Jul 14

Does Diabetes Qualify For Social Security Disability?


Social Security Disability for diabetesDiabetes can be severe enough to make someone disabled. However, can a person struggling with diabetes qualify for social security disability benefits?

Diabetes is a listing under Social Security Administration 9.00 Endocrine Disorders – Adult. There it defines the two types of diabetes as follows:

Diabetes mellitus and other pancreatic gland disorders disrupt the production of several hormones, including insulin, that regulate metabolism and digestion. The most common pancreatic gland disorder is diabetes mellitus (DM). There are two major types of DM: type 1 and type 2. Both type 1 and type 2 DM are chronic disorders that can have serious disabling complications that meet the duration requirement. Type 1 DM–previously known as “juvenile diabetes” or “insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus” (IDDM)–is an absolute deficiency of insulin production that commonly begins in childhood and continues throughout adulthood. Treatment of type 1 DM always requires lifelong daily insulin. With type 2 DM–previously known as “adult-onset diabetes mellitus” or “non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus” (NIDDM)–the body’s cells resist the effects of insulin, impairing glucose absorption and metabolism. Treatment of type 2 DM generally requires lifestyle changes, such as increased exercise and dietary modification, and sometimes insulin in addition to other medications.

However, the diagnosis of diabetes alone will likely not qualify for social security disability benefits. In order to qualify for social security disability benefits because of diabetes, further examination into to residuals from diabetes must be examined which are typically found in other social security disability listings. Some of these residuals include:

Neuropathy – abnormality of the nervous system that must significantly affect two extremities to the extent that a person experiences a “sustained disturbance” of movement of those extremities, or in walking, or in simply standing.

Acidosis – the abnormal increase in the acidity of bodily fluid that occurs at least once in every two months and which is documented by blood tests.

Diabetic Retinopathy – damage to blood vessels inside the eye resulting in a significant loss of peripheral vision in the better of the two eyes, or a significant loss of visual acuity in the better of the two eyes. To meet this criterion, the severity of the damage must be such that the person is virtually blind.

Other conditions that social security discusses that could stem from a diabetes diagnosis include:

1) cardiac arrhythmias under 4.00
2) intestinal necrosis under 5.00
3) cerebral edema and seizures under 11.00
4) mood or eating disorders under 12.00
5) diabetic peripheral neurovascular disease that leads to gangrene and subsequent amputation of an extremity under 1.00
6) diabetic retinopathy under 2.00
7) coronary artery disease and peripheral vascular disease under 4.00
8) diabetic gastroparesis resulting in abnormal gastrointestinal motility under 5.00
9) diabetic nephropathy under 6.00
10) poorly healing bacterial and fungal skin infections under 8.00
11) diabetic peripheral and sensory neuropathies under 11.00
12) cognitive impairments, depression, and anxiety under 12.00.
13) severe hypoglycemia causing seizures or loss of consciousness under 11.00
14) altered mental status and cognitive deficits under 12.00.

In order to qualify for social security disability benefits because of diabetes, medical documentation is the key. It is important that you document and address all your symptoms with your doctors. With proper documentation, a person with diabetes could qualify for social security disability benefits.


Attorney Matthew E. NoyesAttorney Matthew Noyes and his staff help clients battle for social security disability benefits. He is a named partner at the Tampa Bay law firm of Perenich Caulfield Avril Noyes – one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Pinellas County. Call Attorney Matthew Noyes now at 727-796-8282 or complete the form on this page or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.

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