There are many different kinds of thyroid disorders that can occur, and each affects you in different ways. Hypothyroidism leaves you feeling achy, tired, depressed, mentally foggy, and constipated. Hyperthyroidism can make it hard to concentrate, cause your heart to beat faster, and leave you tired, nervous, and experiencing tremors. Thyroid cancer does exactly what you would expect cancer to do. And those are only three possibilities.
But among the various conditions associated with problematic thyroids, there is one constant: they can all be incredibly serious and make it difficult to lead a normal life and engage in regular activities. This being the case, it is no wonder that the Social Security Administration has decided to include thyroid disorders in their Listings of Impairments.
If you have not heard of it, the Listings of Impairments is a sort of encyclopedia of disabilities. In it, the SSA has defined every single condition that they recognize as being a disability, in addition to creating specific criteria that each disorder must meet to qualify for Social Security disability benefits.
Those unable to do this, though, aren’t necessarily left out in the cold. If you don’t quite meet the criteria for your thyroid disorder, there is an alternative method that many have used to get the benefits they need: equivalency. Instead of trying to directly match a listing, your job is to prove that your condition is just as severe and disabling as a listed impairment.
Unfortunately, utilizing this method is often more complicated and confusing, so you should try to match the listing first.
Do You Meet Social Security‘s Listing for Thyroid Disorders?
Medical conditions involving the thyroid are discussed under SSA Listing 9.00 Endocrine Disorders.
Criteria for getting benefits for thyroid issues are both simple and complicated – much like the condition itself. Your particular criteria will be determined by which kind of thyroid disorder you are suffering from and which body system or systems have been impacted.
In other words, the SSA is not as focused on the thyroid disorder itself as it is the problems and restrictions the disorder causes you. Luckily, there are a number of SSA-accepted medical tests that you can take to prove that you meet the requirements they’ve set down.
- Deep tendon reflexes
- Thyroid antibodies
- Thyroid scan
- Thyroid stimulating hormone
- Thyroid ultrasound
- Thyroid uptake
- Thyrotropin-releasing hormone test
- Thyroxine binding globulin
- T3 uptake
- Water loading test
The right results on any of these tests alone will not win your case, but it will definitely go a long way towards helping you get the Social Security disability benefits you need.
Using the Five Step Process to Qualify for SSD for Thyroid Disorders
Above, we mentioned that those who could not meet the SSA’s criteria for thyroid disorder could still attempt to prove equivalency. In order to do this, you and your disability lawyer will need to use something called the Five Step Sequential Evaluation Process.
During this process, your job will be to provide evidence showing the SSA that you have been prevented from working for at least 12 calendar months due to the nature of your condition. If you are able to do this, you will win your claim and qualify for benefits. But it is not an easy path, so you want an experienced SSDI benefits attorney on your side.
You must never give up!
If you have been unfairly denied disability benefits, ask a lawyer who is Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law to help.
Learn even more about the claims process by reading our free, downloadable Social Security Disability ebook.