Diabetes and Social Security Disability Insurance – You Might Qualify

With the sharp upsurge in the incidence of diabetes, there are many people who suffer from the disease who are wondering if they might qualify for Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) benefits. As with any physical impairment that would qualify a person for SSDI, the criteria focus on how a person is limited in terms of his or her ability to function, or in other words, to work.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has made an allowance for diabetes sufferers to qualify for SSDI benefits if the applicant can establish that he or she has one of the following conditions related to a diagnosis of diabetes:

  • Evidence of Neuropathy that must be demonstrated by "significant and persistent disorganization of motor function in two extremities" and must result in a "sustained disturbance of gross and dexterous movements, or gait and station"; or
  • Acidosis (a blood condition that can cause death or coma) that occurs, on average, no less than once every two months. This condition must be documented by a medical professional; or
  • Diabetic retinopathy that causes a debilitating loss of sight in one of two eyes. The vision loss must occur in the better of the two eyes.

Even if a diabetes sufferer doesn't qualify under this listing by the SSA, a person can still apply based on the inability to work. Generally, to qualify with the SSA for SSDI benefits, people must be able to document that they have not been able to work not only in their current job, but cannot work in any other job at approximately the same skill level. Receiving SSDI benefits is also based on past work history, and depends in part on what an applicant has already put in to the system.

Persistence and promptness are always helpful when applying for benefits. Nonetheless, the application process is often time consuming and can be complex, so it may be in your best interests to obtain professional assistance to help guide you through this process. If you feel you may be eligible for SSDI benefits, consult with an attorney knowledgeable in social security disability insurance to learn about what kinds of benefits are available to you.