Proving Your Diabetes Case To The Ssa Can Be A Challenge
Before applying for SSDI benefits for diabetes, or appealing a claim denial, it is essential to understand and follow SSAs rules. You have to prove why you need SSDI, in a way that SSA does not find deficient.
Your claim needs to provide objective medical evidence about your condition, as well as your RFC assessment. You must include complete information about yourself and your work history, including relevant work during the past 15 years, and job skills that can transfer to another type of occupation.
For someone dealing with diabetes complications, this can be overwhelming. We understand this is no time for you to get lost in the complex application or appeals process with Social Security. We take care of the entire SSDI paperwork and process, whether you are first filing for benefits or you need to appeal a denial of your claim.
How Do I Apply
You can do it through the local Social Security Administration office or state agencies .
You can apply in person, over the phone, by mail, or online. DDS will get information from your doctors to decide if your diabetes qualifies as a disability.
If you donât qualify, your case is kept on file in case you decide to appeal.
The process isnât quick. It can take 3 to 5 months to get a decision, depending on how long it takes for DDS to get your medical records and other information they need.
Itâs not unusual to be turned down the first time you apply. Up to 80% of first-time applications are rejected. If you appeal, it can take another 3 to 5 months to get a decision. If that appeal gets denied, you can appeal once more before an administrative law judge. That process can take as long as 2 years.
Social Security Disability For Diabetes
- Social Security Disability for Diabetes
Is diabetes a disability? Does having diabetes qualify you for disability benefits? Yes, diabetes can be considered a disability, but it does not automatically qualify you for disability benefits. Under the Social Security Administration manual, youll find a section discussing diabetes.
If you meet the disability qualification criteria spelled out in the manual, you could be eligible for social security benefits.
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How To Win Disability Benefits For Diabetes Mellitus Type 1 Or Type 2
May 17, 2021 By Jeremy Schooley
If you find you can no longer work because of diabetes complications, you may be entitled to long term disability benefits for either type 1 or type 2 diabetes mellitus.
What you may not realize is what it takes to prove your diabetes has caused you to be disabled. Being diagnosed with diabetes is a start, but that alone is never enough.
As disability lawyers, we represent people across the U.S. in their claims and appeals for Social Security disability, veterans compensation, or long term disability insurance benefits for diabetes. Today we explain how diabetes affects so many different body systems and why this is one key to winning your disability benefits with diabetes mellitus.
What Are Common Diabetes Complications
In addition to the symptoms discussed in the above section, diabetes can have chronic long-term impacts on your body.
Common diabetes health complications include:
- Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease, stroke, and blood vessel disease: Type 2 diabetics often have high blood cholesterol and fat levels. These conditions can accelerate the development of or worsen cardiovascular diseases such as coronary artery disease or peripheral arterial disease .
- Diabetic neuropathy is permanent nerve damage. It comes in two forms: peripheral and autonomic. Peripheral neuropathy is nerve damage affecting the feet, legs, or hands. If you suffer from peripheral neuropathy, you may have trouble holding objects, using zippers or buttons, or walking without a cane. Autonomic neuropathy affects the heart, blood vessels, urinary tract, and digestive system.
- Problems with the feet: If you have diabetes, your feet are particularly vulnerable to problems. Diabetic neuropathy affects your peripheral nerves, resulting in a loss of sensation. This loss may cause you to stumble or fall when walking or sustain a crush or burn injury without knowing. In addition, diabetes may reduce blood flow to the feet, resulting in foot ulcers, infections , and sometimes amputation.
- Chronic kidney disease : Chronic hyperglycemia damages your kidneys. And damaged kidneys may have difficulty removing waste from the bloodstream or leak protein into the urine.
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Applying For Jobs If You Have Diabetes
When you apply for a job, you do not have to disclose that you have diabetes. In fact, the Americans with Disabilities Act says employers canât ask any questions during a job interview that could reveal the existence of a disability.
A few examples of questions that a potential employer canât ask you:
- Do you have a disability that would interfere with your ability to perform the job?
- How many days were you sick last year?
- Have you ever filed for workers’ compensation?
- What prescription drugs do you currently take?
Medical questions and medical exams may be allowed after you receive a job offer and before your work begins. But your employer needs to ask these questions of other applicants, not just you, for them to be legal. But your boss canât take back your offer because you reveal you have diabetes.
Your employer can withdraw the offer, however, if you canât perform the essential functions of the job, even with reasonable accommodations.
How Does Diabetes Count As A Disability Under Us Law
The United States government takes into consideration the health problems a person with type 2 diabetes may experience that could affect their day-to-day functioning at work.
A person with this condition may need to apply for benefits if they experience one or more of the following:
- Diabetic retinopathy: This refers to a significant loss of peripheral vision or visual acuity in the better of two eyes due to blood vessel damage. For this condition to merit disability benefits, the person must have a level of visual impairment close to blindness.
- Neuropathy: In this condition of the nervous system, a person experiences pain, numbness, or weakness in one or more parts of the body. For this condition to merit disability benefits, it must affect two extremities severely enough to cause sustained disturbance when the person is walking or standing.
- Acidosis: This is a condition in which bodily fluids become abnormally acidic. For this condition to merit disability benefits, the person must experience acidosis at least twice a month, as blood tests have evidenced.
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Professional Assistance With Getting Social Security Benefits For Diabetes
Navigating the application process to get Social Security benefits for diabetes can be tricky, so you might want to consider professional assistance from a specialized attorney or advocate. He or she will have the background knowledge needed to help you accurately complete your claim to offer you the best chance of an approval the first time around.
now for your free SSD evaluation.
Follow Your Doctor’s Orders
Left untreated, some of the ailments listed above can lead to death. If you do not follow your doctor’s treatment plan, benefits may be denied. For example, if your doctor told you to come in for regular follow-up appointments, lose weight, test your insulin level regularly, take medication or insulin shots, get physical therapy, etc., and you are not following through, the disability examiner may conclude that your symptoms are not severe enough to keep you from working.
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You May Qualify For Legal Assistance
Navigating the application process to get Social Security benefits for diabetes can be tricky. Thats why we recommend getting professional help from a Social Security attorney. Its free to apply on your own or with a lawyers help, but only the second option improves your chances for approval the first time. Legal assistance makes you 3x more likely to get benefits vs. applying on your own. Youll pay nothing unless a lawyer helps you win benefits, since they always work on contingency. And if you do end up getting Social Security benefits for diabetes, youll only pay a small, one-time fee.
Ready to see if you may qualify? Click the button below to start your free, no-obligation benefits evaluation online now!
Get Help From A Board Certified Attorney
You should get legal advice from an attorney if your claim is denied. However, you should not settle for a general practice lawyer that only accepts a handful of SSDI claims a year. The board certification program for Social Security Disability Advocacy by the National Board of Trial Advocacy will help you find a lawyer that is experienced with SSDI law. The NBTA is not a referral service, but you can trust that an attorney who has completed the board certification process has the ability and experience to handle your claim with the SSA.
To earn certification as a board-certified lawyer in social security disability law by the NBTA, an attorney must provide substantial involvement in cases related to this specialty area of the law by spending at least 30 percent of his or her time in the specialty area during each of the last three years, being involved in at least 100 SSDI hearings, filing at least 20 appeals council briefs and 10 federal court briefs, and fulfilled certain educational and CLE requirements related to the SSAs disability law.
Contact Ortiz Law Firm today to schedule your free consultation. During your consultation, we will get additional information about your diabetes and any related medical conditions, walk you through the SSDI and SSI benefits claim process, and discuss the many benefits of forming an attorney-client relationship with the firm. You can contact us using our website or call .
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Symptoms And Complications Of Adult Diabetes
Symptoms of both diabetes type 1 and diabetes type 2 include frequent urination, unusual thirst and hunger, and fatigue. People with type 2 diabetes also can suffer from tingling or numbness in the hands and feet, frequent infections, and cuts that are slow to heal.
Hypoglycemia, an abnormally low level of blood glucose, can lead to complications including seizures, loss of consciousness, or cognitive problems.
Hyperglycemia, when your blood sugar stays too high, can cause diabetic ketoacidosis . DKA is a potentially life-threatening condition caused by a severe insulin deficiency. It usually requires hospitalization, but the treatment for it may cause other complications, such as cardiac arrhythmias, intestinal necrosis, cerebral edema, or seizures.
Chronic hyperglycemia can also lead to:
Can You Qualify For Disability Benefits With Diabetes
If you have uncontrolled diabetes and your doctor doesn’t think you’ll be able to work for at least 12 months, you may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income benefits. But to qualify for disability benefits, the damage caused by your diabetes must severely limit what you can do, or you must have complications that fulfill the requirements of one of Social Security’s disability listings.
If your diabetes is uncontrolled because you don’t follow your doctor’s prescribed treatment, you won’t be eligible for disability. For more information, see our article on failing to comply with treatment orders.
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Uncontrolled Diabetes Can Lead To:
Hyperglycemia complications include diabetic ketoacidosis and chronic hyperglycemia. Long term impairments can affect various body systems including musculoskeletal, special senses and speech, genitourinary, cardiovascular, digestive, neurological, and mental disorders. Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can cause hyperglycemia.
Hypoglycemia complications include seizures and loss of consciousness.
A Social Security Disability Team That Knows How To Help Clients With Diabetes
If you have diabetes and questions about Social Security Disability benefits, give us a call at . We have paralegals on our Social Security Disability team who have at least six years of experience as Disability Determination Services examiners for the Social Security Administration. We know how the SSA works, what it looks for to accept a claim, and what medical records to present for diabetes-related claims.
We have helped many diabetic clients with their Disability claims, and we want to help you, too.
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How To Talk And Work With Your Employer
It is important to discuss any personal needs with an employer so that they can make an effort to provide reasonable accommodations for any disability.
Although a written request for accommodations is not a requirement, it is advisable, as it may help communicate the persons needs clearly and serve as a valuable written record.
Before submitting a request, an individual should check the employee handbook to see whether the employer already has a system in place for making such requests.
A person discussing disability accommodations with their employer may benefit from:
- providing documentation from a doctor with their request, as the employer has the right to request sufficient documentation of a health condition
- being clear about needs and how reasonable accommodation will better enable job performance
- being willing to work with the employer to find a solution that is beneficial
- offering a trial period for the new accommodation so that both parties can see how it will meet the need and then make adjustments as necessary
Qualifying For Social Security/disability With Diabetes
If you have diabetes that cant be managed through medication or lifestyle changes, you may be eligible for assistance. Type 1 diabetes doesnt always qualify for disability benefits, but some people are able to receive monthly disability benefits from the Social Security Administration . Your benefits can be used on hospital bills and medical treatments, rent, utility bills, food expenses, and any other daily living needs.
Medically Qualifying for Diabetes
Children under age 6 will automatically medically qualify with type 1 diabetes if they require insulin every day. If you or your child has type 1 diabetes but is over age 6, qualification will be a little more complex.
After age 6, the SSA needs more evidence that your diabetes prevents you from working and earning a gainful living. The best way to do this is by showing that your diabetes complications meet a listing in the Blue Book, which is the SSAs guideline of qualifying criteria for disabilities. For example, some disabilities that qualify for benefits include, but are not limited to:
The entire Blue Book can be found online, so you can review the various listings with your doctor to determine if youre eligible for benefits.
Following a Doctors Orders
Because many people are able to successfully manage their diabetes, itll be important to show that despite your best efforts your diabetes still keeps you from earning a gainful living.
Starting Your Application
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Importance Of Keeping A Record
Your claim will be scrutinized. However, detailed records of the progression of your condition and its symptoms can go a long way towards supporting your claim. Therefore, from the moment you are diagnosed with diabetes, it is imperative that you keep track of the following:
- Dates and results of doctor appointments.
- Dates and copies of medical tests.
- Dates and reasons for missed days of work that are health-related.
- Urination timetables.
- Dates and descriptions of events that you have missed because of your diabetes.
Although this type of detailed record keeping may seem excessive, your disability lawyer can use it to prove the severity of your condition.
Effects Of Diabetes On Your Ability To Perform Sedentary Work
Sedentary work does not require much physical labor. Sedentary jobs tend to be sit down jobs which require lifting less than 10 pounds infrequently. These jobs often involve assembling small components or people-oriented skills such as management, sales, or counseling.
Sedentary work often requires more specialized training or education. Most unskilled sedentary work involves being able to see and manipulate small components. Because diabetes can have an effect on your eyesight and your fine motor skills, many diabetes sufferers are unable to perform unskilled sedentary labor.
Your ability to perform other types of sedentary labor will be determined by considering your age, your education level, and your prior work experience. Those who are older or less educated have an easier time establishing eligibility for Social Security Disability benefits because the SSA figures it is more difficult and less cost effective for employers to teach older employees new skills and jobs requiring specialized education are simply unavailable to those without adequate schooling.
If you are looking to apply for disability benefits, you should consider contacting a Social Security Disability attorney. A qualified attorney will help you prove your inability to perform any substantial gainful activity due to your diabetic condition.
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Qualifying For Social Security Disability Benefits With Diabetes
If you have diabetes that cannot be controlled with insulin and you have been unable to work for at least 12 months, or you expect that you will not be able to work for at least 12 months, then you may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits or SSDI or Supplemental Security Income benefits. To qualify for disability benefits, you must be able to demonstrate that the damage caused by your diabetes severely limits what you can do and prevents you from performing even sedentary work. To qualify, the damage caused by your diabetes must severely limit what you can do, or you must have complications that fulfill the requirements of one of Social Securitys disability listings.
One of the biggest reasons disability claims are denied is because the patient is non-compliant with the doctors orders. If you dont follow your doctors prescribed treatment, you wont be eligible. If your blood sugar levels are uncontrolled because you failed to follow your doctors prescribed treatment, your claim for disability will likely be denied. For more information, see our article on failing to comply with treatment orders.