Diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which the body is unable to handle and absorb glucose (sugar) sufficiently due to inadequate insulin production or insulin resistance. Diabetes comes in various forms, including Type I, Type II, Type III, and gestational. So, can you get disability for diabetes?

Types Of Diabetes

Type I diabetes, also called Diabetes Mellitus, often develops during childhood. This usually indicates that the pancreas is producing insufficient insulin to metabolize the blood glucose, which may occur due to pancreas-related damage or illness. Type I diabetes patients need insulin because their bodies do not manufacture enough insulin.

Type 2 diabetes, known as adult-onset diabetes, develops when the body’s cells develop insulin resistance and therefore cannot metabolize adequate glucose. Type 2 diabetes is most prevalent in adults over 45 and is closely connected with obesity, hypertension, and a sedentary lifestyle. Additionally, genetic factors contribute to the development of Type 2 diabetes.

Type 3 diabetes is a suggested name for Alzheimer’s disease, caused by insulin resistance in the brain. It is not yet a recognized medical term or illness, but it is being utilized in studies into the causes of Alzheimer’s disease.

Gestational diabetes is a kind of diabetes that may develop in women who do not already have the disease during pregnancy.

Symptoms Of Diabetes

The common symptoms of diabetes vary by individual. Still, the commonalities often include frequent urination, blurred vision, excessive thirst, dark skin patches, constant hunger, lethargy or exhaustion, and tingling in the hands or feet. These symptoms, which can be severe, leave diabetic patients unable to work and lead them to ask an attorney, “can you get disability for diabetes, and how do you qualify?”

Numerous diabetic patients have neuropathy (nerve damage), which most often affects the hands and feet. Diabetes may also result in severe eye issues, such as retinopathy, glaucoma, cataracts, and blurred vision. Because of their blood sugar levels, people with diabetes often have a more difficult time recovering from infection or skin lacerations. Additionally, if a diabetic patient has neuropathy, they may not detect an injury as quickly as ordinary individuals, particularly to the foot. These variables predispose diabetes patients to acute infections, which may result in amputation and other catastrophic consequences. Diabetic patients are also at a higher risk of developing kidney disease, ketoacidosis, hypertension, and stroke.

Can You Get Disability For Diabetes With Complications?

Diabetes is covered in Section 9 (Endocrine) of the Social Security Administration’s “Blue Book” listing of debilitating ailments under paragraph 9.B5 (Diabetes mellitus and other pancreatic gland disorders).

Although a diagnosis of diabetes does not automatically qualify a person for SSDI benefits, any of its complications may very likely qualify a person for SSDI payments. These complications include:

  • Neuropathy
  • Retinopathy
  • Ketoacidosis
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetic Kidney Disease
  • Vascular Disease
  • Hyperglycemia that persists
  • Hypoglycemia on a long-term basis
  • Coronary arteriopathy
  • Cognitive impairments

Among other complications, they are all included in a diabetic disability claim.

Suppose you have uncontrolled diabetes and have been unable to work for at least 12 months or anticipate being unable to work for at least 12 months. In that case, you may qualify for Social Security disability (SSDI/SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments. To qualify for disability benefits, however, the damage caused by diabetes must significantly impede your capacity to work, or you must have problems that meet the criteria for one of Social Security’s disability categories.

If your diabetes is uncontrolled as a result of your failure to adhere to your doctor’s advised medication, you will not qualify for disability.

How Limiting Is Diabetes For You?

Even if you do not fulfill a listing, can you get disability for diabetes? To decide if your diabetes significantly impairs your everyday functioning to the point that you are unable to work, the Social Security Administration (SSA) or state agencies (referred to as Disability Determination Services, or DDS) will examine your residual functional capacity (RFC). Most individuals who apply for disability payments based primarily on diabetes are first refused benefits and must submit an appeal to get a hearing before an administrative law judge.

Your RFC is a measure of the amount of activity you can continue to do while having diabetes. For instance, an RFC may determine that you are competent in undertaking a medium-level job, light-level labor, or sedentary work. The SSA will consider your medical history, doctor’s opinion(s) (if they specify your functional limits and are supported by medical evidence), and comments from you, your family, and friends in determining your RFC.

The SSA is also interested in your ability to concentrate on duties, work well with others, and report to work on a consistent basis. For instance, if your glucose levels are poorly maintained during the day, the insurance adjuster may discover that you cannot focus for extended periods. If you are suffering from depression or excessive exhaustion, your RFC may claim that you are unable to work consistently and regularly.

Applying For Disability Benefits

If you are unable to work due to health impairments caused by Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits.

Proving disability due to diabetes and its associated conditions can be complex. Working with your doctors and a qualified Social Security Disability attorney can help ensure that your disability case has the best possible chance of success. Contact The Law Offices Of Karen Kraus Bill to help get you the benefits that you not only need but that you deserve!

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