Sunday, December 12, 2010

Can I get Social Security if I have Diabetes

Diabetics wonder if they can get social security for their diabetes.. Yes if certain conditions are met. If your diabetis is such that you will not be able to work for one full year then the answer is yes .

Fortunately for SSI and SSD applicants who suffer from the effects of type I diabetes or type II diabetes, diabetes is listed in the Social Security Administration's medical impairment listing manual for disability claims.
If you equal or meet this listing you automatically get benefits as long as you are not working.

This book says the following about diabetes.  It makes no distinction between, or reference to, type I diabetes or type II diabetes. It also makes no mention of the severe damage diabetes causes to the vascular system, the nervous system, and the renal system.

Instead, the damage caused to these areas of the body is evaluated under the disability criteria set aside for these specific body systems. For example, kidney problems are evaluated under listing section 6.00, which is devoted to the genito-urinary system.

As with all listings, the diabetes listing focuses on the medical aspects of diabetes which have a direct relationship to functional impairment and restriction. For the purposes of the disability program, these are neuropathy and retinopathy.

The actual listing for diabetes was changed in June of 2011. This listing below no longer applies. For more current information on diabetes and qualifying for social security disability click on the link in red directly below.
Social Security Disability Benefits For Diabetes – How Can You Win A Claim

The actual listing for diabetes indicates that a claimant must have (in order to be approved on the basis of the diabetes listing) the following:

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.

Obviously, 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. But how difficult is it to be approved for either SSD or SSI benefits on the basis of diabetes in general?

One of the best pieces of evidence you can have is EMG testing that shows neuropathy. This is often described as severely painful or tingling and numbness. Some diabetics have it so bad that they hurt themselves and do not even feel it.

If you do not meet a listing wild uncontrolled fluctuatins in blood sugar and its effects is an important piece of evidence also.

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 representation and adequate medical record documentation.
As Always Cincinnati social security disability attorney welcomes your questions at 621-2345 or invites you to visit his web site.