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Social Security Disability Definitions

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Social Security Disability and SSI Denials

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Disability Qualifications and How to Qualify

Social Security Disability and Working

Winning your Disability Benefits

Social Security Disability Back Pay Benefits

Social Security Disability SSI Awards and Award Notices

Disability Lawyers and Hiring an Attorney

Social Security Disability SSI List of Conditions

What is considered a Disabling condition by Social Security?

Social Security Disability SSI and Medical Evidence

Filing for Disability Benefits

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Facts about Hyperthyroidism and Filing for Disability

1. Hyperthyroidism means the thyroid gland is overactive, a condition in which the gland produces too much of its hormones for the body's needs. This drastically increases the rate of metabolism, resulting in rapid weight loss, abnormal heartbeat (racing pulse, irregular beat or palpitations), sweating, nervousness and anxiety, and irritability.

2. The thyroid gland, located at the front base of the neck, produces hormones that controls body temperature and the rate the body uses food energy, influences heart rate, and influences regulation of protein production and the amount of calcium in the blood.

3. Older adults are less likely to have symptoms, or to have minimal symptoms. Typically minor symptoms in older adults include increased heart rate, heat sensitivity, and becoming overly tired during regular daily activities.

4. Medications used for high blood pressure (beta blockers), which are primarily used among older adults, may result in masking the already minimal symptoms of the condition and further delaying a diagnosis.

5. Hyperthyroidism can occur for several different reasons. The most common is Grave's disease. an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks the thyroid gland and results in the gland overproducing to compensate.

6. Another condition, Plummer's disease (also called toxic adenoma or toxic multinodular goiter), comes from adenomas that form as a blocked off part of the thyroid gland. Some adenomas may form noncancerous lumps, cause swelling of the thyroid, and produce too much hormone.

7. Thyroiditis may also occur, which causes the gland to swell and leak stored hormones into the blood stream. Thyroiditis can be painful, but usually is not. Pregnancy is one cause of thyroiditis.

8. Testing for hyperthyroidism is simple and involves a blood sample. Once the sample confirms hyperthyroidism, imaging tests can be performed to help determine what is causing the overproduction of hormones and to help decide how to best treat the problem.

9. Treatment involves oral medications. In some cases the thyroid gland may be partially or fully removed.

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:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Topics and Questions

  • Can you apply for disability if you have a mental condition ?

  • What are the questions that get asked at a social security disability or SSI hearing?

  • Social Security Administration Disability Benefits From SSD and SSI

  • How Likely are You to Win Your Disability Case?

  • Social Security Disability Questions

  • Do You Have To Be Out Of Work For A Long Time Before You Can File For Disability?

  • How Will Social Security Look At My Case If I have More Than One Disabling Condition?

  • How many Social Security disability cases are approved for back pain?

  • Social Security Disability and SSI Disability Benefits

  • Will Social Security Deny You Disability Without Looking At Your Medical Records?

  • Winning Social Security Disability Benefits For Mental Disorders

  • Winning a Social Security Disability Appeal or SSI Appeal

  • Social Security Disability SSI and Activities of Daily Living

  • Disability Claims Through Social Security How Long is the Process?

  • What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits

    Other Links

  • Indiana Disability Lawyer

  • Illinois Disability Lawyer

  • Michigan Disability Lawyer

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  • Spinal Fusion and Filing for Disability

  • Spinal Stenosis and Filing for Disability

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  • Post Polio Syndrome and Filing for Disability

  • Medullablastoma and Filing for Disability

  • Melanoma and Filing for Disability

  • Memory Loss and Filing for Disability

  • Allodynia and Filing for Disability

  • ALS, Lou Gehrig's Disease and Filing for Disability

  • Alzheimer's and Filing for Disability

  • Cirrhosis and Applying for Social Security Disability SSI Benefits

  • Congestive heart failure and Applying for Social Security Disability SSI Benefits

  • COPD and Applying for Social Security Disability SSI Benefits

    SSD and SSI are Federal Programs

    The title II Social Security Disability and title 16 SSI Disability programs operate under federal guidelines and, therefore, the program requirements--medical and non-medical--apply to all states:

    Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

    Recent approval and denial statistics for various states can be viewed here:

    Social Security Disability, SSI Approval and Denial Statistics by state

    Special Section: Disability Lawyers and unnecessary claim denials