Social Security Disability for Diabetes

Is diabetes a disability? Does having diabetes qualify you for disability benefits? Yes, diabetes can be considered a disability, but it does not automatically qualify you for disability benefits. Under the Social Security Administration (SSA) manual, you’ll find a section discussing diabetes.

If you meet the disability qualification criteria spelled out in the manual, you could be eligible for social security benefits.

Why Diabetes Is Considered to Be a Disability 

If you or someone you love suffers from complications of diabetes, you already know how debilitating it is. diabetes is a chronic condition. People diagnosed with it are unable to process glucose in their blood. High glucose levels indicate the body is not sufficiently producing insulin or that the insulin is not working as it should.

does diabetes qualify you for disability

As a person with diabetes gets older, complications from uncontrolled glucose levels can be more challenging to control. Rising glucose levels may even cause damage to vital organs, including the kidneys, heart, and eyes.

You might assume that if the SSA considers diabetes to be a disability, being accepted for benefits would be easy. Unfortunately, applying for disability benefits with any condition can be complex. This is where the services of a diabetes disability advocate are needed.

When you hire GAR Disability Advocates, we are here to help cut through the red tape and expedite the application process.

Diabetes Symptoms and Complications

There are two main types of diabetes—type 1 and type 2. Type 1 is often called juvenile diabetes, while type 2 is known as adult-onset diabetes. 

In addition to the two main types, there is gestational diabetes. gestational diabetes occurs when a woman who is pregnant is diagnosed with Diabetes for the first time. Pregnant women who develop gestational diabetes during their pregnancy could develop type 2 diabetes later in life.

Common symptoms of diabetes include:

  • Repeated bouts of fatigue;
  • A frequent need to go to the bathroom, which is usually accompanied by extreme thirst;
  • Weight loss;
  • Unexplained chronic hunger, especially between mealtimes; and/or
  • An overall irritable feeling.

Other reported symptoms include itchy and dry skin, fungal infections, and genital itching. When people with diabetes suffer from scrapes and cuts, those sores or abrasions take longer to heal. You may also have numbness or tingling in your feet and some blurred vision.

When you present to a doctor with these symptoms, they will administer some tests to calculate your glucose levels. One of the most common tests is the fasting plasma test that checks your blood sugar levels after fasting for eight hours. The other test is an oral glucose test. This test is done after fasting for eight hours, consuming a beverage with glucose, and then waiting two more hours.

Some doctors may choose to do a random plasma glucose test that measures blood glucose without fasting for any time. However, this test is not valid for pre-diabetes detection. If your test results show that you may be pre-diabetic, you need to undergo additional testing.

Is Diabetes a Disability? Meeting the Criteria for Benefits

With Social Security, there is no distinction between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. To qualify for SSDI, you must be diagnosed with either Type 1 or Type 2 and have at a minimum of one these conditions:

  • Acidosis, which is an irregular increase in your body fluids’ acidity, that occurs at least one time in a two-month period and is confirmed by bloodwork;
  • Neuropathy, which can cause people to have trouble moving their extremities regularly, like standing up or walking; or
  • Severe diabetic retinopathy, which causes damage to your eye’s blood vessels and can result in loss of vision.

To qualify under diabetes, you must have been unable to work for at least a year. You can also qualify if diabetes is expected to cause your death within a year. Diabetes patients who are under 18 may also qualify for disability benefits if their families have few resources and little income. Minors cannot be working themselves. If you have a child with type 1 diabetes who is under six years old and requires daily insulin shots, they are automatically classified as disabled.

Was Your Diabetes Disability Claim Denied?

If your Diabetes disability claim was denied, you aren’t alone. Many people who apply for disability benefits receive a denial the first time around. Don’t give up though. You have the right to file an appeal. Once the appeal is filed, you need to wait for a court date to appear before an administrative law judge.

Like other types of disability benefits’ claims, receiving an approval can be complex. This is why you need a Diabetes disability advocate who can assist. When you retain GAR Disability Advocates, we can help expedite the process and improve your chances of receiving benefits. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

Need Help Getting Your Disability Claim Approved?

If you or a loved one need help getting your disability claim approved, contact a GAR Disability Advocate today for a free consultation.

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