and getting dressed.

What disabilities are hard to prove?

Why Are Some Disabilities Hard to Prove?

Some disabilities are hard to prove for a number of reasons. This is because many disabilities have an “invisible nature.” Chronic pain and mental health conditions do not have effects that are as evident as something like a severed limb. Because of this, it can be difficult to prove the severity of your condition when it’s hidden.

A condition’s subjectivity can also make it difficult to prove. Mental disorders, such as depression, affect each person differently. Therefore, it would have to be proven that the disabled person is severely impacted by it, and they would have to show some sort of proof that their decreased ability to perform is connected to the disorder.

Lack of information can also make it difficult to prove a condition has grounds for disability benefits. Some conditions do not have definitive diagnostic tests available to say with certainty that a condition is directly linked to disability. Some disabilities also come with stigma surrounding them and are misunderstood by both healthcare providers and the general public, making it harder to prove their severity.

Common Disabilities That Are Difficult to Prove

Proving your disability can be challenging for a number of reasons. The nature of the condition, the availability of medical evidence, or the subjectivity in the effects of the condition all impact your evidence. The following are common disabilities that tend to be difficult to prove:

  • Mental Health Disorders: Certain mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and other personality disorders can be difficult to prove. Their effects fluctuate over time, and each condition affects a person differently. This makes it harder to establish consistency in its effects.
  • Chronic Pain Disorders: An example of a chronic pain disorder is fibromyalgia, which causes musculoskeletal pain along with other symptoms. The reason this condition is hard to prove is because the effects vary from person to person. In addition, there are no tests that can confirm it.
  • Autoimmune Disorders: Disorders like multiple sclerosis can be difficult to prove because their effects are not consistent. They typically happen in episodes. They can also be unpredictable. Proving its severity can take extensive medical testing.
  • Degenerative Conditions: Degenerative conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, can be difficult to prove because their effects worsen over time.
  • Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: Conditions such as autism can be difficult to prove due to the fact that they require more assessments. These assessments include cognitive functioning tests and evaluations on how daily living is affected.

How to Qualify for a Hard-to-Prove Disability in California

Even if you have a harder-to-prove disability, you can still qualify to receive benefits. You can improve your chances of approval by doing the following:

  • Obtain as much medical evidence as you can to support that your symptoms match the requirements.
  • Get assessed by a doctor. If they find that you will be unable to work for the next 12 months, this will help your case immensely.
  • Continue available treatment and gather notes from medical professionals regarding your condition.


Q: What Are Common Hidden Disabilities?

A: Four common hidden disabilities include mental health conditions, autoimmune diseases, chronic pain disorders, and neurological disorders. Even if a condition is considered “hidden,” it can still affect a person’s life in a major way, making it difficult to perform tasks that they otherwise would be able to perform with no major issue.

Q: What Is the Most Commonly Overlooked Disability?

A: Generally, the most overlooked disabilities are mental health disorders. These include depression, anxiety, PTSD, and bipolar disorder, to name a few. They are often overlooked and misunderstood. These conditions also affect each person differently, so there is no formula to evaluate the severity of a condition. They also do not have physical manifestations, like other conditions that may be easier to prove.

Q: Why Do Most People Get Denied for SSDI?

A: Most people get denied disability for lack of medical evidence. Your medical evidence must not only prove that your disability exists but it must also show the severity and extent of your condition. Your medical records must include the projected duration of your condition and how long it will impair you from performing certain tasks.

Q: Does Everyone Get Turned Down the First Time for Disability?

A: Not everyone who applies for disability gets denied their first time. However, it is very common. Denial does not always mean that the person’s condition does not qualify but could include other reasons such as insufficient medical evidence, insufficient work history, and inconsistencies in the application. Fortunately, if you are denied benefits, you have the option to file an appeal on the claim.

Talk to Gade & Parekh, LLP, for Superior Legal Support

If you’ve been denied social security benefits, don’t lose hope. The attorneys at Gade & Parekh, LLP, can help you through the process. We understand disability laws and their complexities and can help protect your rights. Contact us to schedule a consultation today.

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