How do I prove my disability case when I look fine?

can you win your disability case if you look ok?

This is one of the most difficult issues in a Social Security disability case.  You might look “normal,” but you know that there is no way that you can work. 

If you tell someone that you are applying for Social Security, they may raise their eyebrows in surprise, or even tell you, “you don’t look disabled.”

When you applied for Social Security, the technician may even have given you a hard time because you seemed fine.  

What most people do not understand is that not all disabilities are visible.  You cannot tell who might be disabled just by looking at them.

People with bi-polar disorder or fibromyalgia may look fine, when you see them. However, unless you are a close friend, or a family member, you may not see this person on a bad day.  And you have no idea that they have many more bad days than good days. 

So, how do you prove that you are disabled when you don’t look it?

I won’t say that looks have no impact in a disability case, but Social Security decides cases based on medical evidence. If you have documentation of your medical or mental problems AND evidence that your condition prevents you from being able to work, you have a good chance of winning, even if you look fine.

Check out my articles on working with doctors to develop your case.

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Disclaimer: This is NOT legal advice. This site provides general information about Social Security disability cases in Colorado. To discuss your particular circumstances, please contact a lawyer in your area. Please review the full disclaimer .

About Tomasz Stasiuk

Tomasz Stasiuk is a Colorado Springs Social Security disability lawyer and the founding attorney of the Stasiuk Firm - a law firm specializing in Social Security disability cases in Colorado. Follow Tomasz Stasiuk on Google and Twitter

  • mandi48

    what diferent is between; full disability and permanet disability.
    I am trying to refinance my home to have lower payments, and Bank is asking me to prove that I am permanent disable person. I am61 years old, and full disable since 2001. It was Worksman case. Bank insist, that my regular doctor should write for me if I am permanent, other way I wont be approve to refinance my home. I sent to this Bank all possible documents and still is not enough. What should I do???

  • mandi48

    I am trying to refinance my home to lower peyments, but my loan company demends to receive from proof that I am on PERMANENT Disability. I am fully disable, after few exidents at work(6)and PTSD. since 2001. What should I do, if I do not sent this loan company this document, I will loose chance tor refinance. Can my dotor write as such note as Full Disability are after 10 years are permanent, or what should I do. I need help. I never have a such problem. I sent all possible documents to prove my disability and incomee , and they told that it will not approve refinancing untill they receive what they are asking> Need as quicly as possible answer.

    Best regards,

    Mandi48

  • http://www.ColoradoSocialSecurityLaw.com TomaszStasiuk

    My site deals with Social Security disability, not workers' compensation benefits. Work comp is a state based program which is different in every state.

    If you had an attorney on your workers' compensation case, it may be time to re-contact them. One thing you may want to find out is whether your workers' compensation case was a permanent total disability (PTD) case? If it was a PTD case, there may be documentation of a “permanent” disability.

    Also, is there a particular reason why you cannot ask your doctor for a simple statement that you are permanently and totally disabled (or whatever language your bank requires)? Even if you do not have a doctor at present, it might be worth paying for $300-400 for an evaluation. Even if the re-fi only saves you $100 a month, the exam would pay for itself in 3 to 4 months.

    Good luck!

    This communication is not legal advice does nor does it form an attorney-client relationship. No representation is provided without a validly executed fee agreement.

  • http://www.ColoradoSocialSecurityLaw.com TomaszStasiuk
  • mandi48

    Thank You, I am asking the same question twicw. Sorry about that.

    Best regards,

    Danuta Rzepecka

  • http://www.ColoradoSocialSecurityLaw.com TomaszStasiuk

    My site deals with Social Security disability, not workers' compensation benefits. Work comp is a state based program which is different in every state.

    If you had an attorney on your workers' compensation case, it may be time to re-contact them. One thing you may want to find out is whether your workers' compensation case was a permanent total disability (PTD) case? If it was a PTD case, there may be documentation of a “permanent” disability.

    Also, is there a particular reason why you cannot ask your doctor for a simple statement that you are permanently and totally disabled (or whatever language your bank requires)? Even if you do not have a doctor at present, it might be worth paying for $300-400 for an evaluation. Even if the re-fi only saves you $100 a month, the exam would pay for itself in 3 to 4 months.

    Good luck!

    This communication is not legal advice does nor does it form an attorney-client relationship. No representation is provided without a validly executed fee agreement.

  • http://www.ColoradoSocialSecurityLaw.com TomaszStasiuk
  • mandi48

    Thank You, I am asking the same question twicw. Sorry about that.

    Best regards,

    Danuta Rzepecka

  • Rubyredlips32

    can i bring family members to testify on my behalf ?

  • http://www.Planet10Tech.com TomaszStasiuk

    Usually the judge will allow it. However, hearings are often scheduled every 45-60 minutes so it is often best to be very selective about who a claimant wants to testify. I will sometimes have one additional witness particularly on cases involving mental health issues. If there are additional statements I want included, I usually have those witnesses provide written statements that can be included into the record.

    It is also polite to let the judge know in advance who will be providing testimony.

  • Madzia79

    Hi Tomasz
    I have been ill for over 1 yera now. They have finally admit that i have some kind off reuatology arthits , i have been off from work for 3 week now because of my health. I was just wondering if i can aplly for social benefit because of my illnes? I have searched the internet and it lookd like i have to be off from work for 12 months to apply for disability benefit:/

  • http://www.Planet10Tech.com TomaszStasiuk

    Hi there. Social Security does have a 12 month durational requirement, which requires the disability **be expected** to last 12 months. http://www.socialsecurityinsider.com/2009/05/you-have-to-be-disabled-for-12-months-the-durational-requirement/

    However, an individual **does not** have to be out of work for 12 months before they apply.

    To answer your question, yes, you can apply.