Who Is Entitled To Diabetes Disability Benefits?


Diabetes is a medical condition in which a person’s level of glucose, or blood sugar, is elevated.

There are three types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 or “Juvenile” Diabetes,
  • Type 2 or “Adult onset” Diabetes, and
  • Gestational Diabetes.

Diabetes is a serious disease which can cause high blood pressure, kidney disease, heart disease, or even blindness. Due to poor circulation, a diabetic can lose limbs to amputation. Symptoms include frequent urge to urinate, chronic hunger, fatigue, and/or weight loss.

Diabetes limits the functions of the endocrine system which regulates insulin and blood glucose (sugar).

Diabetes can cause complications that may affect a person’s ability to work either in the short term or the long term.

To qualify for disability benefits, diabetics must provide extensive evidence of their diagnosis and symptoms from an acceptable medical source. The evidence provided must be accurate, thorough, and complete.

The SSA will consider evidence from medical and nonmedical sources when making an assessment for disability benefits. An individual must have been severely affected for at least 12 months for him or her to qualify for financial assistance.

Total disability based on diabetes can be difficult to prove compared to other disabling conditions. Working closely with a qualified Social Security Disability Lawyercan help strengthen your diabetes disability claim.

Is diabetes a disability?

Many medical experts classify diabetes as an unseen disability. Although the disability may not be visible to others, it has a significant effect on an individual’s day-to-day life.

Diabetes is listed in SSA’s impairment listing manual, or “Blue Book” as a condition which can qualify a person for disability benefits. The SSA makes no distinction between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes.

The SSA qualification criteria focuses on the actual health problems that affect an applicant’s ability to function in work and basic tasks.

The SSA will require medical records dating back to the time when you first became disabled. It is also necessary to prove that you followed all instructions and precautions ordered by your doctors.

Who can claim disability for diabetes?

In most cases, applicants will be approved for disability benefits on the basis of diabetes only in conjunction with one or more other disabling conditions that have been caused by the disease.

In order to qualify for disability benefits on the basis of diabetes, your doctor must diagnose you as having Diabetes Mellitus (Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes) and at least one of the following conditions:

  • Neuropathy

In this condition of the nervous system, a person experiences pain, numbness, or weakness in one or more parts of the body.

It is defined as the abnormality of the nervous system that significantly affects two extremities to the extent that a person experiences a “sustained disturbance” of movement of those two extremities, or in walking, or in simply standing.

  • Acidosis

The abnormal increase in the acidity of body fluids that occurs at least every two months and is documented by blood tests.

  • Diabetic Retinopathy

Damage to blood vessels inside the eye resulting in a significant loss if peripheral vision in the better of the two eyes, or a significant loss if visual acuity in the better of the two eyes. To meet this criterion, the severity of the damage must be such that the person is virtually blind.

How can a lawyer deal with SSD cases?

Applicants with legal representation are statistically more likely to be approved for benefits than those who decide to apply on their own.

Social Security disability benefit attorneys have the experience of working within the Social Security legal system.

Your attorney will fill out your application form on your behalf, ensuring that your application is free of errors and there are no omissions that could harm your chances of getting approved for benefits.

The SSA offers two distinct types of benefits for people living with disabling conditions:

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) – To qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, you must first have worked in jobs covered by Social Security. Then you must have a medical condition that meets Social Security’s definition of disability. The SSA pays monthly benefits to people who are unable to work for a year or more because of a disability.

To qualify for SSDI, you must:

•          Be unable to work because you have a medical condition that is expected to last at least 12 months or result in death.

•          Not have a partial or short-term disability.

•          Meet SSA’s strict definition of disability.

•          Be younger than your full retirement age.

•          Have worked at least 5 of the last ten years.

One of the most important rules for Social Security disability is that your medical disability must have lasted or be expected to last for at least one year for benefits to be awarded.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) – For many Americans, Supplemental Security Income represents their only source of income.

The SSI program provides monthly payments to people who:

•          Are at least 65 years of age, blind, or disabled

•          Have limited income (wages, pension, etc.)

•          Have limited resources (assets that you own)

•          Are a citizen of the United States, or a certain type of non-citizen

•          Are a resident of one of the 50 US States, the District of Columbia, or the Northern Mariana Islands.

An experienced Social Security disability attorney can analyze and evaluate your work history, medical conditions, and financial situation and determine which benefits you could be eligible for.

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