Graves’ disease is the most common type of hyperthyroidism, responsible for anywhere from 50 to 60 percent of the 500,000 of the cases diagnosed in the US each year. It can occur in patients of any age or sex but is most commonly found in women over the age of 20. This unique endocrine disorder makes the thyroid gland produce too much of the thyroxine hormone, causing the immune system to attack the body.
Because certain people can develop the disease without any signs or symptoms, the effects often come on quite suddenly. Additionally, they can be confused with other common medical symptoms. This can prove difficult when trying to apply for disability benefits.
Does Graves’ Disease Qualify for Disability Benefits?
While the disease can be difficult to diagnose, some of the most common symptoms include:
· Frequent bowel movements
· Trouble sleeping
· Sensitivity to heat
· Protruding eyeballs and vision issues
· Unintended weight loss
· Fatigue and weakness
· Hand tremors
Is Graves’ Disease Recognized By the SSA?
In many cases, patients who suffer from this common endocrine disorder will be able to treat and/or stabilize the condition without losing work. However, many patients experience such severe symptoms that they are left unable to work. Some of the more severe instances of the disease can lead to endocrine orbitopathy, which is known for causing a wide array of visual limitations including dry, tearing and bulging eyes.
The Social Security Administration doesn’t currently have a specific disability listing for the disease, making it difficult to win SSD benefits for this condition alone. However, the condition often leads to further medical complications like cardiovascular damage, an increased risk of strokes and severe instances of anxiety and depression — which are all recognized by the SSA.
What Should I Do Next?
If you or someone you know has Graves’ disease and are interested in applying for SSD benefits, an experienced attorney may be able to help build your case.