SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
Filing a Social Security Disability Application - How to File & the Information that is Needed by SSA
Do you need a Lawyer at the Administrative Law Judge Disability Hearing?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of benefits
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How much is paid for the Social Security Disability Attorney Fee?
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
How To Get Disability Through SSDI or SSI Approved
Should you get Help from a Disability Attorney before the Claim has been Denied?
Answers to questions about SSD and SSI disability
Qualifying for Disability - What is Social Security Looking for?
How do I check the status of my Social Security disability claim?
What Expenses Will A Social Security Attorney Charge In Addition To The Fee?
Facts about Hashimoto's Disease and Filing for Disability
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
1) Hashimoto’s disease, also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, is an autoimmune disorder characterized by the immune system attacking the thyroid gland. In response, the follicles around the thyroid gland are slowly damaged, often resulting in hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.
2) The disease was named after Hakaru Hashimoto, a Japanese physician that first explained the disease in 1912. When the disease turns into mania, it is known as Prasad’s syndrome.
3) Hashimoto’s disease is thought to affect nearly 1-2 out of every 1000 people in the United States. It is single-handedly the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States.
4) Hashimoto’s disease is genetic, associated with the genes CTLA-4 and HLA-DR5, and often runs in families.
5) Hashimoto’s disease occurs most often between the ages of 45 and 65 years old, and affects women twice as often as men. It can also affect adolescents and children, resulting in disrupted growth.
6) Patients with chromosomal disorders such as Klinefelter’s syndromes, Down’s syndrome and Turner syndrome, have an increased chance of developing Hashimoto’s disease.
7) Those with Hashimoto’s disease are sometimes misdiagnosed as having cyclothymia, premenstrual syndrome, depression, anxiety disorder or bipolar disorder due to the symptoms of the disease, which can vary from high cholesterol, migraines, depression, fatigue and weight gain, to mania, panic attacks, muscle weakness, sensitivity to cold, hair loss and reactive hypoglycemia.
8) Testing to determine whether symptoms are Hashimoto’s disease include testing for levels of anti-thyroid antibodies and thyroid-stimulating hormones (TSH) through hormone and antibody tests.
9) Left untreated Hashimoto’s disease can lead to complications such as heart disease, goiter, mental health issues such as depression, decreased libido, myxedema, and birth defects such as cleft palate.
10) Hashimoto’s disease is usually a lifelong disease, requiring lifelong treatment of hormone replacement therapy, including Armour or levothyroxine.
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.
Return to: SSDRC, or the Social Security Disability Questions page