When you file a claim for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, you’ll be asked to list your disabling conditions or conditions – and this is where a lot of people make a big mistake.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has a very restrictive definition of disability, so it’s important to list all of your comorbid conditions, not just the one(s) you find the most troublesome. If you don’t list something, SSA will generally not take it into consideration when it evaluates whether your condition as a whole is enough to be considered disabling. Three commonly overlooked conditions include:
Chronic pain is a feature of many different medical conditions, from fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis to back injuries and muscular disorders, and it can be incredibly limiting. Your pain levels may impact everything from your ability to sit, stand and walk to how well you can concentrate on your work – yet people often forget to mention their pain when they file an SSD claim thinking that “it’s a given.”
Mental health issues
Having your entire world upended by a health condition is, quite naturally, emotionally disturbing. It’s common for people who are struggling with serious health conditions and chronic pain to also experience depression and anxiety about their futures – especially if they’re no longer able to work. It’s also possible to develop post-traumatic stress disorder over accidents and serious illnesses (or related negative health care experiences). If you’re suffering from any mental health issue brought on by your condition, make sure you list it on your forms.
Chronic fatigue is more than just “feeling tired.” It’s a crushing exhaustion that can affect everything from your mood and overall mental state to your ability to think straight. When you suffer from chronic fatigue that’s related to either your medical condition or the medications you take, you may find it exceptionally difficult to handle even basic daily tasks, like dressing, cooking and cleaning – and work can be impossible. This is another condition that deserves its own mention on your application.
Understanding what it takes to get a Social Security Disability claim approved isn’t easy, but legal help is available. Seeking assistance can make the approval process much more efficient and effective overall.