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SSA removes endocrine disorders from impairment list

New rules for qualifying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are affecting the disability claims of people with thyroid disorders, diabetes and hypoglycemia. According to SSDI compliance provider Allsup, the Social Security Administration is planning to take endocrine disorders off its list of impairments.

The impairment list had helped those with severe medical conditions streamline the process to receive needed benefits, but in April, the government agency chose to remove endocrine disorders from the impairments list, saying medical advances in detecting and treating those disorders have changed the way SSA sees them.

An Allsup representative says that most people who have been unable to work because of endocrine disorders will still qualify for SSDI and SSI benefits because their limitations may be equivalent to those of other qualifiers on the list.

As one example, the Allsup rep said, diabetes mellitus as a solitary condition would no longer be an automatic benefits' qualifier. The disorder's effects on a person's ability to move and work could be viewed under other categories like neurological, musculoskeletal or genitourinary disorders.

The SSA will now examine "functional limitations" caused by a prevailing endocrine disorder to determine if a condition is disabling as related to a person's past or possible future work abilities. Qualification for benefits is also dependent on an applicant's education and age.

SSA says endocrine disorders are off of the impairment list because science has improved the manageability of those conditions' to a point where the disorders no longer meet the level of severity that other conditions on the impairment list do. At the same time, the agency says those who have endocrine health problems may still receive SSDI and SSI benefits, if disability can be proven otherwise using alternate medical listings as a parameter.

Source: insurancenewsnet.com, "Allsup Explains Impact as SSA Eliminated Endocrine Disorders from its Listing of Impairments for Disability Benefits," 7 June 2011

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