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Diabetes: How to Qualify for Social Security Disability

Diabetes often referred to by doctors as diabetes mellitus, describes a group of metabolic diseases in which the person has high blood glucose (blood sugar), either because insulin production is inadequate, or because the body’s cells do not respond appropriately to insulin or both. Patients with high blood sugar will typically experience polyuria (frequent urination), they will become increasingly thirsty (polydipsia) and hungry (polyphagia). Other symptoms include increased fatigue, irritability, impaired healing, persistent gum disease, and numbness in the feet and hands. Serious long-term complications include cardiovascular disease, stroke, kidney failure, foot ulcers, and damage to the eyes.

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Chronic diabetes conditions include type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes.

  • Type 1 DM results from the body’s failure to produce enough insulin. This form was previously referred to as “insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus” (IDDM) or “juvenile diabetes.” The cause is unknown.
  • Type 2 DM begins with insulin resistance, a condition in which cells fail to respond to insulin appropriately. As the disease progresses, a lack of insulin may also develop. This form was previously referred to as “non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus” (NIDDM) or “adult-onset diabetes.” The primary cause is excessive body weight and not enough exercise.
  • Gestational is the third leading form and occurs when pregnant women without a previous history of diabetes develop a high blood glucose level.

Diabetes is not currently an impairment included in the Social Security Administration impairments listing manual (called Blue Book). However, the severity of your symptoms may qualify for a different listing. For example, having diabetic retinopathy that causes less than 20/200 vision in the better eye would meet Listing 2.02.

If your symptoms are not severe enough to meet the requirements of the additional listings, you may still qualify for disability benefits. Some Claimants suffer from fatigue, neuropathy, and vision difficulties. The symptoms may be of such magnitude that there are no jobs you can do, or at least no jobs that you know how to do, given your age, education, and experience.

Premier Disability Services, LLC® has extensive experience assisting claimants who have this condition in obtaining Social Security Disability benefits.  If you have diabetes and you are unable to work, please contact our office for a free evaluation.