The American Diabetes Association reported in 2009 that almost 8% of the United States population has some form of diabetes - 23.6M people. Both Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes can be extremely debilitating - and both are listed in the medical impairment listing manual for disability claims written by the Social Security Administration. This means that it is possible to receive Social Security Disability Insurance benefits if you have been diagnosed with diabetes.
Unfortunately, diabetes can cause severe, long-term health problems that affect every aspect of your life and your career. Diabetes can harm your liver, your nervous system, your vascular system, and damage your eyesight.
To qualify for diabetes-related Social Security Disability benefits, the Social Security Administration requires two of the following:
- That you have been diagnosed with diabetes.
- That you have "significant and persistent disorganization of motor function in two extremities," also known as neuropathy, a nervous center disorder that affects your movement and your senses. Those with neuropathy display muscle weakness, spasms, tingling, pain, numbness, nerve damage, abnormal blood pressure, abnormal heart rate, perspiration problems, bladder issues, and sexual dysfunction. To qualify, the diabetes sufferer must document that his or her neuropathy significantly affects their ability to move or hold down their current job.
- That you have acidosis, or low blood pH. This life-threatening condition is caused by a lack of insulin, and can take place in diabetes patients even if they properly monitor their disease. To qualify, diabetes sufferers must have an acidosis problem at least once every two months.