Addison's disease, also known as primary adrenal insufficiency, is a condition in which the adrenal glands do not produce adequate amounts of the hormones cortisol and aldosterone. Those hormones regulate the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and protein. They also maintain blood glucose levels and blood pressure.
Symptoms of Addison's Disease
Symptoms of Addison's disease include muscle weakness, chronic fatigue, weight loss, hypotension (low blood pressure that can lead to dizziness or fainting) and depression. The condition usually worsens over time. Sometimes an Addisonian crisis occurs, causing severe vomiting, abdominal pain, dehydration and fainting.
How Disabling Is It?
Treatment for Addison's disease involves replacing the missing hormones. With proper treatment, most people live relatively happy and healthy lives. If the condition fails to respond to treatment, though, it may become disabling.
Social Security Disability
Social Security Disability Insurance provides a monthly check for disabled people. To qualify, people must be unable to work due to their condition and their condition must be expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.
Social Security Disability for Addison's Disease
Social Security maintains a list of conditions that might be disabling and specific criteria for determining if a person is disabled by these conditions. Addison's disease is not included on that list, but someone with Addison's disease can still be found disabled by Social Security if he can prove his condition prevents him from working.
If Social Security declares someone disabled by Addison's disease, he will qualify for Medicare after two years. Medicare is a federal program that pays for medical care for the elderly and the disabled. It covers treatment of Addison's disease as well as other conditions.