DIABETES AND SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY
Diabetes is a common metabolic disease in which a person has high blood sugar because his body does not produce enough insulin, or the cells do not respond to the insulin produced. There are three main types of diabetes: Type 1: Also known as juvenile diabetes, Type 1 diabetes typically occurs before one reaches the age of 30. In Type 1 diabetes, the body fails to produce insulin and requires one to inject insulin. Type 2: Also known as adult onset diabetes, Type 2 diabetes affects those over the age of 30. Type 2 diabetes results from insulin resistance, or the body's failure to use insulin properly. Gestational Diabetes: Gestational diabetes occurs when pregnant women who have never had diabetes before have a high blood glucose level. Fortunately, diabetes is listed in the Social Security Administration's (SSA) blue book. However, in order to be approved for disability benefits based on the diabetes listing, a claimant must not only be diagnosed with diabetes; he must also demonstrate evidence of neuropathy, acidosis, or retinitis. Neuropathy refers to tingling and numbness in the hands and arms or feet and legs. The tingling and numbness must interfere with one's ability to walk or use his arms and not improve over time or with medication. Acidosis refers to changes in blood chemistry that occur as a result of fluctuating blood sugar levels. Retinitis refers to the vision problems that result from the damage that diabetes causes to the capillaries in the back of the eyes. To put it simply, one must display significant and permanent diabetic complications in order to meet the SSA's diabetes listing. However, even if your diabetes isn't severe enough to meet the listing, you may still have significant functional limitations that make you unable to work. You will be approved for benefits if it is determined after your medical history and work history are reviewed that such functional limitations deem you unable to perform past work or other types of work. You can help your case by reporting your symptoms in detail to your doctor. Since the SSA focuses on work activity limitations, talk to your doctor about how your diabetes has affected your ability to carry and lift objects or your ability to sit or stand for extended periods. Make sure that your doctor takes note of these limitations in your medical records. In addition, talk to your doctor about pain, visual problems, mood swings, or other diabetes symptoms you are experiencing that have affected your ability to concentrate and carry out work-related activities. Do You Have Diabetes? If you have diabetes and want to apply for Social Security Disability benefits, let us help you win your case. Contact us for a free evaluation. If you have already applied for Social Security Disability benefits based on the work limitations caused by your diabetes and your claim was denied, contact us so we can help you file an appeal.