Easiest Illness to Fake for Disability Benefits [Top 13]

If you are curious about getting disability benefits even when you’re feeling fine, we have identified the easiest illness to fake for disability that people sometimes fake to get those benefits. You might be here because you read our article about faking doctor’s note. After taking some time off work and realizing the benefits, you might start thinking about the possibility of doing this long-term. Imagine retiring early, having more time for your passions, and getting a monthly disability benefit. It’s a stress-free, boss-free life that many people enjoy. Why not consider joining them?

Before we share the simple medical conditions that could qualify you for disability benefits, understand that this isn’t an easy task. If you’re thinking of pretending to have a medical condition to get disability approval, you need to be well prepared.


Just a note…

Whichever condition you choose from this list, it will require careful planning. The good news is that you don’t need to harm yourself in any way to fake these illnesses. It’s more about acting and pretending. However, this doesn’t just mean lying to the doctor. You have a responsibility to do thorough research to avoid getting caught.


Let’s start by understanding what is considered a disability.

What is Disability?

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), an individual with a disability is defined as:

a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment.

This impairment could be a current condition or something from the past, or it could be seen as an existing condition. These impairments can be categorized into two groups: physical and cognitive. The cognitive ones are easier to fake, which is why they are more prominent in our list.

We will share some tips as you read through them, so you can choose the easiest one for you. The last option requires a certain age, but the rest are equally straightforward. Since what you consider the easiest illness to fake for disability depends on personal preferences, the rest of the list is random.


For doctors reading this, you’ll also find this information very useful. The easiest illness to fake for disability typically has symptoms that are simple to show. Many of them rely on the patient’s word versus yours. Medicine can be complex, and when someone says they’re in pain without an apparent medical cause, it is tough to figure out if they’re telling the truth. It’s not as simple as it might seem.

Easiest Illness to Fake for Disability

Easiest Illness to Fake for Disability

We gathered information about the easiest illnesses to fake for disability from these sources:

  • Reddit
  • Migraine Again
  • Quora
  • Digital Spy
  • National Review
  • PolitiFact
  • ResearchGate

We found useful examples and even a guide to help doctors spot fake illnesses. We also explored Digital Spy’s forum to hear real stories from people who successfully received benefits they didn’t need.

Whether you’re a doctor or someone considering disability benefits, get ready to learn about the easiest illness to fake for disability benefits:

1. Alzheimer’s

Faking dementia, however, requires a specific age. Any instances before you turn 65 are seen as early and need extra consideration. Many cases like this occur in a person’s 40s or 50s. On a positive note, who can really prove you didn’t get lost or forget your address? According to the National Institute of Aging (NIA), “For most people with Alzheimer’s—those who have the late-onset variety — symptoms first appear in their mid-60s or later.”

2.  Depression

Depression is the easiest illness to fake for disability; it is not hard at all. Just saying you are feeling lonely and sad won’t cut it. You should also tick off things like tiredness, feeling uneasy, struggling to focus, guilt, physical pain, or thoughts of hurting yourself.


Depression is a mental health disorder characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a lack of interest in activities. It can affect daily functioning and overall well-being.

Ease of Faking

Some people suggest that depression might be easier to fake because it doesn’t always have visible symptoms. However, others argued that faking depression would be unethical and could lead to real mental health problems.

3. Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and tenderness in localized areas. Sleep, memory, and mood problems are frequently associated with it. The exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, and its symptoms can be subjective, making it difficult to diagnose.

4. Lower Back Pain

One easiest illness to fake for disability benefits is lower back pain, a common condition that affects many people at some point in their lives. Muscle strain, herniated discs, or underlying medical conditions like arthritis are just a few of the causes. Lower back pain can range from mild discomfort to severe and debilitating pain.

5. Psychological Conditions

Some individuals may claim psychological conditions such as anxiety or depression. These are serious mental health disorders that can affect every aspect of a person’s life. They require proper diagnosis, treatment, and understanding.

6. Migraine

The throbbing headache that won’t leave you is another easy illness on this list of the easiest illness to fake for disability benefits. Remember to mention sensitivity to light and sounds, and talk about feeling nauseous too.

7. Backache

In your 40s, it’s common to have back pain. Who can really claim your spine and back are perfectly fine? Probably no one. That’s why pretending to have back pain is quite believable.

8. Trouble with Seeing Clearly

Pretending to have vision problems takes determination. There have been cases where people had trouble even if their eyes seemed fine. Just keep insisting that your vision isn’t working properly.

9. Amnesia

What? Who? I’m not sure why I’m here. I can’t recall what I did yesterday. And the list goes on.

10. Anxiety/agoraphobia

Anxiety shows up in various symptoms like trouble sleeping, an upset stomach, feeling dizzy, a tense neck, breathlessness, queasiness, and lots of worrying. Agoraphobia is a type of anxiety disorder, and it’s quite handy for pretending to avoid work. It’s the fear of places or situations that could trigger a panic attack. Imagine fearing to leave your home alone—that’s pretty convenient for not going to work, right?

11. Bad Back

Back pain or a “bad back” refers to discomfort or pain in the back area, often caused by muscle strain, herniated discs, or other underlying conditions.

Historically, some people considered a bad back to be easier to fake for disability benefits, but advancements in medical technology, such as scans, may make it more challenging to falsely claim this condition.

12. Agoraphobia


Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder characterized by fear and avoidance of places or situations that might cause panic or embarrassment. It can lead to a person becoming housebound.

Ease of Faking

Popular opinion mentions that agoraphobia might be difficult to disprove, making it potentially easier to fake. However, others emphasized the seriousness of the condition and the ethical implications of faking it.

13. Neurological Conditions


Neurological conditions affect the nervous system and can include symptoms like limping or difficulty walking.

Ease of Faking

While some people suggest that faking neurological conditions might be easy, others have countered that it would be nearly impossible to fake such conditions due to the extensive testing and diagnosis by neurologists.

So, above are the top, easiest illnesses to fake that people commonly use to get benefits. But this too comes with consequences if caught – including jail time, a fine, or both. You can read about Anthony Patrick Stanford, a veteran sentenced to 2 years in prison for lying to obtain disability benefits.

How Doctors Spot a Fake Disability

1. Commonly Faked Illnesses

Most general practitioners with experience in various medical fields reveal that the conditions that are faked the most include headaches, gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea, and back pain. Seizures are also commonly faked and are ironically, the easiest to spot when they are faked. The reasons for faking these illnesses can vary, but often they’re related to obtaining a medical certificate for work or other personal gains.

2. Signs Doctors Look For

Doctors are trained to identify signs that may indicate a patient is faking an illness. Some of these signs include:

  • Over-exaggeration of symptoms. If the symptoms do not correlate with the clinical picture and history, it raises suspicion.
  • Refusal of medications/procedures. A patient refusing certain treatments that would benefit the ailments they complain of can be a red flag.
  • Timing of the illness. A sick certificate around public holidays or long weekends is often suspicious.
  • Repeat offenders. If a patient has gotten away with faking an illness before, they may try it again.
  • Vague or severe symptoms. The faker may present very vague symptoms or go too far with their charade, claiming very severe symptoms that do not match the clinical examination.

Faking an illness is not a simple matter, especially when dealing with medical professionals. The body cannot lie, and once a patient has been deemed suspicious of faking an illness, they will always be under the medical doctor’s radar.

Most doctors know about this and will eventually confront the patient if the rapport is good. It’s essential to understand that honesty in medical situations is vital for proper care and treatment. Faking an illness can lead to unnecessary tests, wrong diagnoses, and even legal consequences.

Read alsoHow to get out of a lie without telling the truth

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