In basic terms, hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland is not producing enough hormones. This can mean severe consequences for many different bodily functions, which in turn causes secondary disabilities. For instance, one of the most common symptoms of hypothyroidism is obesity, which then can cause cardiovascular and even orthopedic problems.

Many veterans suffer from hypothyroidism because they were exposed to toxic chemicals during their time in service. The chemicals may have been in missile propellants, water disinfectants, pesticides, or in the smoke from burn pits common during the Iraq War. A startling statistic reveals that veterans with PTSD are up to eight times more likely to suffer from thyroid dysfunction.

In the Vietnam War thousands of U.S. service members were exposed to Agent Orange and other defoliants which have been proven to cause hypothyroidism. Recently this disease was added to the list of presumptive conditions related to Agent Orange exposure. When a veteran is diagnosed with a disease classified as presumptive, that veteran can qualify for disability benefits without the burden of proving the condition was caused by military service. This new development means that thousands of Vietnam veterans suffering with hypothyroidism are now eligible for VA disability benefits.

The typical VA rating for hypothyroidism is 30 percent. However, there is a severe form of hypothyroidism called myxedema which can be life-threatening. Veterans who develop myxedema are assigned a rating of 100 percent while the condition is active and for six months after the condition is stabilized.

At Cuddigan Law, we understand how critical it is for veterans to get the disability benefits they have rightfully earned. That’s why we provide a wealth of free information on our website to help veterans with their claims. And you can contact us for a free evaluation of your situation.

Sean D. Cuddigan
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SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska