Living with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is a reality for 5 out of every 100 Americans. The autoimmune disorder affects women 8 times more than men, causing multiple symptoms. These symptoms include tiredness, weight gain, joint and muscle pain, memory problems and depression. Depending on the severity of these symptoms, working can be problematic. But in most cases, Americans with a Hashimoto’s diagnosis won’t qualify for disability benefits. However, if your disease is sufficiently advanced, you may have secondary issues. These issues could qualify you for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
Is Hashimoto’s a Disability That Qualifies You For Benefits?
Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disorder that can cause hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid function. Essentially, your immune system attacks your thyroid. When the thyroid is damaged it can’t make enough hormones, which affects nearly every function of the body. This damage occurs when Hashimoto’s enters more advanced stages.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) considers your disease’s effects and other thyroid gland disorders when determining benefits. However, this condition alone won’t qualify you for disability benefits. To get approved for monthly payments, be sure to list all health problems and symptoms you currently have on your claim. We recommend this because 62% of people approved for SSD list multiple health problems on their applications.
Which Related Diseases Can Help You Qualify You for Disability Benefits?
The following diseases (that spur from hypothyroidism) most likely qualify people for Hashimoto’s disability benefits:
- Heart disease – Low levels of thyroid hormones can contribute to high cholesterol. This can affect blood pressure and heart rate, leading to arrhythmias/SVT and other cardiac dysfunction including heart disease.
- Weight loss – Thyroid-related weight loss may occur since the thyroid slows the digestive system. This guide provides information about how the SSA qualifies weight loss and digestive disorders.
- Stroke – Also called hypertensive cerebrovascular accidents, a stroke caused by Hashimoto’s may qualify you for benefits. Because hypothyroidism can affect cholesterol and blood pressure, you are at a higher risk for a stroke.
- Cognitive limitations – These include mood disorders and anxiety. Many who suffer from Hashimoto’s struggle with depression and memory problems. This guide details how the SSA evaluates mental disorders to qualify individuals for benefits.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis – Although the exact cause of Hashimoto’s is unknown, it has been linked to rheumatoid arthritis. Joint pain is a known side effect of Hashimoto’s, which can exacerbate Rheumatoid arthritis.
- Lupus – Lupus can qualify you for disability benefits. Many of the symptoms including severe fatigue, malaise, and involuntary weight loss are the same as Hashimoto’s disease.
- Pernicious anemia – This type of anemia is caused often by an autoimmune disorder (such as Hashimoto’s). Those with Hashimoto’s may be unable to absorb vitamin B12 properly.
- Sjogren’s syndrome – Like Lupus, Sjogren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disorder that may prevent you from working. Symptoms include severe fatigue, malaise, fever, and involuntary weight loss.
Finally, it may help you to identify and then avoid your Hashimoto’s triggers. Books like the The 30-Day Thyroid Reset Plan can help guide you through this process.
You May Qualify for Legal Assistance
Hashimoto’s is a serious disease that can deeply impact your quality of life. While a Hashimoto’s diagnosis is not enough to guarantee benefits, it may lead to more serious diseases. If you have questions about whether or not your symptoms qualify you for benefits, consider speaking to a disability advocate. They will answer your questions and help you expedite your application – getting you benefits even faster.
Consider speaking to an experienced disability attorney or advocate. They will help you obtain all of the medical and nonmedical evidence the SSA requires. In addition, an attorney filing your claim makes you nearly 3x as likely to get SSD benefits when you apply.
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Mandy Voisin is a freelance writer, blogger, and author of Girls of the Ocean and Star of Deliverance. As an accomplished content marketing consultant, mom of four and doctor's wife, Mandy has written hundreds of articles about dangerous drugs and medical devices, medical issues that impact disabled Americans, veterans' healthcare and workers' compensation issues since 2016.