Social Security and Diabetes

If you are diabetic and suffer from serious symptoms associated with this disease, you may qualify for Social Security Disability or SSI benefits. Social Security Disability provides cash assistance and Medicare insurance for persons disabled from work due to a severe impairment or combination of impairments. SSI provides a cash assistance benefit, along with possible Medicaid insurance coverage. To learn more about the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI, click here.

Diabetes mellitus is a pancreatic gland disorder that disrupts the production of insulin. Insulin is necessary for the absorption of glucose in the blood stream. There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 is “juvenile onset diabetes” and type 2 is “adult onset diabetes”. Over time, high glucose levels in the blood stream due to diabetes can cause serious damage to nervous system and blood vessels.

Some people with diabetes are unable to work due to serious symptoms associated with this disease including:

  • Extreme fatigue;
  • Pain and numbness in the hands and feet due to diabetic neuropathy;
  • Vision problems related to diabetic retinopathy;
  • Nausea and vomiting related to gastroparesis;
  • Confusion and dizziness related to hypoglycemia; and
  • Frequent urination and extreme thirst related to hyperglycemia.

Persons with diabetes may suffer from some of these symptoms even if their blood sugars are controlled.

These symptoms often make it difficult for someone suffering from diabetes to work a job on a full-time and consistent basis. Pain and numbness in the feet make work duties involving prolonged standing and walking difficult. Pain and numbness in the hands make work tasks involving gripping, keying, and use of the fingers difficult. Often work tasks involving concentration, persistence and pace are impossible due extreme fatigue, headaches, and nausea. Jobs that do not allow flexibility for breaks are often a problem for diabetics because of their need for special diets, frequent meals, and the need to take medications, inject insulin, and check blood sugar levels throughout the day.

Diabetes is evaluated by the Social Security Administration under the Listing of Impairments Section 9.08 Diabetes Mellitus. A Social Security Disability claimant suffering from diabetes will qualify for disability benefits under Listing of Impairment 9.08 if specific criteria are met. It can be difficult for the average American to evaluate their condition under the Social Security Listings, due to their complexity and use of medical terminology. If you have questions about your diabetes and Listing 9.08, contact McCroskey Law today for a free evaluation.

Even if the criteria for Section 9.08 Diabetes Mellitus are not met, a diabetes sufferer may qualify for Social Security Disability or SSI benefits. The Social Security Administration must determine whether the limitations caused by symptoms related to diabetes in combinations with the claimant’s other severe impairments (such as depression, arthritis, COPD, etc.) prevents the claimant from being able to perform his past relevant work (work performed by the claimant in the last 15 years) and other jobs that may be available to the claimant considering his physical and mental limitations, age, education, and past work experience.

If you suffer from diabetes and want to learn more about your rights to Social Security Disability benefits, please call one of our experienced attorneys at McCroskey Law. We are local. We are lawyers. And, we want to help you get the Social Security Disability benefits you deserve. With offices in Muskegon, Grand Rapids, and Battle Creek, we are accessible. It is always free to talk to us, and we do not charge a fee unless we win your case. We look forward to speaking with you. Contact us today.