Angela is part of a group of over 30 million Americans. She has diabetes. So far, she has been able to keep her condition under control and has not suffered any major side effects. Still, she knows that diabetes is a serious health condition. What she may not realize is that both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes are considered disabilities. However, it can be difficult to tell when diabetes is a disability for purposes of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.
A person whose blood sugar consistently tests above 120 may have diabetes. This serious medical condition occurs when an individual’s body doesn’t produce enough insulin.
Diabetics may be more likely to have the following other conditions:
- Skin disorders and infections;
- Glaucoma, cataracts, and blindness;
- Nerve damage called neuropathy;
- Kidney disease;
- High blood pressure;
- Strokes; and
- Heart disease.
The life-threatening nature of diabetes is uncontested. However, not all diabetics are considered disabled when it comes to qualifying for disability benefits like SSDI.
SSDI General Qualifications
Someone who applies for SSDI must have a disabling condition that prevents them from working. This condition must meet the disability definition held by the Social Security Administration (“Social Security”). However, there’s more.
An applicant must have the correct number of work credits. The number required depends on the worker’s age, recent work history, and the amount of money earned each year. For example, someone who is 62 usually must have 40 work credits. The applicant must have earned twenty of those credits in the ten years preceding the onset of their disability.
Although diabetes is a serious disorder that affects a person’s entire body, the diagnosis of diabetes by itself generally does not qualify for SSDI benefits.
Diabetes and Your Disability Claim
Uncontrolled diabetes may lead to complications. It is those complications, like kidney disease, that may qualify someone for SSDI benefits. Social Security may consider a diabetic eligible for SSDI if the individual:
- Cannot continue to perform the work that he or she did before the diagnosis;
- Cannot adjust to other work because of the medical condition; and
- Has a disability that has lasted a year, is expected to last for a year or will result in your death.
Simply having to monitor blood sugar and take medication is unlikely to make you eligible for SSDI. However, a diabetic with severe nerve damage or kidney disease is more likely to be considered disabled.
Not Sure Whether You Have a Disability?
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have helped many clients receive the disability benefits they deserve. For a free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. Though our office is located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.