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Facts about Graves Disease and Filing for Disability


How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits


 
1) Graves disease is an autoimmune disease, which is a disorder characterized by the body not recognizing itís self, causing it to attack its own tissues and cells. Graves disease most often affects the thyroid gland causing it to be overactive, to swell larger than it should be, and can lead to hyperthyroidism (the thyroid producing an overabundance of thyroid hormones).

2) The thyroid gland regulates things like weight, mental energy, mood, and physical energy.

3) Symptoms of Graves disease can range from anxiety, irritability, insomnia and nervousness, to muscle weakness, frequent bowel movements, and irregular heartbeat. The list of possible symptoms for the disease is quite long, and includes brittle nails, sensitivity to light and even chronic sinus infections. Graves disease also affects the eyes and can cause exophthalmos (bulging eyes), eye irritation, and double vision. Smoking is thought to be connected to the symptoms of the eyes, making them worse.

4) Graves disease is has a genetic constituent and is found one-fourth of the time in identical twins.

5) The heart, nervous system, circulatory system and skin can also be affected by Graves disease.

6) Graves disease is usually easy to diagnose; a physical exam that shows a swollen thyroid gland and rapid heartbeat, along with symptoms of non-pitting edema and bulging eyes is usually enough to diagnose the disease. Tests such as radioactive iodine uptake, Serum T3, Serum TSH, and Serum free T4 are also used to help diagnose.

7) Treatment of Graves disease depends on the symptoms. Rapid heart rate, anxiety and sweating are most often treated with beta-blockers, and hyperthyroidism is usually treated with radioactive iodine, anti-thyroid medication, and sometimes surgery.

8) Those who have Graves disease and smoke tobacco should quit, since the eye issues associated with Graves disease can get worse with smoking tobacco, even once the hyperthyroidism is treated and cured.


Can you qualify for disability benefits with this condition?

Whether or not you qualify for disability and, as a result, are approved for disability benefits will depend entirely on the information obtained from your medical records. This includes whatever statements may have been obtained from your treating physician (a doctor who has a history of treating your condition and is, therefore, qualified to comment as to your condition and prognosis).

It will also depend on the information obtained from your vocational, or work, history if you are an adult, or academic records if you are a minor-age child. The important thing to keep in mind is that the social security administration does not award benefits based on simply having a condition, but, instead, will base an approval or denial on the extent to which a condition causes functional limitations. Functional limitations can be great enough to make work activity not possible (or, for a child, make it impossible to engage in age-appropriate activities).

Why are so many disability cases lost at the disability application and reconsideration appeal levels?

Speaking as a former Disability Claims Examiner, I can state that there are several reasons:

1) Social Security makes no attempt to obtain a statement from a claimant's treating physician. By contrast, at the hearing level, a claimant and his or her disability attorney will generally obtain and present this type of statement to a judge;

2) Prior to the hearing level, a claimant will not have the opportunity to explain how their condition limits them, nor will their attorney or representative have the opportunity to make a presentation based on the evidence of the case. At the hearing level, of course, this is exactly what happens. And a number of disability representatives will also take such steps even earlier, at the reconsideration appeal level;

3) Disability judges, unlike disability examiners who decides cases at the first two levels of the system, can make independent decisions without being overturned by immediate supervisors--which happens frequently.















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Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions

Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The Disability Decision Process and What gets taken into Consideration | Getting Denied for Disability Benefits | Questions about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | Social Security Disability Hearings | Social Security Medical Examinations | Social Security SSI Doctors | Social Security Disability Representation | Social Security Disability SSI Reviews