People with Diabetes Mellitus (DM) may be surprised to hear that SSA had proposed taking the condition out of the list of disabling conditions. Although for years diabetes had been considered a condition severe enough to be disabling, the conditions are now more readily detectable and well managed – that it is simply not as disabling as it used to be. It is thought that even people with recurrent episodes of hypoglycemia or diabetic acidosis do not remain in these states long enough to be disabled. If you are considering filing a Social Security disability claim for diabetes, the key is showing diligent management of your health and still suffering from debilitating symptoms.
When DM causes end-organ damage, there are other parts of the regulations which will still apply. For example, if the diabetes is so advanced that there is impact on cardiovascular, visual or kidney systems; disability is considered under those standards. The same is true of neuropathies and amputations. Current recipients of benefits would continue to receive checks.
Although medical advances have been made, not all patients have access to good medical care. Despite dramatic recent improvement in medications, diabetes at severe levels can still control the lives of its victims.
In practical terms, if a patient’s functional capacities are impacted, a viable claim for disability may still exist. This might include impaired ability to see or walk normally, or having hands or arms so affected by numbness that work is impossible.
For example, can you write? Use a computer keyboard? Perform repetitive motions? Lift and carry over ten pounds on a regular basis? These are the factors that need to be made clear to SSA in a diabetes claim.
Another factor to consider in a diabetes disability claim is mental health. Depression and anxiety can often accompany diabetes. This disease is considered chronic, and patients must think constantly about diet. Depression can impact a claimant’s ability to comply with medical treatment and advice, leading to further complications of the disease.
If your diabetes is limiting activities of daily living, contact us for an evaluation of the disability law that applies. When you have a question about the disability law on any medical condition, there is never a charge for a legal consultation from our office.