The thyroid gland is an important organ in your body that secretes three hormones that play a critical role in regulating the body’s energy levels, weight, internal temperature, hair, skin, nail growth, and metabolism. One of these hormones secreted by the thyroid gland, Thyroxine, is primarily responsible for regulating the way your body’s metabolism functions.
There are a number of thyroid gland disorders that can be so serious that you are unable to continue working despite undergoing treatment for the condition. If this is what has happened to you, you may be able to obtain Social Security disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Some tips to help you apply for benefits are given below.
Tip #1 Determine If You Meet a Blue Book Listing
To have any chance of obtaining disability benefits, your symptoms of hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism (over developed or underdeveloped gland, respectively) must match the description in the relevant section of the SSA’s Blue Book. Interestingly, there is no specific section that gives the criteria for thyroid gland disorders in the Blue Book, although endocrine disorders are listed in section 9.00: Endocrine-Adult of the Blue Book.
It is important to note that you may qualify for Social Security disability (SSD) benefits if your symptoms match the criteria in another Blue Book section. This is because the thyroid gland is a critically important hormone gland in the body, and when someone has a thyroid gland disorder, it typically influences other parts of your body and its regulatory mechanisms or functions. For example, an overactive thyroid can cause cardiac arrhythmias and other heart problems (which come under section 4.00 of the Blue Book) or a goiter (swelling) in the throat that can cause severe difficulties in breathing or swallowing.
Tip #2 Establish You Qualify Through Medical Records & Evidence
You will need to supply medical evidence of your current condition as well as medical history showing when your thyroid gland disorder developed as well as any scans, tests, and surgery you have had throughout the development of the condition. Endocrinological tests and assessments are particularly relevant to this type of disability. Additionally, it is crucial for you to be aware of the fact that most disability benefits applications fail because of insufficient medical documentation or lack of proof that the condition is severe enough to prevent you from working.
Tip #3 Keep Up With Treatment Plans
Make sure that you continue receiving treatment for your thyroid gland disorder throughout the disability benefits application period. The assessment can take many months and if you give up your treatment before a decision is made or even after you qualify for benefits, your application or continued payments may be rejected by the SSA. This is especially the case with thyroid gland disorders as some conditions are amenable to treatment.
Tip #4 Fill Out a RFC
You can improve your chances of having your application for disability benefits approved if you have a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment completed by your doctor. The RFC tests your ability to carry out basic tasks such as how long you can stand and carry weights, and how well you can sit, bend, and respond to both instructions and stimuli. The RFC won’t, by itself, show that your thyroid gland disorder symptoms are preventing you from working, however it will be combined with the other evidence in your application such as medical documentation, tests, and scans to support your claim.
Tip #5 Work With an Attorney
Although thyroid gland disorders are well known medically, it can still be hard convincing the SSA’s assessors that you meet their criteria to receive their approval for benefits. Quite often you need to appeal a rejected application decision from the SSA. Luckily, you can improve your chances of obtaining disability benefits if you work with a disability attorney.
Complete the Free Case Evaluation form on this page today to get connected with an independent, participating disability attorney who subscribes to our site and can help you get the thyroid disability benefits you may need!