ENDOCRINE DISORDERS & DISABILITY
WHAT ARE ENDOCRINE DISORDERS?
Endocrine disorders are a group of diseases which affect the glands of the endocrine system. Disease can be caused by hormonal imbalance, autoimmune issues, genetic mutations, or environmental factors. The most common endocrine conditions include diabetes, thyroid disease, and obesity.
When an endocrine gland is not functioning properly it produces too much of a certain hormone or too little of the hormone. Therefore, there is a hormonal imbalance in your body that can cause severe physical and mental issues.
The major glands of the endocrine system are the thyroid, pituitary, parathyroid, adrenal, and pancreas. If one of these glands produces too little or too much hormone, then the body system it controls becomes impaired. The SSA recognizes the impairments that result from endocrine disorders under the listing for the body system.
TREATMENT FOR ENDOCRINE DISORDERS
The first step to treating an endocrine disorder is to identify the underlying cause. If it is an autoimmune disease, then you may need treatment with immunosuppressants or anti-inflammatory drugs. Likewise, if there is a genetic mutation, then you will need to undergo genetic testing and treatment with hormone replacement therapy. Similarly, if it is environmental factors that are causing the disorder, then you will need to change your diet and lifestyle in order to get better control over your condition.
If it is genetic factors that are causing your condition, then you may want to have gene therapy. In addition to training in how to stay away from triggers, you might also need to see a psychologist who can help you cope with your mental condition.
THE SSA USES LISTING 9.00 TO EVALUATE ENDOCRINE DISORDERS
The SSA uses the “blue book” or their listing of impairments to evaluate endocrine disorders. However, they look at the endocrine disorder under the affected body system. For example, if you have a thyroid weight loss condition, then they will look at your weight loss under listing 5.00 for the digestive system. In short, each endocrine disorder can result in physical or mental issues that the SSA looks at under that body system. Therefore, listing 9.00 is really a list of other body systems.
The following outlines the various body systems the SSA looks at to determine if you can be paid SSDI and SSI benefits due to your endocrine disorder. Each endocrine gland impacts various body systems. The body system and the listing that determines disability can be found under each type of endocrine condition.
PITUITARY GLAND DISORDERS
Pituitary gland disorders can disrupt hormone production and normal functioning in other endocrine glands and in many body systems. The effects of pituitary gland disorders vary depending on which hormones are involved. For example, when pituitary hypofunction affects water and electrolyte balance in the kidney it can lead to diabetes. You may also have problems with nausea, vomiting, frequent urination, dizziness, and confusion. The SSA will look at the effects of recurrent dehydration under listing 6.00.
THYROID GLAND DISORDERS
Disorders of the thyroid gland are very common endocrine conditions. Thyroid disorders have a negative effect on metabolism. They can cause you to lose weight even when you eat more. In severe cases, they can lead to heart disease and diabetes.
The most common thyroid disorder is an overactive thyroid. This is called hyperthyroidism. Other types of thyroid disorders include hypothyroidism and subclinical hyperthyroidism. Hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid, is a condition that occurs when the thyroid makes too little hormone.
Thyroid gland hormones control how much energy you use and how well your body holds on to weight. Low levels of thyroid hormones can lead to fatigue and difficulty losing weight. Subclinical hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the levels of thyroid hormone are elevated, but not high enough for diagnosis with lab tests.
Thyroid gland disorders affect the sympathetic nervous system and impair your normal metabolism. Thyroid changes can impact your blood pressure and heart rate and cause arrhythmias or other cardiac conditions. The SSA looks at thyroid changes that impair your heart under listing 4.00. For further information about heart arrhythmias, read here. The SSA uses listing 11.00 for hypertensive cerebrovascular accidents, which are strokes. If you need to learn more about SSDI benefits for a stroke, read here.
The SSA also looks at thyroid related weight loss under listing 5.00, which includes digestive disorders. Finally, thyroid conditions can cause cognitive limitations, mood disorders, and anxiety. The SSA uses listing 12.00 to look at mental conditions. To learn more about anxiety disorder, read here.
PARATHYROID GLAND DISORDERS
Disorders of the parathyroid gland affect calcium levels in bone, blood, nerves, muscle, and other body tissues. The parathyroid gland has four small, pea size glands attached to the thyroid gland at the base of the neck. These small glands are responsible for regulating levels of calcium in your body and they also help regulate other minerals such as magnesium and vitamin D.
The SSA looks at conditions of the parathyroid gland under listing 1.00. For example, if you have low calcium levels, you might have osteoporosis and fractures. Read more about fractures and SSDI benefits here.
If you have an abnormally elevated calcium level in the blood, then you have hypercalcemia. This condition can lead to cataracts, which the SSA look at under listing 2.00. Similarly, if your parathyroid condition leads to kidney failure, then the SSA will use listing 6.00 to determine if you can be paid benefits. Recurrent abnormally low blood calcium levels, known as hypocalcemia, can lead to increased excitability of nerves and muscles, such as tetany and muscle spasms. The SSA will use listing 11.00 to evaluate that type of condition.
ADRENAL GLAND DISORDERS
Adrenal gland disorders affect bone calcium levels, blood pressure, metabolism, and your mental status. The SSA uses listing 1.00 to look at adrenal-related osteoporosis, which can cause fractures that compromise your ability to walk or use your arms. Adrenal-related hypertension that worsens heart failure or causes recurrent arrhythmias falls under listing 4.00. The SSA views adrenal gland disorders that cause kidney conditions under listing 5.00. Similarly, mood disorders fall under listing 12.00. You can learn more about benefits for depression here.
DIABETES MELLITUS TYPE 1 AND TYPE 2
Another major medical condition, the one that is the most common due to endocrine disorders, is Diabetes Mellitus. Diabetes disrupts the production of hormones, including insulin, that regulate metabolism and digestion. Insulin is essential to absorb glucose from the bloodstream into body cells for conversion into energy.
There are two major types of Diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2. Both types are chronic disorders that can have serious medical complications. Type 1, previously known as “juvenile diabetes,” is an absolute deficiency of insulin production. Type 1 commonly begins during childhood and continues through adulthood. You can learn more about Diabetes Type 1 here. Treatment of Diabetes Type 1 requires lifelong daily insulin.
Diabetes Type 2, also known as “adult onset diabetes mellitus,” is one of the most common diseases for adults in the US. It is characterized by high blood sugar levels due to either insufficient production of insulin or the inability of your body to use insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone released from the pancreas that helps your body break down sugar for energy.
The onset of diabetes can be prevented through lifestyle changes and medication, but it cannot be cured. Diabetes causes serious health problems such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, and amputation. You can learn more about Diabetes Type 2 here.
Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes can be controlled with medication, diet and exercise. However, some people do not achieve good control for a variety of reasons. These include not following prescribed medical treatment, such as skipping insulin doses or not eating the correct diet. Also, some people have trouble keeping their blood sugar under control due to mental disorders or inadequate medical treatment.
Both types of Diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2, cause hyperglycemia. Hyperglycmia is an abnormally high level of blood glucose that can produce chronic complications. Acute complications of hyperglycemia include diabetic ketoacidosis.
Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a life-threatening condition that develops when blood glucose levels rise too high for too long. The kidneys try to excrete the acidic byproducts of fat breakdown and can’t keep up with the load. Ketones build up in the blood, which increases acidity. This leads to diabetic coma or death.
DKA usually requires hospital treatment to correct the complications of dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and insulin deficiency. You may have serious complications resulting from your treatment, which the SSA evaluates under the affected body system.
For example, the SSA looks at cardiac arrhythmias under listing 4.00. They examine intestinal necrosis under listing 5.00 and cerebral edema and seizures under listing 11.00. Finally, recurrent episodes of DKA may result from mood or eating disorders, which the SSA looks at under listing 12.00.
If you have chronic hyperglycemia, then you have abnormally high levels of blood glucose. High blood glucose can lead to diabetic complications by disrupting nerve and blood vessel functioning. This disruption can have many different effects in other body systems.
For example, high blood glucose can change the function of heart and kidneys. It can also cause vision problems, neuropathy and more. Similarly, the SSA also examines hypoglycemia under the body system that it effects.
The SSA evaluates diabetic peripheral neurovascular disease that leads to gangrene and amputation of an extremity under listing 1.00. Vision problems, such as diabetic retinopathy, fall under listing 2.00. Kidney disease, such as diabetic nephropathy, are under listing 6.00. The SSA looks at diabetic peripheral and sensory neuropathies under listing 11.00. Once again, cognitive impairments, such as anxiety are under listing 12.00.
YOUR RESIDUAL FUNCTIONAL CAPACITY AND ENDOCRINE DISORDERS
If your endocrine condition does not meet or medically equal a listing in another body system, then the SSA will evaluate your residual functional capacity to see if you can work. Work is called “substantial gainful activity” by the SSA.
In order to determine if you cannot work, the SSA will assess your physical and mental limits. This is known as your Residual Functional Capacity (RFC). Your RFC is what you can do during an 8 hour work day despite your endocrine disorders.
Your RFC includes both your physical and mental limits. In terms of physical ability, the SSA tries to define your ability to sit, stand, walk, and lift, during the course of an 8 hour workday. Likewise, the SSA will include your ability to carry, pull, and push. Find out more about how the SSA defines work here.
Your RFC also includes your mental symptoms. The SSA looks at whether your endocrine condition creates problems in your ability to focus and whether you can get along with other people. They look at how your mental symptoms affect your ability to work. For example, are you able to respond to criticism from your boss and can you handle stress and pressure in a work setting. For those with some types of endocrine disease, anxiety and depression can make working a 40 hour work week very difficult.
HOW DOES THE SSA FIGURE OUT YOUR RFC WHEN YOU HAVE ENDOCRINE DISORDERS?
In order to determine your RFC, the SSA first looks to the medical evidence in your case. That is why it is so important for the SSA to have all of your medical evidence. It is your “burden” or responsibility to provide all of your medical evidence to the SSA. Even though the SSA will try to collect your records, it is up to you to make sure they have everything.
Typically, hiring a lawyer to help you obtain your medical evidence is a wise choice. Learn more here about how to obtain your medical evidence for free. If you do not have enough medical evidence for the SSA to make a decision, then they will arrange for your to have a consultative examination (CE). A CE can be done for your mental and your physical conditions, including endocrine disorders. Find out more information about consultative exams here.
The other thing the SSA does is review what you have written on the forms that you send to them. For example, they will read about what activities you do during a normal work day. If you struggle to lift, sit, stand or walk, you need to write that down on the form. Likewise, if you have a mental condition, like anxiety, you need to discuss that on the form too.
WHAT WE DO TO HELP YOU WIN SSD BENEFITS FOR ENDOCRINE DISORDERS
You do not need to try to win SSDI and SSI benefits by yourself. Cannon Disability Law can help file your disability application. Also, we can help you appeal every SSA denial. That way, you can focus on your health. For example, our attorneys and staff can:
- Send you the paperwork you need to become our client
- Help you file your application for SSD and SSI benefits
- Inform the SSA that they should automatically pay your benefits under the Compassionate Allowance Rules
- Request reconsideration if you receive an initial denial from Disability Determination Services
- Help you confirm your attendance at a Consultative Examination
- Request a Hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)
- Prepare you to be a good witness at your SSA hearing
- Represent you at your hearing and question the vocational and medical witnesses
- Read more about vocational experts here
- Learn more about medical expert testimony here
- Request review of an unfavorable decision with the Appeals Council
- Request review of an Appeals Council denial in Federal Court
If you file your application for benefits online at Social Security’s website, then you have 6 months to complete the application. Once you submit your application online, the SSA sends you an application summary in the mail. You must sign the summary and mail it back. Send it in quickly.
Additionally, once you receive a denial, you have 60 days to file an appeal. You must also meet the time limit set by the SSA. If you do not, then you will have to start the process over again. That means you will lose any benefits you could receive on any prior application.
CONTACT US IF YOU NEED TO WIN BENEFITS FOR YOUR ENDOCRINE DISORDERS
To learn about your legal options, contact Cannon Disability Law. Speak to one of our attorneys and our intake staff today. Additionally, you can also contact us online and we will call you. We offer a free review of your case. Also, we can often tell you whether or not you have a good chance of winning benefits.
Our attorneys practice in Utah, California, and Nevada. We also represent clients in Idaho, Colorado and other states. Find out more information about Utah disability benefits here. If you need information about Nevada disability benefits read here. We have helped many clients file their SSD application who have Addison’s disease.
Our main office is in Salt Lake City, Utah. However, there are also hearing offices in Las Vegas, Boise, San Francisco and Oakland. If you need more information about California disability benefits, then read here. Our office represents clients in court in all of these places.
We are also familiar with the Social Security laws where you live. Additionally, understanding the medical evidence that the judge needs to see will help you win your case. It also helps us present the best arguments in court. If we accept your case, we will drive or fly (at no cost to you) to the SSA office nearest you for your hearing. Therefore, we can help you no matter where you live. If you need to apply for SSD benefits, contact us today.
CANNON DISABILITY CAN HELP YOU WIN ENDOCRINE DISORDERS BENEFITS
You also need an attorney with experience to represent you in court. Find out here what medical evidence you need to submit to win your disability hearing.
At Cannon Disability Law, we have won over 20,000 SSDI and SSI cases. We have the experience that you need to win your SSDI and SSI benefits for your endocrine disorders. If you need a lawyer at your hearing, contact Cannon Disability Law. Put our experience to work for you. If you have questions about attorneys fees, read here. We work for free until you win benefits.
If you want to learn more about the lawyers and staff at Cannon Disability Law you can go to our About Us page. For example, Andria Summers can help you prepare for your hearing. She has also won thousands of Social Security cases. Dianna Cannon has been helping her clients win benefit for over thirty years. Brett Bunkall also has years of experience helping people obtain their SSI and SSD benefits.
In the past 30 years, we have won over 20,000 SSDI and SSI cases for our clients. Our lawyers and staff can help you apply for SSD benefits. Likewise, if you need an appeal, we can help you do that too. You can learn more about SSA’s appeal forms here. Call us for free today.
In the past 30 years, we have won over $100 million in SSD and SSI benefits for our clients. If you need our help, then call us. We are experts at what we do and we will put our legal knowledge to work for you. Hire us to be your Social Security legal team for your endocrine disorders case.