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 Hypothyroidism and Filing for Disability
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
1. Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland is under active, by not producing enough of the hormones that regulate metabolism.
2. Symptoms and problems typically develop gradually, and may at first be ignored or attributed to something else. These include fatigue and feeling sluggish, weight gain, muscle weakness and tenderness, joint pain or swelling, heightened sensitivity to cold, constipation, pale and dry skin, brittle nails and hair, puffiness in the face, and depression. As the condition progresses without treatment, symptoms become more severe.
3. Myxedema is untreated, advanced hypothyroidism and is a medical emergency. Symptoms include decrease in blood pressure, body temperature and breathing, as well as unresponsiveness or coma. Since the symptoms of hypothyroidism progress slowly, the condition rarely becomes this advanced.
4. Hypothyroidism is caused by a variety of conditions, most commonly Hashimoto thyoiditis, which is an autoimmune disease. Radiation therapy, thyroid removal, and medications including lithium also commonly affect the functioning of the thyroid gland.
5. Risk factors include being a woman over the age of 50, having a close relative with an autoimmune disease, thyroid surgery, and treatment with radioactive iodine, anti-thyroid medication, or radiation particularly to neck and chest.
6. A simple blood test is all that is needed to test for hypothyroidism. This may be done routinely in women over the age of 50. It may also be done for those seeing a doctor with several symptoms indicating a possibility of the condition.
7. Treatment is simply a daily dose of synthetic hormone that mimics the thyroid hormone, restoring and maintaining the proper balance of hormones in the body.
8. Complications include goiter, heart problems, mental health problems, infertility and birth defects. However, if treated properly with the right dose of medication, and monitored regularly for necessary dose changes, complications are usually minimal.
9. Hypothyroidism is also prevalent in dogs too, particularly in breeds of mid to large size.
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
Topics and Questions
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