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Thyroid cancer is a serious illness that can have a major impact on your life. For example, if you have thyroid cancer it may require expensive treatments and you may be  unable to work. Fortunately, the Social Security Administration provides Social Security Disability benefits and Supplemental Security Income benefits for those suffering from thyroid cancer. These benefits can make it easier to manage the costs of medical care and pay your living expenses. In this article, we will discuss how individuals with thyroid cancer can apply for Social Security benefits. Also, this article will outline what you need to do to receive them.

According to the American Cancer Society, over 50,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with thyroid cancer this year. Also, about 2000 of those people will die from thyroid cancer. Obviously, thyroid cancer, like any form of cancer, can be fatal.

If you have thyroid cancer and you can’t work, then we hope you will contact Cannon Disability Law today for a free consultation. We will review your potential eligibility and do everything that we can to get you the Social Security benefits that you deserve. Call us, start a live chat with us, or fill out our online contact form today to learn more.

thyroid cancer icon design, infographic healthier risk factors for thyroid cancer


Thyroid cancer affects the thyroid gland, which is located in your neck. Cancer of the thyroid can be caused by a number of factors, including genetics, environmental exposure, and lifestyle choices. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to identify who may be at risk for this type of cancer.

However, there are certain factors that increase your risk of having thyroid cancer. These include age, gender, family history of thyroid cancer, radiation exposure, and certain medical conditions. Knowing these risks can help people take steps to reduce their chances of developing this potentially life-threatening condition.

If you are a woman who is over 40 years old, you have a greater chance of having thyroid cancer. Similarly, if you have a family history of thyroid cancer, then you may be at higher risk of developing it yourself. It is important to take steps to reduce your risk.

Knowing the signs and symptoms of thyroid cancer can help you identify it early and seek treatment if necessary. Additionally, having regular visits with your doctor is important in order to monitor any changes in your thyroid. Taking these precautions can help protect you from the potentially life-threatening effects of thyroid cancer.


Symptoms of thyroid cancer include an enlarged thyroid or nodules on your thyroid. If your thyroid grows larger, it is usually due to a goiter. A goiter is a sign of hypothyroidism, but it does not necessarily mean you have cancer. Instead, it is a sign that you your thyroid is producing the wrong amount of thyroid hormones.

The thyroid produces thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). These hormones are important to many of the functions in your body. For example, they control your metabolism, body temperature, heart rate, digestion, and your mood. Anyone can develop a goiter, but it is four times more common in women than in men. Along with a goiter, you may experience obesity and insulin resistance. These symptoms can also begin with Hashimoto’s disease.

Other signs of thyroid cancer are trouble swallowing or breathing and have a hoarse voice. Additionally, you may notice swollen lymph nodes in the neck. Other symptoms may include fatigue, weight loss or gain, and changes in your appetite. Early detection is key to the successful treatment of thyroid cancer. It is important to be aware of any changes or symptoms that may indicate a problem with your thyroid. If you have any of these signs or symptoms, then have your doctor check your thyroid function.


There are many different types of thyroid cancer.  Therefore, if your doctor tells you that you have thyroid cancer than you may have any of the following types of cancer:

  • Anaplastic thyroid cancer. Anaplastic thyroid cancer, also known as undifferentiated carcinoma, usually occurs in older adults. It is a rare form of cancer that begins in the follicular cells of the thyroid. This cancer grows quickly, spreads to other body parts, and is difficult to treat.
  • Follicular thyroid cancer. Approximately 10% of thyroid cancers are follicular thyroid cancers. This type of cancer starts in the follicular cells of the thyroid. Follicular cancer doesn’t usually spread to the lymph nodes. But, it can spread to other parts of the body, such as your lungs or bones. There are subsets of follicular thyroid cancers. For example, hurthle cell cancer is a rare, aggressive type of follicular thyroid cancer.
  • Medullary thyroid cancer. Medullary thyroid cancer starts in the C cells or your thyroid. C cells make the hormone calcitonin. That hormone helps control the amount of calcium in your blood. Unfortunately, this kind of cancer can spread to your lymph nodes, lungs, or liver before you know that you have thyroid cancer.
  • Papillary thyroid cancer. Papillary carcinomas or papillary adenocarcinomas account for almost 80% of all thyroid cancers. This type of cancer begins in the follicular cells that make hormones. Papillary thyroid cancers are grow slowly, but they may spread to nearby lymph nodes. If you get treatment, there is a good chance that you will recover from this type of cancer. However, some subsets of papillary thyroid cancer are more aggressive and difficult to treat.

Other rare types of thyroid cancers include thyroid lymphoma, thyroid sarcoma, and other thyroid tumors.


There are several ways for the SSA to award you Social Security benefits for thyroid cancer. First, you may qualify for monthly SSDI and SSI benefits if you meet listing 13.09 for thyroid cancer in SSA’s blue book, also known as the list of impairments. In order to meet a listing, you must have proof of every element in the listing.

Listing 13.09 Thyroid gland.

Under listing 13.09, you may be eligible for Social Security benefits if you have thyroid cancer that is:

A. Anaplastic (undifferentiated) carcinoma.


B. Carcinoma with metastases beyond the regional lymph nodes progressive despite radioactive iodine therapy.


C. Medullary carcinoma with metastases beyond the regional lymph nodes.

As you can see, the listing only includes anapestic, medullary and thyroid cancer that has metastasized beyond the lymph nodes and is not responding to treatment. In short, your thyroid cancer must be severe and difficult to treat. You will not meet a listing if you have papillary thyroid cancer and it responds well to treatment.

However, there is another way to win benefits and that is to equal the listing. Equalling the listing means you have a combination of medical conditions that, when added together, are as severe as meeting the listing. For example, if you have thyroid cancer and another severe condition, like anxiety or major depression, then those medical conditions could combine together to equal the listing.


There are a number of treatments for thyroid cancer. For example, thyroid cancer can be treated with surgery, radiation therapy, or targeted drug therapy. Depending on the stage and type of thyroid cancer, one or more treatments may be recommended by your doctor. Surgery to remove all or part of the thyroid gland is used for most cases of thyroid cancer.

Radiation therapy may then destroy any remaining cancer cells after a surgery. Targeted drug therapy is an option for some types of thyroid cancers that spread beyond the original tumor site. Targeted drugs interfere with the growth of cancer cells by blocking cell division.

Chemotherapy is another treatment your doctor might recommend. It involves the use of one or more drugs to kill toxic cells. Chemotherapy can be given orally, by injection, or be taken through nose drops. The goal of chemotherapy is to kill cancer cells and eliminate them from the body. Chemotherapy treatments may also include radiation therapy.


The SSA does consider the effects of your treatment and therapy for thyroid cancer. Obviously, they consider it because the treatment for thyroid cancer may result in severe symptoms that prevent you from working.  The SSA will look at the drugs you are taking, the dosage, and how often you take the drugs. They will also consider whether or not you have surgery followed by radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

For example, they will request a description of the adverse effects of therapy from your doctor. Or, they will review your medical records to find out whether you are having ongoing gastrointestinal symptoms, weakness, and physical problems. They will also look at whether or not you are experiencing mental conditions due to your thyroid cancer.  Many people, after treatment for thyroid cancer, suffer from memory loss, depression, temporary personality changes, and concentration issues.

The SSA states that in order to determine the adverse effects of anticancer therapy, enough time must pass to allow them to be able to see the effect of the therapy. The SSA believes the effects of treatment are temporary in most instances.

However, the effects may keep you from working for a consecutive period of at least 12 months. In some cases, serious adverse effects may prolong multimodal anticancer therapy for a continuous period of almost 12 months. In those situations, the SSA may determine there is an expectation that your medical condition will preclude you from working for over one year. So, you would be awarded SSDI benefits.


If your thyroid cancer does not meet listing 13.13, you can still receive benefits if your thyroid cancer impairs your residual functional capacity (RFC). Your RFC is the medical definition of what you can physically do in a work setting, after taking into account your thyroid cancer symptoms.

Your RFC includes both your physical and mental limits. In terms of physical limits, 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.

In order to figure out your physical RFC, the SSA will review your medical records. They will take into account what your doctor states in your medical records about your ability to work. Additionally, the SSA has their own doctors review your medical records, but never meet or examine you. These doctors are paid by the government and work for DDS, the state agency who makes decisions in all cases. The SSA will take the medical opinion of these doctors into account too. Likewise, if they need more information, they may send you to a medical exam. Learn more here about what to expect at SSA’s doctor exam.

The SSA will also consider descriptions of your symptoms from your family and friends. Find out more information about what types of evidence the SSA must consider. For example, your family or friends could write a statement about the effects of your thyroid cancer symptoms. Find out more here about RFC and how it along with your age can prove you should be paid benefits.


Social Security’s Compassionate Allowances program allows a person with a severe medical condition, like Anaplastic thyroid cancer, to win benefits quickly. Anaplastic thyroid cancer is rare and aggressive. Due to the fact that is not overly symptomatic, it is often found after it has spread throughout the body. However, if the cancer is caught early, surgery to remove the thyroid is necessary.

If the cancer is not caught early enough, then surgery will not be able to correct the condition. Most people who discover they have anaplastic thyroid cancer have a survival rate of about five months.  In most cases, treatment is palliative. A throat tube is placed to help with breathing or a tube is put in the stomach to help with eating. Because there is no cure, the SSA should automatically grant your benefits for this type of thyroid cancer.

If you have this type of thyroid cancer, you should apply for benefits as soon as possible. Make sure that the SSA has all your medical evidence and have your doctor write a letter to the SSA that talks about the possible outcome of your cancer. If you have an attorney, they will have the SSA flag your case as a Compassionate Allowance. This should speed up your case and you should be paid benefits within a matter of weeks.


If you have thyroid cancer, then you do not need to apply for Social Security benefits by yourself. You can always call our law firm and we will help you. Cannon Disability can help you file your application. Also, we can help you appeal every SSA denial. For example, our attorneys and staff can:

  • Send you the paperwork you need to become our client
  • Help you file your application for SSDI and SSI benefits
  • Inform the SSA they should pay your benefits under the Compassionate Allowance Rules
  • Request and appeal if you receive an initial denial from DDS
  • Help you confirm your SSA doctor exam
  • Request a Hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)
  • Prepare you to testify at your SSA hearing
  • Represent you at your hearing and question the expert witnesses.
  • Read more about vocational experts
  • Learn more about medical expert testimony
  • Request review of an SSA 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. If you don’t send it back, the SSA will not process your application. Sign it and send it back as soon as you can.


The SSA benefits application and appeal process can be long and complicated. It certainly won’t be easier to deal with the SSA if you have thyroid cancer. Hire Cannon Disability Law to give you legal advice and walk you through the application process. In the past 30 years, we have won millions of dollars in ongoing and past due due benefits for our clients.

If you want to win benefits, then hire an attorney with the legal experience to win your case. We work on a contingency basis. This means we do not charge you any money up front to help you or for you to become our client. Then, you only pay us an attorney fee when you win benefits. If you don’t win, you don’t pay an attorney fee. Learn more about how attorney fees work in this process. For help, contact us today.

If you want to learn more about our lawyers and staff, then read our About Us page. For example, you can learn about Andria Summers, who has 21 experience working at Cannon Disability Law. She can also help you with your Medicare advantage plan. She has also won thousands of SSDI and SSI cases.

Additionally, Dianna Cannon has been helping her clients win benefits for over thirty years. Ms. Cannon has years of Federal Court experienceBrett Bunkall also has years of legal experience helping people obtain their SSI and SSDI benefits. We are Social Security law experts. You can trust us to help you win your benefits and make a difficult process as easy as possible for you.


If you need help filing for benefits due to thyroid cancer, then reach out to Cannon Disability Law. Taking the first step by calling us. All you need to do is reach out to our legal team.

Additionally, we offer a free review of your case. What that means is that you can call us and explain your situation. At that point, we will look at the merits of your case for free. Also, we will let you know what your chances are in terms of winning benefits. We do not charge you for our review of your case. In fact, we don’t charge you any attorney fee until we have won your benefits.

In the past 30 years, we have won over $100 million in SSDI and SSI benefits for our clients. We are experts at what we do and we will put our knowledge to work for you. Hire us to be your Social Security legal team.

We help clients win benefits in many states, including Nevada, Utah, Idaho, and California. Find out more about your benefits and how to apply in your state here:

No matter where you live, we want to be your legal team. Hire the best Social Security legal team with no money down. There will be no attorney fee unless we win your case. Contact us today. We will do our best to help you win SSDI and SSI benefits for thyroid cancer. Finally, we will also due our best to win your benefits as quickly as possible.

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