Is Diabetes A Disability?
Today, diabetes is one of the most common and rising health ailments in individuals. A large percentage of the population has fallen prey to this health issue in today’s time. The average age range of getting diabetes is now between forty-five to fifty years old.
The worst part is that the disease is appearing in individuals well ahead of time. Diabetes is considered to be one of the leading causes of cardiovascular diseases today. Other than that, several other risk factors are associated with it.
Diabetes can be caused by several factors. The main cause is the presence of high levels of insulin in the body. A high level of insulin is the fundamental cause behind the rise of diabetes-related ailments. Also, there are three main types of diabetes: Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational Diabetes.
The root causes behind diabetes often include obesity, lifestyle, consumption of processed food, genetic factors that enhance vulnerability, and more. A large percentage of people have diabetes today for the aforementioned reasons.
Some people suffer from diabetes in minor ways, which can be called the borderline diabetic condition. Type 2 diabetes has been shown to be more prevalent in persons with a genetic history of the disease. Type 2 diabetes can appear in people almost at any age. Some people who have this form of diabetes, however, have much more significant health risks associated with it.
At some point, having Type 2 diabetes can also lead to a disability. Social Security Disability Diabetes benefits can help you manage all of the basic expenses related to having diabetes. The SSA follows strict procedures to determine whether a person with diabetes has a disability. You can qualify for SSD benefits if you can show all of the proof regarding your long-term disability.
The reasons, root causes and types of diabetes
Diabetes and Disability are directly related as diabetes gives rise to many health issues that can cause people to become disabled.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that causes the body to have abnormally high sugar levels for prolonged periods of time. It affects the function of the endocrine system in the human body, which is a hormone-regulating system made up of glands and organs that mainly controls the production of insulin, which helps to maintain the balance of blood glucose (sugar) and salt in the body. Diabetes detrimentally affects human health by limiting the ability of the endocrine system to produce sufficient insulin to regulate the amount of blood sugar relative to salt in the body.
Even if a person with diabetes is leading a healthy life and the disease is managed correctly, it can be considered a disability in certain circumstances. Diabetes has varying levels including both Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational Diabetes. Diabetes may be a type 1 or type 2 disability.
- Type 1 diabetes- This type of diabetes is more common in children and adolescents. People who have type 1 diabetes face a very low production of insulin. Hence, such people have to take insulin injections to maintain the proper level of insulin in the body.
- Type 2 diabetes- This type of diabetes accounts for almost 90% of all diabetes cases. In such cases, the body has insulin, but it does not utilize the same. If a person is suffering from Type 2 diabetes, on a case-by-case basis, they may still need to take insulin. Slight changes in lifestyle like having a healthy diet, engaging in physical activity, and a regular intake of prescribed medicines can help keep blood sugar level under check.
- Gestational Diabetes (GBM)- This type mostly occurs in pregnant ladies, and mostly it disappears after the child’s birth. But a few women are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in their lives.
Diabetes is a common ailment today, but that does not mean that people with diabetes are completely deprived of leading a healthy life and necessarily need disability benefits. Many people with diabetes can engage in routine tasks and enjoy recreational activities, such as going to the club, working out, and driving just like anyone else.
In some cases, however, diabetes can lead to even more severe conditions preventing a person from leading a healthy personal and professional life. Diabetes may reduce a person’s ability to work and earn a consistent income and other substantial gainful activity for an extended period of time.
According to federal law, diabetes can be considered as a disability when it is medically proven to affect a person’s health and it prevents a person from engaging in substantially gainful activity for an extended period of time.
Usually, federal laws like the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act protect people with a diabetes-related disability. Diabetes may be individually evaluated based on its impact on other bodily systems. For instance, diabetes can cause:
- substantial nerve damage (neuropathy);
- vision loss as serious as blindness (retinopathy); and
- excessive acid in bodily fluids (acidosis), and other conditions such as loss of consciousness.
Since the year 2009, laws, regulations, and amendments have deemed diabetes as a prominent condition that can be interpreted as a disability. Diabetes is now recognized as a condition that can cause other health conditions that inhibit a person’s motor functions and ability to meaningfully work and carry out daily activities. This indicates that diabetes can also be considered as an invisible disability. Invisible disabilities are health conditions or chronic illnesses that are not immediately apparent, but significantly impair a person’s ability to engage in normal, daily activities.
A person with diabetes and other diabetes-caused health conditions may be entitled to qualify for SSDI/ SSI benefits for diabetes.
Can You Get Disability For Diabetes?
Individuals with this ailment may be able to obtain disability benefits, but not everyone with diabetes may be eligible to apply. Now, just because diabetes and diabetes-related illness can be considered a disability does not mean that a person is entitled to get disability benefits, such as financial assistance.
People suffering from Type 1 disability and Type 2 diabetes may not always e qualify for disability benefits. There are specific medical and nonmedical criteria that need to be met for a person to qualify to get disability benefits for diabetes. The symptoms and health conditions related to or caused by diabetes should be severe enough in order for a person to be eligible to receive supplemental social security benefits in the form of SSI. The same is true for when a person applies for Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, due to having a disability.
The SSA can administer either SSI or SSDI to persons who are disabled and to disabled and dependent minors. A person applying for social security benefits must establish that he or she has a physical or mental impairment with medical evidence and meet all of the criteria. In some cases, solely proving that you have diabetes may not be enough to qualify for disability benefits in the form of financial assistance.
How to apply for social security disability for diabetes?
The application process is the main step in which most claimants need legal assistance. If you are planning to apply for your SSDI, here is what you need to know. The application can be filed via state agencies or the Disability Determination Services (DDS) Office.
The application can be done by email, online, through your phone, or even in person at your local DDS office. You can choose any medium that serves you the best. The SSD shall be gathering details from your health professionals. They will seek the information once your ailment is considered as a disability. If you do not qualify, your case shall be kept on the file in the event that you decide to appeal.
The process can take longer than the usual time. It depends on the nature of your case or the severity of your condition. To make a decision, the government can take up to three to five months based on how long it will take for the other supporting data and medical records to be evaluated.
Do not be surprised if your application is denied for the first time. In about 80% of cases, the claims made for the first time are denied. If you have appealed, it can take about three to five months to reach a sound decision after all of the evaluation and analysis. In cases where the appeal is rejected, you may appeal once again before the administrative judge. Now, it is wise to be aware of the fact that this procedure can even take up to two years.
How will a disability attorney assist in getting diabetes disability benefits?
Due to the intricacies and length of the process, you may want to consider hiring a legal professional to apply for disability benefits. You may go through the application, interview, and appeal without the help of a lawyer. Appealing after your application has been denied can be much more challenging since it is more challenging to reopen a denied disability claim. A legal professional who has specialized knowledge in the process can turn out to be quite helpful in these scenarios.
If your appeal has been accepted and you are receiving a monthly check, then you can rest assured that your case will be reviewed. If you are seeing a doctor for the same health problems and are not working, your benefits may continue, but there is no guarantee that they will be renewed.
To seek SSI for diabetes, it is better to have an experienced lawyer by your side who can help you through the application to gather the right medical records and evidence needed, polish your application, and prepare for your interview, appeal or other hearing.
Our attorneys at Khattar Law, PC can stand with you and fight for your rights throughout the legal process. Book a consultation and discuss your concerns with us!