Patients with thyroid gland disorders may be unable to work because of their disease and its related complications. Patients who find themselves unable to work because of their thyroid gland disorder may qualify for long term disability (LTD) benefits. The insurance company will review their claim to see if they qualify under the conditions of that plan. Let’s explore what thyroid gland disorders are, how they affect your ability to work, and what you should do to make sure you have a strong case for your long term disability claim.
What Are Thyroid Gland Disorders?
The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland located in your neck that helps control your metabolism, breathing, and heart rate. It’s a part of the endocrine system releasing hormones that control how fast your body metabolizes your food, so it plays a significant role in body weight. If your thyroid gland starts to overproduce or underproduce hormones, it can wreak havoc on your body.
Two Types of Thyroid Gland Disorders
The first type of thyroid gland disorder is hyperthyroidism. This is when your body speeds up the production of your metabolism. You may initially feel like you have more energy, but eventually, your body will slow down at a faster pace.
- Excessive sweating;
- Excessive hunger;
- Dramatic weight loss;
- Muscle weakness;
- Mood swings; and
- Abnormal heart rate.
Common hyperthyroid conditions are:
Graves Disease – an autoimmune disease that causes the overproduction of thyroid hormones. This is the most common type of hyperthyroidism.
Multinodular Goiter– an enlargement of the thyroid gland, so that overproduces the hormones.
There is no cure for hyperthyroidism. Treatment for hyperthyroidism can include medications to reduce the production of hormones or surgery to remove part of the thyroid.
Hypothyroidism is when the thyroid doesn’t produce enough hormones. This is usually more common in women than in men.
- Feeling cold for no reason;
- Chronic fatigue;
- Forgetfulness; and
- Chronic bowel movement issues.
The most common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s disease. Hashimoto’s disease can be caused by other contributing factors like lupus, type 1 diabetes, and arthritis. Hypothyroidism is a disease that progresses slowly over months or even years.
There is no cure for hypothyroidism. Once diagnosed through hormone level testing, you will have to use hormone replacement therapy options like a daily pill to replace the hormones that your body no longer produces.
Applying For Long Term Disability with a Thyroid Gland Disorder
While some issues related to your thyroid gland can be treated with medication, not all thyroid issues can be resolved that simply. If you suffer from a thyroid disorder that is debilitating to your life, you should apply for long term disability through your employer. On-going thyroid issues like hot and cold sweats, bowel movement issues, or chronic fatigue make it difficult to work. Furthermore, these symptoms could create a dangerous work environment for your co-workers or customers.
Seek Treatment from a Thyroid Disorder Specialist
Using a primary doctor is fine for minor colds or injuries; however, to create an effective treatment plan for your thyroid gland disorder, you should seek out treatment from a thyroid disorder specialist. A specialist who is trained to handle thyroid issues can provide a better plan for your long-term care and has experience in dealing with the side effects of hormone medications.
In addition to a treatment plan from a thyroid specialist, you will also need to gather documents to support your claim:
- A copy of your individual or group long-term disability policy;
- A copy of your personnel file to look for data that shows how your thyroid gland disorder has affected your work performance;
- A copy of your job description from your employer;
- A copy of your medical file that includes doctor’s notes about how your thyroid gland disorder has affected your life, your list of prescribed medications, test results like blood work, imaging tests, and sleep study results;
- A journal of daily notes showing how your thyroid gland disorder has affected your life and any side effects from medications; and
- Copies of all letters that the insurance company has sent you and you have sent them.
Consult An Attorney
Insurance companies don’t always understand the safety risk that they are putting other employees in by having someone on the job, which is impaired. Using an experienced disability attorney can help you create a solid case for your claim and will help you protect yourself against the insurance company. The Ortiz Law Firm is based in Florida, but represents claimants across the country. Receive a free consultation by calling (888) 321-8131 with no obligation. We can help you evaluate your claim to determine if you will be able to receive long term disability benefits and how to move forward with the process.