If you have been diagnosed with a pituitary gland disorder and it keeps you from doing your daily chores or working, you may be eligible to receive monthly benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). The SSA administers a program called Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), which is available to disabled workers who have worked to earn sufficient credits and who have paid in an adequate amount of taxes to the SSA. In some cases, those approved for benefits may have minor children who are also eligible to receive monthly benefits as well.
The main gland of the endocrine system, the pituitary gland releases the hormones necessary for various bodily functions. When you suffer from a pituitary gland disorder, your gland is either producing too little or too much of a hormone that your body needs. The pituitary gland produces a growth hormone that maintains tissues in adults while also directing fat distribution. ACTH, which releases cortisol from the adrenal gland, is produced in the pituitary.
ACTH helps the body’s response to stress and impacts blood sugar and blood pressure. The pituitary also releases TSH, which regulates metabolism, the nervous system, energy, and much more. Other glands of the endocrine system include the pancreas, the parathyroid, and the thyroid. The pituitary gland plays a significant role in the endocrine system, as it also releases hormones to regulate testosterone, estrogen, and components of the reproductive system. One of the disorders of the pituitary system include non-cancerous tumors, which do impact the hormone release. Medications, birth defects, and injuries may also impact the pituitary gland.
The Cost of Treating a Pituitary Gland Disorder
Cost Helper indicates those with health insurance can expect to have coinsurance responsibilities that range from 10% to 60% or more of the entire bill. With routine doctor visits for follow-up testing and medications, the average monthly cost varies from $200 to more than $1,000 each month.
If your condition requires radiation treatment or surgical procedures to remove a tumor, the cost can be as high as $40,000 with a cash discount. Insurance companies may be billed as much as $75,000. If you require a surgical procedure that involves opening the skull, the cost may be as high as $150,000. The severity of the condition, the kind of disorder and it symptoms will impact the cost of treatment for the pituitary gland disorder.
The SSA Evaluation and Medical Qualifications
The medical criteria for different conditions or bodily systems in order to be approved for disability are included in a medical guide, which is called the Blue Book.
Pituitary gland disorders are included under the listing for endocrine system impairments (Section 9.00). Because a wide range of symptoms can be caused by pituitary gland disorders, you may qualify for benefits using a condition that is caused by a specific imbalance caused by a lack of a particular hormone. If an adult is experiencing a lack of growth hormone, he or she may be evaluated under the listing for the musculoskeletal system (Section 1.00).
If you suffer from a hydration problem caused by your pituitary gland disorder, you would be evaluated for a genitourinary problem under the listing for dehydration underneath Section 6.00 of the Blue Book. You have to meet the specific criteria indicated under that listing.
Because of the diversity of the pituitary gland, you may suffer from different symptoms and several listings may be applicable to your particular situation. There are some problems caused by pituitary gland disorders that aren’t included in the Blue Book. In that case, you may need to use medical-vocational allowance with a residual function capacity (RFC) based on the severity of your symptoms clearly indicating your limitations and your symptoms that are experienced.
Meeting Disability Criteria with an RFC and Medical - Vocational Allowance
With the medical-vocational allowance, an RFC is used. Using the RFC, your doctor will specify any limitations and your symptoms and how they impact your ability to work. As an example, if your hormone imbalance causes fatigue and loss of concentration that needs to be indicated and how it keeps you from standing for more than two hours or for walking significant distances. If the hormone imbalance keeps you from bending over and lifting, that should also be clearly indicated.
Indicate how symptoms such as nervousness, irritability, or anxiety impact your ability to concentrate, communicate with others, and sit still for long periods of time. Provide thorough documentation and physician notes to back up your claim and prove how the disorder impacts your ability to work and do daily chores. The more documentation you can provide, the stronger your case and the greater your odds of being approved for benefits.
Your age, educational level, work experience, and transferable skills are considered along with your condition to see if you can do a different kind of work such as work that is light duty or sedentary in nature. In this case, the RFC is also helpful with the decision making process.
Applying Specific Medical Tests to Your Case for Disability
Multiple tests, including blood tests, scans, hormone levels, ultrasounds, CT scans, and MRIs can be beneficial in helping diagnose your condition and determine its severity. These test reports need to be included with your disability claim so they can be considered as evidence to back up the severity of your symptoms and your condition.
The SSA may order a medical consultation at their expense with the doctor that they choose. This is for informational purposes only and is designed to verify your condition and its severity as well as your symptoms. A mental consultation may be ordered to see if your medical condition’s chronic nature is impacting your mental state, such as causing difficulty concentrating, depression, or anxiety that impacts your ability to work and handle daily tasks.
The SSDI claim process can be lengthy. You may be denied for benefits twice and you can file appeals both times. The final proceeding is a hearing before an administrative law judge who will go through your file and study the evidence before determining if he or she believes you do meet the requirements set forth to receive disability benefits.