SSA Changes Eligible Disorders for Social Security Disability

Effective June 7, 2011, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will eliminate all adult impairment listings for endocrine disorders. The SSA is taking this action because advances in the medical treatment of endocrine disorders -- the availability of replacement hormones -- means the hormone imbalance almost never lasts the 12 months required to qualify for Social Security disability. Also, the great majority of cases are simply not severe enough to qualify for listing-level severity.

These changes do not mean that SSA will ignore any damaging effects of an endocrine disorder. In those cases, evaluation will be done under the impairment listings that are appropriate for the complications. For example, diabetes mellitus in adults or children may result in peripheral nerve damage. A person with such damage would be evaluated under the neurological listings; similarly, retinopathy (damage to the retina) would be evaluated under the listings for visual loss.

Changes in endocrine or other listings do not affect those who are already receiving benefits under such listings. When reviewing continuing disability claims, the SSA must consider a persons qualification under the old listing as still valid (this is covered in Chapter 14 of Nolo's Guide to Social Security).

All child listings for endocrine disorders will also be removed, except for one listing for children younger than six years old, who have diabetes mellitus that requires daily insulin (this listing number will be 109.08). In these cases, the SSA presumes the presence of disability and no further proof is needed. For more information on this change, see the SSAs explanation in the Federal Register at Vol. 76, No. 68, April 4, 2011.

This change takes effect, as noted, on July 7, 2011. Please disregard the "Effective Date, May 6, 2011" just below. That date refers to the day this update appeared on the Nolo website.