According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over 29 million people in the United States suffer from diabetes — or 9.3 percent of the total population. For many, the symptoms of diabetes — whether Type 1 or Type 2 — can be debilitating, often related to difficulty managing blood-glucose levels. Oftentimes, severe cases of diabetes can prevent a sufferer from maintaining employment, quickly creating a dire financial need in the family.
Fortunately, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has expanded its understanding of this disease, and offers disability benefits to those whose symptoms meet the established criteria. In addition to the constant monitoring of food and glucose intake, diabetes sufferers often experience any of the following complications:
- Retinopathy (eye disorders)
- Nerve damage
- Kidney problems
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Skin infections
- Mental health disorders (e.g., depression)
Given this list of complications, it is not difficult to imagine that diabetes could quickly lead to difficulty at one’s job, which is where disability benefits come in to help offset the financial impact of such severe symptoms.
Generally, a diabetes sufferer may obtain benefits from Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) if the diabetes is uncontrolled, has severely impacted the patient’s ability to work, and is not likely to resolve in the next 12 months. As well, the damage caused by the diabetes must be so severe that it impacts what the patient is able to do on a daily basis.
To qualify for disability, the SSA will review the symptoms as reported by the patient and his or her physician. These symptoms must meet certain severity criteria, which are listed in the SSA’s Blue Book. For instance, a patient suffering from retinopathy must have poor visual acuity (between 20/100 and 20/200) or poor peripheral vision; whereas those suffering from neuropathy must be unable to walk or stand, or have experienced an amputation.
Contact an experienced Social Security disability attorney today!
If you are one of the millions of Americans suffering from Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, please contact an experienced attorney to discuss your options today!