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Thyroid Conditions and Social Security Disability

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January is thyroid awareness month. The goal of this awareness month is to improve understanding of thyroid conditions and their effect on an estimated 59 million Americans. The thyroid is a gland in the front of the neck that produces hormones that cells throughout the body need to function properly. In particular, the hormones control how our bodies use energy.

Conditions and diseases of the thyroid include those caused by hypothyroidism (not enough hormone) and hyperthyroidism (too much hormone). In general, thyroid conditions are treatable, and most patients are able to continue working with a thyroid condition. However, there are several thyroid-related impairments that can prevent someone from holding a job. When people have one of these illnesses, they may be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. The consequences of thyroid conditions that could make one eligible for disability benefits are described under endocrine disorders in the Social Security's listing of impairments, sometimes known as the blue book.

Some conditions that could be caused by a thyroid disorder include:

  • Problems with blood pressure and heart rate
  • Thyroid-related weight loss
  • Stroke
  • Cognitive and emotional problems
  • Eye problems associated with Grave's disease, a type of hyperthyroidism
  • Complications of thyroid cancer

The SSA evaluates disability benefits claims for disorders such as Grave's disease based on the consequences of the condition on the affected body system. For example, if Grave's disease causes heart problems, the Social Security Administration will use the requirements for cardiovascular impairments to assess disability.

SSD claims based on thyroid problems can be complicated. If you have applied for disability benefits and are having problems with your claim, do what so many others have done: Call Binder & Binder, America's most successful disability advocates. Tell them your story and learn how they can help you receive the benefits you need and deserve.

Source: "HEALTH LINE: January Is Thyroid Awareness Month," Feb. 1, 2014.

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