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Conditions that qualify for disability

Is Addison's Disease a Disability? How to Qualify for Benefits

Written by
Jackie Jakab, Disability Attorney
Jackie Jakab
Lead Attorney
December 11, 2023  ·  4 min read
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See if you qualify

You can get disability for Addison's disease if you are unable to work due to your condition. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), more than 200,000 workers qualified for disability benefits due to endocrine, nutritional, and metabolic diseases in 2021. The SSA evaluates Addison's disease as an endocrine disorder.

While the SSA considers Addison's disease a qualifying condition, winning disability benefits is not always straightforward. You must meet certain requirements and navigate a lengthy application process. 

Learn more about the eligibility requirements for Addison’s disease, and how to apply for benefits.

What is Addison’s disease?

Addison’s disease, also known as primary adrenal insufficiency, is a chronic condition that occurs when adrenal glands do not produce enough of certain hormones, including cortisol and aldosterone. Addison’s disease is a rare condition that affects men and women equally. Approximately 1 in 100,000 individuals in the U.S. have Addison’s disease.

Is Addison's disease a disability?

Yes, the Social Security Administration considers Addison's disease a disability. If you have Addison’s Disease and are unable to work because of your condition, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits. The SSA lists Addison’s Disease in the SSA Blue Book, a resource of qualifying conditions, under endocrine disorders (Section 9.00).

Addison’s disease can be covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA does not have a comprehensive list of disabilities, but it recognizes any condition that is substantially limiting as a disability. 

Addison's disease symptoms

Individuals with Addison's disease can experience a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Fatigue

  • Loss of appetite

  • Low blood pressure, and sometimes fainting

  • Low mood, including depression and irritability

  • Muscle weakness

  • Unintentional weight loss

Can you get disability for Addison's disease?

Yes, you can receive disability benefits for Addison's disease if your condition prevents you from working. You must meet the SSA’s medical and technical eligibility requirements.

Securing disability benefits can be easier if you apply with another qualifying condition. For example, conditions that commonly occur alongside Addison's Disease and that may qualify include:

  • Type 1 diabetes

  • Pernicious anemia

  • Graves' disease

  • Myasthenia gravis

  • Chronic thyroiditis

Criteria for getting disability with Addison's disease

To get disability for Addison's disease, you must provide medical records demonstrating that your condition makes you unable to work despite treatment. You will need to meet the criteria laid out in the SSA Blue Book to qualify for Social Security disability benefits.

Because Addison's disease is an adrenal gland disorder, the SSA considers it under the category of endocrine disorders.

The SSA evaluates endocrine disorders based on the body part or system that is most affected by the disorder. With Addison's disease, depending on what your specific symptoms are, you may qualify under:

  • Cardiovascular system: Addison's disease can lead to adrenal-related hypertension, which worsens heart failure or can cause arrhythmias

  • Digestive disorders: Individuals with Addison's disease can experience adrenal-related weight loss

  • Mental disorders: Addison's disease can impact your mood, with symptoms including depression and irritability

  • Musculoskeletal disorders: You may experience adrenal-related osteoporosis with fractures, affecting your ability to walk or use your upper extremities

4 Questions to ask yourself before applying

The following questions can help you determine your chances of qualifying for Social Security disability due to Addison's disease. If you're able to answer "yes" to most of the following questions, you have higher odds of qualifying:

  1. Have you experienced any changes in mood or energy levels due to Addison's disease?

  2. Do you experience hypertension or arrhythmias?

  3. Have you lost weight because of Addison's disease?

  4. Is there any evidence of kidney or liver failure?

Ready to get benefits today?

My Addison's disease meets the criteria. Now what?

If you meet the criteria to get disability for your Addison's disease, the next step is to apply for disability benefits. When deciding whether to apply, consider the following:

Apply now if:

Consider waiting and applying later if:

  • Your symptoms are manageable or seem to be getting better with treatment

  • You haven't stopped working yet, even if you think you may need to at some point in the future due to your Addison's disease

Probably don’t apply if:

  • You earn over $1,400 each month, the income limit for SSDI and SSI

  • Your symptoms from Addison's disease aren't severe enough to prevent you from working in some capacity

For further guidance, take the Atticus disability benefits quiz. If, based on your answers, it looks like you could qualify for disability, a member of our team will get in touch to learn more about your condition and case.

What type of benefits should I apply for?

There are two types of disability benefits you may receive for Addison's disease: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

  1. Social Security Disability Insurance: SSDI is intended for people who have worked and paid taxes for at least five out of the last 10 years

  2. Supplemental Security Income: SSI, on the other hand, is for those who have low income and few assets or who haven't worked much or at all

Both disability programs include monthly payments and health insurance coverage — Medicare for SSDI and Medicaid for SSI.

Learn more about the differences between SSDI and SSI.

How much is a disability check for Addison's disease?

The average monthly benefit amount individuals with Addison's disease can receive is $1,288.66. However, it is possible to receive more or less than that amount. As of 2024, the maximum amount you can receive for Addison's disease is $3,822 per month for SSDI and $943 per month for SSI.

These upper limits apply regardless of which condition you have or how many conditions you include in your Social Security disability benefits application. The payment amount is based on your work history if you're applying for SSDI, or your other sources of income if you're applying for SSI.

Here's a breakdown of how much people make on SSDI and SSI to better gauge how much you're likely to receive for your Addison's Disease should you qualify.

What if my Addison's disease doesn’t meet the criteria?

If you don't feel confident your Addison's disease meets the criteria outlined in this article, you can still apply for disability benefits. Just know you will need to prove you are unable to work because of your Addison's Disease through medical records.

Regardless of how closely your condition aligns with SSA requirements, the application process can be difficult. It's estimated that just 20% of applicants receive benefits on their first attempt. However, the chances of winning an appeal are much higher, so it's important to remain persistent.

Get help with your application

Take our 2-minute disability quiz to see if you might qualify for disability benefits. A member of our team will follow up to learn more about your situation and offer advice. If you'd like, we can also pair you with a qualified disability lawyer.

There are no upfront costs to working with a lawyer — you only pay if you win benefits. Working with a disability lawyer can increase your chances of winning benefits by three times.

Related resources:

Qualifying for Disability: Everything You Should Know

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By Jackie Jakab

Is it Hard to Get Disability for Mental Illness? (Yes, But This Can Help)

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By Sydney Hershenhorn

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Jackie Jakab, Disability Attorney

Jackie Jakab

Lead Attorney

Jackie Jakab is Atticus’s Legal Director. She’s a licensed attorney, a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School, and has counseled thousands of people seeking disability benefits.
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