Diabetes and Disability

Posted July 10, 2015 by Premier Disability Services, LLC® Over 29 million people in America have diabetes. Many Americans are able to live active and healthy lifestyles after being diagnosed; however for some people managing diabetes can be a full-time job.

Social Security looks at diabetes like any other disabling medical condition. They will need to know how severe a person’s diabetes is before making a decision. Like many other conditions, Social Security will start by looking at medical information. Medical records will show how often people are treated for their diabetes, how much medication they take, and if their diabetes has required hospitalization(s). Establishing regular care with a doctor can be the most important thing to help treat diabetes and build a case. There are many factors to consider when evaluating a claim for disability based on diabetes: is it Type 1 or Type 2? Is the person’s vision affected? Is there nerve pain involved? Do they have trouble healing from cuts and sores? Has the condition resulted in an amputation of a finger, toes, or limb?  Claimants diagnosed with diabetes are often unable to work due to the complications associated with that condition.  For example, neuropathy, retinopathy, gastroparesis, and skin ulcers are common complications resulting from uncontrolled diabetes.

The success of a disability claim based on diabetes often comes down to whether the claimant is compliant with recommended treatments from their doctor.  Often, doctors will recommend a specific diet, exercise, and a medication regimen to manage this condition.  It is difficult to prove that a claimant’s diabetes and related complications are disabling if there is evidence of non-compliance with treatment recommendations and/or medications.  As a result, following the advice of a medical professional becomes a key part of establishing a claimant’s disability based on diabetes.

By: Devon Brady of Premier Disability Services, LLC®