The Diabetic and Social Security Disability
It is very possible to get social security disability benefits if you have significant diabetes. The first way to qualify is if you meet or equal a listing.
The listings for diabetes are specific findings or symptoms that your diabetes must fit in to. Quoted below are those listings. You meet a listing if your symptoms are the same as in the listing. You equal a listing if your symptoms ate not exactly the same but they are as functionally severe as the symptoms listed.
1. A diagnosis of Diabetes Mellitus.
2. Evidence of Neuropathy that must be demonstrated by "significant and persistent disorganization of motor function in two extremities" (conceivably, two arms, two legs, or one arm and one leg). This neuropathy must also result in a "sustained disturbance of gross and dexterous movements, or gait and station".
3. Acidosis that happens, on average, no less than once every two months (this must be documented by the proper blood tests).
4. Diabetic retinopathy that results in a level of visual impairment equal to the criteria set aside in section 2.00 of the impairment listing manual. Essentially, this means a visual impairment that involves a significant loss of peripheral vision in the better of the two eyes, or a significant loss of visual acuity in the better of the two eyes.
From a visual standpoint, it is very difficult for an individual with diabetes and diabetic retinopathy to qualify for social security disability or SSI benefits.This is because you must proof that you are almost blind.
Unfortunately, it is fairly difficult and relatively few claimants are approved for benefits on the basis of the listing. In fact, in most cases, claimants with diabetes who are approved for disability will not be approved on the basis of meeting the diabetes listing but, instead, will be approved on the basis of a medical vocational allowance. This means that your diabetes prevents you from working. if you meet or equal a listing and are not working social security presumes its because of you diabetes.
However if you can prove that your diabetes prevents you from working you can also get social security disability benefits. In this type of disability approval, a claimant's medical history (recent and past) and work history will have been reviewed and a determination will subsequently have to be made that the claimant is unable to return to their past work, or perform any form of "other work".
Are diabetes cases given proper consideration by the social security administration? They are given strict consideration just like most other illnesses, but these cases can be won. It does not necessarily require amputation. Many diabetics have great difficulty in controlling their sugar. It gets too high or too low. They get fatigued, feel dizzy, sick to their stomach and can even get confused or lapse into coma. These cases, if well documented with test results and third party confirmation, can be winners. For the very reason that the diabetic can not reliably work 8 hours a day five days a week.
I counsel claimants that if they can't control their sugar they should give up driving. This is strong evidence that the judges take into consideration. I have won my fair share of diabetic cases especially where there were neuropathy (feet or hand pain) or where the sugars were difficult to control.
As always, though, a disability claimant can maximize their chances of being approved for benefits by simply not giving up when they are denied (most claimants are initially denied for benefits), by following the appeals process, and by being fully prepared at the time of a disability hearing, if such a hearing becomes necessary. Hearing preparation, of course, will generally include having able attorney representation and adequate medical record documentation.
by Cincinnati social security disability attorney Anthony Castelli. He welcomes you to call him personally at 621-2345 for a free consultation