If Graves’ Disease prevents you from being able to work and earn a living, you might meet the qualifications for disability benefits. If so, you could draw monthly benefits from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
At Berger and Green, our disability lawyers may be able to help you seek Social Security Disability for Graves’ Disease. One of our team members can double-check your claim before you file, or we can file your appeal if the Social Security Administration (SSA) already issued a denial. In Pittsburgh, you can reach our team today at 412-661-1400. Call us for your complimentary case review.
Qualifying for Disability Benefits Based on Graves’ Disease Symptoms
There is no specific listing for Graves’ Disease in the SSA’s Blue Book of impairment listings. This means you will need to qualify based on a listing related to your disabling symptoms.
For example, if you suffer from a chronic heart arrhythmia related to your condition, you might meet the criteria found under Section 4.05 – Recurrent Arrhythmias. You could qualify under this listing if:
- You have a history of fainting repeatedly or suffering from altered consciousness; and
- Your condition does not respond to treatment; and
- Your doctor documents these episodes by electrocardiograph (ECG).
Some other symptoms and complications of Graves’ Disease that might qualify you for benefits include:
- Unintentional weight loss;
- Cognitive issues;
- Anxiety and related mental health concerns;
- Muscle weakness; and
- Issues with bowel control and frequent bowel movements.
We recommend talking to your doctor about your claim. Your doctor can help you understand the severity of your symptoms and determine if you meet any of the listings in the Blue Book. Your doctor also plays a key role in documenting your condition in your medical records, which provide the evidence the SSA needs to approve your claim.
Getting Disability for Graves’ Disease If You Do Not Meet a Listing in the Blue Book
Even if you do not meet a listing, you might still be able to get benefits based on your Residual Functional Capacity (RFC). The SSA determines your RFC based on your ability to work, how long, and how often.
You may qualify for benefits if:
- You cannot work your previous job, or any other job you qualify for;
- You cannot work regularly; or
- You cannot work for more than a few hours at a time.
The process to get your RFC requires a doctor to review your case or examine you. There are usually three ways this SSA handles this process:
- An SSA doctor reviews your application information, medical evidence, and other data on your condition; or
- Your doctor evaluates your abilities based on your case history and medical evidence; or
- The SSA asks you to attend a consultative medical exam with a third-party physician.
Meeting the Technical Qualifications for Disability Benefits
To qualify for SSDI or SSI benefits, you will need to meet the technical criteria for these programs. If you do not, you could receive a technical denial.
A technical denial occurs when:
- You leave a blank on your application;
- You accidentally write the wrong birthdate; or
- You do not meet one of the technical qualifications for the program.
Each program has its own criteria you must meet before you can get benefits. We can review your application and your information to determine if you meet the technical qualifications for benefits.
SSDI Technical Qualifications
SSDI requires you to have worked long enough and recently enough to qualify. The program tracks this using work credits you earn by working and paying Social Security taxes. You will need to have the appropriate number of work credits based on your age, and some of this work will need to be from the years just before your symptoms advanced to the level of total impairment.
SSI Technical Qualifications
SSI requires you to meet strict income limits. As a need-based program, you must also be able to demonstrate that you have few assets. While this includes most assets, you might not need to count your home, a vehicle, or tools you use to make a living.
Appealing Your Claim If the SSA Issued a Denial
Do not panic if you receive a denial notice in response to your disability application. We might still be able to help you get SSDI or SSI by filing an appeal and appearing at an Administrative Law Judge hearing.
We can file your appeal and schedule your hearing. You only have 60 days from the date on your denial notice to file your appeal, however, so do not delay and contact us as soon as possible.
The process to file an appeal and fight a denial will likely take several months, or even up to a year or more. We will walk you through this process and provide support and guidance. You can expect:
- Us to handle your appeal with no money up-front;
- A full investigation into the reasons the SSA denied your claim;
- Our help in proving your qualifications and documenting your impairment;
- Legal representation in front of the Administrative Law Judge; and
- Our support in fighting for your benefits.
If we can present a strong enough case for you, we may be able to convince the Administrative Law Judge to approve your application. This would allow you to begin drawing monthly benefits within weeks. You could also recover significant back pay.
Get Help Fighting for Disability Benefits for Graves’ Disease
At Berger and Green, our disability attorneys understand how stressful it can feel to be unable to work and have no way to make money. We will review your case for free, and help you fight for the benefits you need. Let us review your denial notice, research your situation, and represent you at your appeals hearing.
You can reach us today at 412-661-1400 for a free consultation in the Pittsburgh area.