What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease that occurs due to higher blood glucose level in our body. Blood sugar is the main source of energy for us and it comes from the food we eat. Diabetes can often be controlled through a change in lifestyle or with medication. But in some cases, these treatments are not effective. When diabetes cannot be regulated, it gives rise to many other medical complications. The resulting issues brought on by a high glucose level can enable a person to become eligible for social security disability (SSD) benefits.
In 2018, approximately 34.2 million people in the US suffered from diabetes (10.5% of the population). Out of the 34.2 million people, 7.3 million were undiagnosed. Diabetes affects approximately 26.8% of people over the age of 65. About 95 percent of diabetes cases are type 2 diabetes.
Types of Diabetes-
The chronic condition DM (diabetes mellitus) has two forms. Type 1 (insulin-dependent diabetes) and Type 2 (adult-onset diabetes). They are divided into these categories based on the inability to regulate blood glucose levels. So, when our pancreas does not produce enough insulin, blood sugar level tends to rise. The insulin is responsible for sending signals to other body cells for absorbing excessive glucose.
- Type 1- The individual’s body no longer produces insulin. It is more common in young adults and children. Type 1 diabetic patients have to take insulin every day to survive.
- Type 2- The individual’s body still produces some insulin however, it does not work properly. This form generally has a gradual onset and is more common in middle-aged and older people. Type 2 diabetes can often be managed by diet, exercise, and oral medication.
Gestational diabetes- Unique to pregnant women. Most women who suffer from this form no longer require treatment after giving birth. Those who suffer from this type are more prone to develop Type 2 diabetes in the future.
Both medication and diet can have an impact on blood sugar levels. Many patients successfully manage their blood sugar levels by maintaining the recommended diet and by taking medications. However, this is not the case for people suffering from Type 2 Diabetes. This is because most of them are unable to metabolize insulin. This happens even if they have insulin available in their body.
This uncontrolled diabetes can become a more serious condition. It can cause many other issues including, but not limited to, the following:
- Vision problems- blurred vision and even blindness
- Reduced blood flow to limbs. This, in the later stage, requires amputation of one or more limbs.
- Cardiovascular problems/ heart disease
- Kidney problems
- Skin infection
There are many other complications that can arise due to uncontrolled diabetes
Is Diabetes A Disability?
Diabetes has the potential to render a person disabled. So, yes, it does qualify for disability benefits. Diabetes falls under the category of endocrine disorders. This condition is evaluated in terms of the impairment to the body system that is affected. You can get disability benefits if you are unable to earn a living due to a diabetes related disability.
The Social Security Administration follows a strict procedure to verify your medical condition. Your benefits approval will depend on the ways diabetes is affecting the function of your body.
You can get disability benefits for diabetes if;
- Your diabetes is not being kept under control despite trying all remedies.
- You are suffering from severe health issues that occurred due to uncontrolled diabetes.
For example, DKA (Diabetic Ketoacidosis) is a life-threatening condition that occurs due to hyperglycemia. So, when blood sugar level remains too high in our body, many body parts become prone to damage.
Your heart, brain, and intestines can become damaged due to DKA. If your hyperglycemia continues, it can further affect blood vessels or nerves. Due to this, you can suffer from issues with your intestines, heart, brain, eyes, and kidneys.
Diabetes and Disability are indirectly related. SSA can grant the benefits if your health care expert predicts that diabetes will continue to negatively impact your life for at least a year.
Can You Get Disability For Diabetes?
You will need to prove to the Social Security Administration (SSA) that you are not able to work due to uncontrolled diabetes. The disease must make it impossible for the sufferer to work for a minimum of 12 months. Damage done by uncontrolled diabetes must be severe enough to permanently limit a person’s ability to perform tasks.
When you are suffering from a disability, it reduces your quality of life. It becomes impossible for you to work. So, getting the SSI for diabetes can help you in meeting your financial needs. Unfortunately, many people find that the application process is long and difficult.
Denials are widespread when people file for benefits. Many applications are rejected due to simple errors in the application. This can be avoided by understanding the application process better.