The thyroid creates hormones that tell the body’s cells how much energy to use, thus regulating your metabolism. While at first glance a thyroid disorder may not be disabling, disorders of the thyroid can affect changes in other body systems which may warrant a finding of disability.
As the thyroid regulates metabolism, severe weight changes can contribute to your inability to work. Weight gain can cause morbid obesity, which must be evaluated under SSR 19-2p in combination with your other impairments. On the other end, thyroid-related weight loss should be evaluated under Listing 5.00.
Thyroid disorders can also cause cardiovascular dysfunction which limits your stamina and exertion level. Changes in blood pressure, heart rate, or other cardiac dysfunction that must be evaluated under Listing 4.00. Such changes in blood pressure could also result in hypertensive strokes, which should be evaluated under Listing 11.00.
Other common effects of thyroid disorders include mood disorder, cognitive limitations, and anxiety. Such mental limitations could affect your ability to performed complex or detailed tasks. Extreme mental limitations should be evaluated under Listing 12.00.
Even if a thyroid disorder does not meet or functionally equal a listing, a finding of disability may still be warranted considering your age, education, and past work experience. If past work is precluded, Social Security Administration does not consider sedentary level jobs after the age of 50, and no longer considers light duty jobs after the age of 55. Thus, while anyone can apply for disability benefits, individuals over the age of 50 have a distinct advantage in qualifying for financial assistance from the Social Security Administration.
Your case will stand a better chance of getting approved if you have an attorney or professional representative present the evidence to show how your medical impairments prevent you from maintaining substantial work activity.