When you go out into public, no one would think that there was anything wrong with you. You look totally healthy, and for a day or two, you might be. Then, the exhaustion and fatigue hits. You can’t get out of bed, let alone go to work.

Invisible illnesses like yours are hard to explain to others because you don’t look hurt. People may accuse you of faking or making up your disability.

Now, you want to seek disability benefits, because you’ve finally realized that working isn’t an option. You need to show how significantly this disability affects you, though. How can you?

When seeking disability, get medical documents ready

One thing that you need to do is to prepare your medical documents. You should talk to your medical provider about getting documents that have a clear diagnosis that you can give to the Social Security Administration (SSA). You should also see if you can get a letter from one or more doctors that describes the reasons why you cannot work and that encourages you to get rest or to remain out of the job.

Invisible illnesses can cause chronic pain, exhaustion, fatigue and other issues that may not always be apparent. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be able to seek fair compensation for what you’re going through. The benefits system is supposed to be there to protect people who are unable to work because of a disability, even if that disability isn’t outwardly visible.

Our website has more information on living with invisible illnesses and what to do if you have a disability as a result of yours. You may be able to seek benefits and get the care and support you need.