Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) is one of those strange disorders that you’ve probably never heard of — until you’re diagnosed with it. EDS is actually a group of genetic disorders that involve your body’s connective tissue. Since your connective tissue supports the function of your bones, skin, heart, blood vessels and most other organs, EDS can be quite debilitating.
But does it qualify you for disability benefits?
Maybe. EDS is often overlooked or misdiagnosed when people are young. It may even be dismissed as mere hypermobility. However, the joint pain and other problems can become overwhelming as an EDS sufferer ages. Depending on the variant of EDS that they have, sufferers may experience everything from dental issues and corneal problems to damage to their heart.
Some of the symptoms of EDS include:
- Skin that bruises, bleeds or tears
- Difficulty healing from even small wounds
- Chronic joint pain and arthritis
- Ruptured and torn corneas
- Kidney and heart failure
- Chronic pain
For many people with EDS, the constant injuries they suffer and the “buildup” of symptoms and problems over the years gradually makes it impossible for them to continue working.
Unfortunately, EDS is so little recognized and understood that you may have to first fight for a diagnosis and then fight for your disability benefits. When trying to qualify for disability, it’s important to focus on the actual symptoms of your EDS. For example, you may experience joint pain and vision problems that interfere with your ability to do either manual labor or paperwork.
When you apply for disability benefits with EDS, you need to frame your argument that the condition is disabling by showing exactly how your specific symptoms are limiting. That can be difficult when you have a condition that’s neither well-known nor well-understood.
If you’ve already been denied your long-term disability benefits, find out how an experienced attorney can help.