Endocrine Disorders Removed from Social Security List of Impairments

Allsup Explains Impact as SSA Eliminates Endocrine Disorders
from its Listing of Impairments for Disability Benefits

Diabetes, hypoglycemia and other hormonal imbalances no longer reach “listing-level severity”

Belleville, Ill. – June 7, 2011 – Effective today, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will remove endocrine disorders from its Listing of Impairments used to evaluate Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) applications. Allsup, the nation’s leading SSDI representation organization, explains what this change could mean to individuals with diabetes, hypoglycemia, thyroid disorders and other endocrine disorders who are unable to work and contemplating filing for SSDI.

Generally, people with endocrine disorders that prevent them from working will still be able to seek and obtain Social Security disability benefits, said Ed Swierczek, Allsup senior claims representative. “They may meet the requirements of another listing. Their endocrine disorder may produce significant functional limitations.”

One step in the SSA’s disability review process involves determining if a condition meets or equals a medical listing. Because endocrine disorders are being removed from the medical listing, there will be changes in how claimants are evaluated with regard to those conditions.

The SSA’s changes call for evaluating the effects of endocrine disorders under listings for other body systems. “For example, diabetes mellitus can cause peripheral neuropathy affecting individuals’ abilities to use their hands and/or legs,” Swierczek explained. “Therefore, they could meet the medical listing for ‘peripheral neuropathy.’ The peripheral neuropathy may not be listing level, but could limit them to less than sedentary work, warranting a finding of disabled at any age.

“Additionally, if a person with diabetes mellitus has had an amputation, blindness, vascular disease or renal failure, that person will be evaluated under the medical listings that cover those body systems,” Swierczek said. “Whatever the impact, it is important to show SSA how it affects a person’s ‘residual functional capacity’—their ability to do any past relevant work or any other work, considering their age, education and previous work experience.”

Examples of how endocrine disorders can be evaluated under other listings:

  • Amputations can be evaluated under musculoskeletal disorders.
  • Diabetic nephropathy can be evaluated under genitourinary listings.
  • Peripheral neuropathies can be evaluated under neurological disorders.

SSA’s Listing of Impairments describes medical conditions that are so severe the SSA presumes any person who has a medical condition(s) that satisfies the criteria of a listing is unable to perform any gainful activity and, therefore, is disabled. The inability to work also must have lasted or be expected to last for at least 12 continuous months or be expected to result in death. According to SSA, the listings are special rules that help them identify claims that should clearly be allowed for Social Security disability benefits.

In announcing the rule changes in the April 8, 2011, Federal Register, the SSA stressed they will continue to recognize diabetes mellitus as a medically determinable impairment that can result in disability and will consider its effects under the remaining listings.

“We are revising the listings for endocrine disorders because medical science has made significant advances in detecting endocrine disorders at earlier stages and newer treatments have resulted in better management of these conditions,” the SSA said in its announcement. “Consequently, most endocrine disorders do not reach listing-level severity because they do not become sufficiently severe or do not remain at a sufficient level of severity long enough to meet our 12-month duration requirement.”

In response to public comments and healthcare provider concerns about the new rules, SSA said it will publish a Social Security Ruling (SSR) with detailed information about specific endocrine disorders, including diabetes mellitus, the types of impairments and limitations that result from these disorders, and how SSA determines whether persons who have diabetes mellitus and other endocrine disorders are disabled.

For more information about SSDI eligibility requirements, visit Allsup.com. To find out if you are eligible for Social Security disability benefits, please contact the Disability Evaluation Center for a free evaluation and be sure to tell them you heard about Allsup from IDA!

ABOUT ALLSUP

Allsup is a nationwide provider of Social Security disability, Medicare and Medicare Secondary Payer compliance services for individuals, employers and insurance carriers. Founded in 1984, Allsup employs nearly 800 professionals who deliver specialized services supporting people with disabilities and seniors so they may lead lives that are as financially secure and as healthy as possible. The company is based in Belleville, Ill., near St. Louis. For more information, visit Allsup.com.

The information provided is not intended as a substitute for legal or other professional services. Legal or other expert assistance should be sought before making any decision that may affect your situation.

Above Allsup Press Release published with permission.

RESOURCES:

Allsup Explains Impact as SSA Eliminates Endocrine Disorders from its Listing of Impairments for Disability Benefits. Allsup. June 7, 2011.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Applying for Disability Benefits with Chronic Illness – Attorney Scott Davis

Avoid Common Mistakes When Your Social Security Disability Benefits are Denied.

Chronically Ill Patient’s Rights – Jennifer C. Jaff

Free Social Security Disability Evaluation with Allsup

Health Care Issues for Patients with Chornic Illness – Attorney Jennifer C. Jaff

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Programs4People – the Invisible Disabilities Association’s page for links to help with groceries, utilities, clothing, prescriptions and more.

Six Advantages of Representation for SSDI

Social Security Benefits Go Electronic

Tips on How to Pay for Medical Care – Jacqueline L. Jones

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Comments

  1. I have low thyroid and hypoglycemia and get dizzy very easily. But I recently had no choice but to get up on a ladder to try to disconnect the battery from a smoke detector that was making my poor dog crazy, as well as me. Despite having carpet and carpet pad on the floor and falling only a short distance (maybe 3 feet), I sustained a femoral neck fracture.

    I was shocked because I have fallen farther in the past, when I was younger, onto carpet, etc., and not sustained any injury. I had to have emergency surgery and the surgeon said I was the youngest person he had ever seen with this injury.

    Since I have been chronically ill, my family and friends abandoned me, which I understand, but without help it was extremely difficult for me to try to recover on my own following the surgery. And I have not recovered. Complications have set in, with one surgeon insisting I need an entire hip replacement because I have internal bleeding, another telling me I am more fatigued and in more pain because my left leg is 1 1/2 centimeters shorter than my right, and all I know is that I am relieved that I am already receiving SSDI.

    In addition to sleeping most of the time on an ice pack because the only medication that helps with the pain from the fracture knocks me out (thus having no life whatsoever), I’m trying to decide whether I should see another surgeon that my internal medicine doctor wants me to see because I have 85 percent loss of muscle in both of my arms, which could be genetic and possibly a form of muscular dystrophy that has never been diagnosed.

    Although I have been diagnosed with what is called myalgic encephalomyelitis, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, whatever — all I know is that I was healthy and energetic and could get 100 things done in a day and then after a bout with some virus and running a 104 degree for 5 days I have never been the same — the complications of the femoral neck fracture surgery have provided me with a visible disability. I now walk with a very noticeable limp.

  2. I was fired for a blood test that said that I would die within months (an obvious lie). I was doing good job, and because the discrimination I was doing several people jobs as well, so I’m ineligible for SSD. I’m barred from viable employment, because I was fired for “disability”. I’ve lost everything that worked for, except my home, which the medical industry and legal sytem and the welfare and all vying for that as well.

    How does this new regulations effect me? Can they still fire people based blood tests, which mean absolutely NOTHING? Can employers still denied employment for being a recipient of fraud? WHAT????????????????

  3. Indeed,

    These rules apply to Social Security Benefits only, not issues with an employer. You may consider contacting someone with the ADA or an ADA information center (Helpline 1-800-949-4232). If you have questions concerning SSDI benefits you may consider contacting an attorney or Allsup (link on bottom of page).

  4. Indeed,

    I hope you live in a state that offers more assistance to those with disabilities than my state does. I was fired from quite a few jobs for “having too many medical appointments”, for not telephoning a supervisor by a specific time because I was in the hospital undergoing a cardiac catheterization, and for other issues associated with my health problems (another was “going to the bathroom too many times in a day”).

    An ADA attorney who said I had a case against my former employer but who could not represent me because she was in another city and county (which makes no sense to me) referred me to our state’s legal aid office, which told me there was nothing I could do but contact attorneys to see if any would take my case. Apparently, there are just no ADA attorneys in my state. I recently also discovered that there are no medical malpractice attorneys in my state either. I do not recommend being disabled in the state of Arizona.

    When it comes to trying to get any ADA laws enforced in this country no matter for whom you work, I think an employee must video record all interaction with an employer; otherwise, what you need is an attorney at your side 24/7. I discovered that just because a law exists does not mean that an organization, even a government agency, will comply with the law. In my state, ADA laws are treated like speed limits: Suggested only.

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