Diabetes and Social Security Disability Benefits

By Douglas I. Friedman of Friedman Law Firm, P.C.

Diabetes may be the basis for receiving Social Security Disability Benefits. It comes in different forms, such as Type I and Type II, and can affect body systems differently from person to person. Some common effects of diabetes are kidney problems and numbness in the hands and feet (called peripheral neuropathy.) How the disease affects a person will affect how their disability claim is evaluated.

For example, consider a man in his 50s who has suffered with “adult onset” diabetes for about ten years. This kind of diabetes is most prevalent, as opposed to Type I (also known as juvenile diabetes) that begins at young ages. He suffers from fatigue and is tired all the time. He has numbness in his feet and has trouble feeling the floor. Also, blood tests show that he has had diabetes for many years. As a result, he can not perform his past work as a factory worker.

Next we evaluate whether he could do any work based on his physical ability, his age, education, and work history. This man’s doctor has limited him to doing only sedentary work. “Sedentary” means “seated” usually, but has a special definition that is more complex for disability claims. This man has completed high school and has only done work requiring higher levels of physical exertion. Under these facts, it is possible to prove that the man can not work based on certain SSA disability regulations that deal with diabetes.

If you are suffering from diabetes, it is important to establish the necessary facts to prove your Social Security Disability claim. Knowing the affects of the disease is just as important as knowing the diagnosis itself. In addition, communication with your doctors and careful reading of your medical records so that the right questions may be asked is important. Each case is different, but in the end, we are trying to show the same thing in almost all cases, and that is, that the client cannot maintain a full-time job.