Hashimoto’s Disease and Social Security Disability
Hashimoto’s Disease is the most common thyroid disease in the United States. It is an autoimmune disorder in which a person’s immune system attacks his or her own healthy thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is part of the endocrine system, which regulates many of the body’s activities. Hashimoto’s Disease, sometimes called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is progressive, meaning that it will get worse over time until the thyroid stops functioning. It is inherited and the severity of symptoms vary greatly from person to person. Ideally, once the condition is diagnosed, a person can take thyroid hormone replacement daily (for the rest of his or her life – a thyroid never starts functioning again once it stops).
Will Hashimoto’s Disease qualify for Social Security Disability benefits?
Social Security does not have a specific medical impairment listing for thyroid disorders. Once a thyroid condition is diagnosed, most people can control a thyroid disorder (and be capable of gainful employment) with medication. However, the difficulties arising from Hashimoto’s Disease differ from person to person. Some people do suffer from complications due to the disease, including heart problems, strokes, unintentional weight gain or loss, depression or anxiety. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will evaluate claims under the guidelines for the related listings (for example, a thyroid-related heart condition would be evaluated under Cardiovascular System). Remember, however, the SSA does not award benefits based on having a condition, but instead will base an approval or denial on the extent to which a condition makes work activity not possible.