The Estate Planning and Elder Law Firm, PC
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Arlington, VA 22201
Deceptive Disability When You Feel Worse Than You Look
There are disability conditions that are readily apparent. A person suffering from a lower spinal condition may walk with a pronounced limp and require a cane to walk. Similarly, stroke victims will demonstrate difficulty with movement or with speech.
Many other disabling conditions are hidden from view, but can result in even greater impairment. For example, a person suffering from a cardiac or pulmonary impairment will appear outwardly healthy. That is until that person has to walk a short distance causing shortness of breath and fatigue. Since all jobs require some bodily movement, such individuals are clearly disabled despite their outward appearance.
Other persons suffer transient conditions. Conditions such as multiple sclerosis (MS) or lupus erythematosus (SLE) are termed relapsing/remitting. This means that these conditions are more or less active during differing periods of time. It is common for an affected person to be capable of nearly all normal activities during a remitting period, but incapable of nearly any activity during a relapse period. Therefore, workplace attendance and productivity cannot be maintained by people suffering from relapsing/remitting conditions.
People suffering from psychiatric conditions may not demonstrate an outward appearance reflective of the severity of their condition. Often times, people suffering from psychiatric conditions will attempt to hide their problems and avoid treatment due to a perceived societal stigma. The daily stress of work can cause decompensation in persons suffering from psychiatric conditions causing a drastic loss in productivity. Unfortunately many affected persons continue to work until they suffer a complete breakdown resulting in even greater disability.
Persons suffering from arthritis, fibromyalgia, or other painful disorders will not display an immediately noticeable appearance of disability. Unfortunately, many people affected with these disorders will suffer through their pain while continuing to perform their daily routine. Many days these individuals will be capable of only minimal activity or no activity at all. These limited abilities prevent these persons from engaging in competitive employment.
Given the unusual nature of many medical conditions, it is necessary to seek out specialized care. It is equally important to seek out skilled legal counsel.
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