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Can You Get Disability Benefits for Graves Disease?

Can You Get Disability Benefits for Graves Disease?

If you’re asking, ‘Can You Get Disability Benefits for Graves Disease?’ and wondering if your diagnosis qualifies, it’s crucial to understand that eligibility hinges on the severity of your condition and its impact on your functional ability. Merely having a diagnosis of Graves disease is not sufficient to secure disability benefits. This diagnosis must be linked with specific symptoms or limitations that hinder your ability to work.

In cases where Graves disease is diagnosed with minimal or no symptoms, the likelihood of obtaining disability benefits is low. However, if your symptoms are severe and significantly affect your daily functioning, then the possibility of qualifying for disability benefits increases

What is Graves Disease?

Graves disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes an overactive thyroid or hypothyroidism. Your thyroid gland produces excess of the thyroid hormone. Excess levels of the thyroid hormone will speed up the body’s metabolism. While in theory this sounds great, as with most things too much can have a deleterious effect. With Graves disease, speeding up the metabolism will trigger a range of symptoms including:

  • Anxiety, irritability, hand tremors, heat sensitivity, and weight loss. These symptoms can vary widely depending upon the severity of the condition along with how long the hormone levels are high before treatment starts.
  • In the more severe cases, excessive thyroid hormone can affect the brain causing severe anxiousness, nervousness or irritability.
  • You may also experience issues with your vision including blurry vision, inflammation, and excessive tearing.
  • You may also experience musculoskeletal problems leading to muscle pain or myopathy. If left untreated, this condition may ultimately lead to heart problems and weak and brittle bones. Receiving treatment to control your thyroid production is key to controlling your symptoms.
Symptom of Graves DiseasePotential Work ImpactNotes for Disability Claim
Anxiety and IrritabilityCould affect concentration and interpersonal interactions.Important to document specific work-related incidents or challenges caused by these symptoms.
Hand TremorsMight impede tasks requiring fine motor skills, like typing or handling tools.Severity and frequency of tremors should be noted, along with their impact on specific job functions.
Heat SensitivityCould limit ability to work in certain environments or under specific conditions.Environmental restrictions at work due to this symptom should be detailed.
Weight Loss and General WeaknessMay reduce physical stamina and overall strength, affecting physical job demands.Impact on physical job requirements and any required breaks or accommodations should be recorded.
Vision Issues (Blurry Vision, Inflammation)Can affect tasks requiring visual precision, like reading or operating machinery.Document any specific visual tasks that are impacted and any corrective measures taken.
Muscle Pain or MyopathyCould limit physical activity and endurance, affecting a wide range of job functions.Detail specific activities that are limited by these symptoms, including any modifications or accommodations needed.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Your medical provider will confirm a diagnosis of Graves disease by using a combination of your history along with performing a radioactive iodine uptake test. This test will show whether large quantities of iodine are collecting in the thyroid. The thyroid gland needs iodine to make the thyroid hormones. So if the gland is absorbing large amounts of iodine, it is likely producing too much of the hormone.

Graves Disease SeveritySymptomsImpact on Daily FunctioningLikelihood of Disability Benefit Eligibility
MildMinimal symptoms like slight irritability or minor hand tremors.Little to no impact on daily activities or work capacity.Low likelihood of qualifying for disability benefits due to insufficient impact on work capability.
ModerateModerate symptoms such as noticeable hand tremors, moderate anxiety, and heat sensitivity.Some impact on daily activities, possibly affecting work efficiency.Moderate likelihood of qualifying; dependent on how symptoms specifically hinder work-related tasks.
SevereSignificant symptoms including severe anxiety, pronounced hand tremors, substantial weight loss, and vision issues.Major impact on daily activities, significantly hindering work capability and overall quality of life.High likelihood of qualifying for disability benefits due to substantial impairment in work capacity.

Graves disease is most common in women in their mid 30’s and 40’s, with it often running in families. Smoking also significantly increases your risk of Graves disease.

Recommended treatment for this condition includes radioactive iodine treatments and antithyroid drugs which help to slow down the production of the thyroid hormone. In some cases, surgical intervention is recommended to remove the thyroid gland altogether.

If you’re curious about whether your condition of Graves Disease qualifies for disability benefits, it’s important to understand the specific eligibility requirements for Social Security Disability Benefits.

Treatment for Graves Disease

Treatment for Graves DiseasePotential Work ImplicationsConsiderations for Disability Claims
Radioactive Iodine TherapyMay require time off for treatment and recovery; possible side effects impacting work.Document any work absences and side effects that impact your job performance.
Antithyroid MedicationsSide effects could include fatigue or dizziness, affecting work ability.Note any medication side effects and their specific impact on daily work activities.
Surgery (Thyroidectomy)Significant recovery time needed; potential for post-surgery complications.Detail time off work for surgery and recovery, along with any postoperative complications affecting work.
Beta-Blockers for Symptom ControlMight cause fatigue or dizziness, potentially impacting tasks requiring alertness.Document how medication affects ability to perform work, especially for jobs requiring high concentration.
Regular Monitoring and AdjustmentsFrequent doctor visits and treatment adjustments may lead to intermittent work absences.Keep records of medical appointments and how they affect work schedule and performance.

Graves Disease and Social Security Disability Benefits

As mentioned previously, your disability eligibility will be wholly dependent upon the severity of your symptoms. The social security administration will review your claim based upon those symptoms and how they limit you. If your symptoms of Graves disease are so severe that they are affecting your ability to work, your condition may qualify you for social security disability benefits.

Social security disability is a government-mandated insurance program. It is a type of safety net imposed by the federal government for all those who are working and paying taxes on their working income. If you do not pay taxes on your income, you will not be eligible for the disability insurance program, with a few exceptions including spousal or disabled adult child benefits. If you have worked and paid taxes into the social security system for the past five out of ten years, you are likely covered under this federal insurance program.

To find out if you have disability coverage, you may call your local social security office or you can simply call us at (561) 623-3681 to get a general idea of your disability coverage.

For a comprehensive understanding of how disability benefits work, including eligibility criteria and application processes, visit the Social Security Administration’s official page on Disability Benefits.

The Application Process 

Navigating the application process for disability benefits can be challenging, especially when dealing with symptoms of Graves Disease. If you hold federal disability insurance and find yourself unable to work due to this condition, applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a crucial step. The Social Security Administration (SSA) assesses your claim based on specific criteria, examining both technical and non-technical aspects.

Technical Eligibility for SSDI with Graves Disease

Firstly, to meet the technical eligibility criteria of the SSDI program, you must have active disability insurance coverage. This aspect is straightforward: you either have the coverage or you don’t. It’s essential to confirm your insurance status if you’re considering applying for disability benefits due to Graves Disease.

Non-Technical Evaluation in SSDI Applications

The non-technical aspect of the SSDI application process delves into your medical conditions and symptoms. This part is particularly relevant for those suffering from Graves Disease. The SSA employs a five-step sequential evaluation to determine your eligibility under this category.

  1. Income Assessment: The initial step involves reviewing your current income. If you’re unemployed due to your condition, the process moves to the next step. For part-time workers, the SSA examines your gross monthly earnings to decide if they exceed the threshold of substantial gainful activity, which would disqualify you from benefits.
  2. Severity of Medical Condition: This step evaluates if your Graves Disease or related symptoms significantly impact your work capability. A low threshold is set here, often favoring the claimant, meaning that any substantial impact on your work ability could advance your claim.
  3. Comparison with Listed Conditions: The SSA checks if your condition, in this case, Graves Disease, aligns with or equals any of the listed disabling conditions. Since Graves Disease is not a listed condition, your application will progress to the fourth step.
  4. Assessing Residual Functional Capacity (RFC): Before proceeding, the SSA will assess your RFC, essentially evaluating the maximum level of work you can perform despite your Graves Disease symptoms.
  5. Ability to Perform Past or Other Work: Finally, the SSA considers whether your RFC allows you to perform any past work or any other work in the national economy. If it’s determined that your RFC limits you from all types of work, you may be classified as disabled under the SSDI program.
StepDescriptionRelevance to Graves Disease
Step 1: Income AssessmentReview of current work activity and income.Determines if the individual’s earnings are below the substantial gainful activity (SGA) limit, considering the limitations caused by Graves Disease.
Step 2: Severity of Medical ConditionEvaluates if the condition is severe enough to significantly limit the individual’s ability to perform basic work activities.Assesses how symptoms of Graves Disease, like tremors, anxiety, and muscle weakness, impact work abilities.
Step 3: Listed Conditions ComparisonChecks if the condition meets or equals one of SSA’s listed impairments.Graves Disease isn’t a listed condition, so analysis focuses on how its symptoms compare to similar listed impairments.
Step 4: Past Work AssessmentConsiders if the individual can still perform past work despite the condition.Evaluates the capacity to perform previous work roles given the limitations imposed by Graves Disease.
Step 5: Other Work AssessmentDetermines if the individual can adjust to other work, considering their condition, age, education, and work experience.Explores if a person with Graves Disease can perform other jobs, given the severity of their symptoms and their overall capabilities.

Navigating the SSDI application process with Graves Disease can be complex. Understanding these steps and how your condition affects each stage is crucial in successfully claiming disability benefits. For more detailed guidance on Graves Disease and disability benefits, consulting with a legal expert or the SSA is recommended.

Get a Free Consultation From the Experienced Attorneys at LaBovick Law Group

Proving you are disabled from Graves disease requires severe symptoms impacting your ability to work. If you believe your condition is severe, applying for disability benefits may be the right decision for you. At the LaBovick Law Group, we provide free consultations with one of our Social Security Disability Lawyers, no upfront costs for representation. Call us today for help with your disability claim.

FAQs About ‘Can You get Disability Benefits for Graves Disease?’

Can You Get Disability Benefits for Graves Disease?

If you have Graves Disease, your eligibility for disability benefits depends on how severely the disease affects your ability to work. A diagnosis alone isn’t enough; you must have significant symptoms or limitations.

What Determines Eligibility for Disability Benefits with Graves Disease?

Eligibility for disability benefits when you have Graves Disease is determined by the impact of your symptoms on your functional ability. The Social Security Administration assesses whether your condition severely limits your capacity to work.

What is Graves Disease and How Does It Affect Disability Claims?

Graves Disease, an autoimmune disorder causing an overactive thyroid, can lead to symptoms like anxiety, weight loss, and muscle pain. Its severity affects your eligibility for disability benefits, as the condition must significantly impair your daily functioning.

What is the Process for Applying for Disability Benefits with Graves Disease?

Applying for disability benefits due to Graves Disease involves a technical and non-technical evaluation by the Social Security Administration. This includes assessing your income, the severity of your condition, and your residual functional capacity to determine eligibility.

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