Did you know that people who are unable to work due to diabetes-related health problems may qualify for Social Security disability benefits?
That’s one of the reasons why November is Diabetes Awareness Month: to educate the public on ways to prevent and control the disease, the importance of early diagnosis and treatment, resources for those who suffer from the disease, and ongoing research to find a cure.
Diabetes is a Potentially Disabling, Even Deadly Disease
Diabetes mellitus is a pancreatic gland disorder that causes high levels of the sugar glucose in the bloodstream. It happens when the body produces too little — or any — insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas that plays a vital role in the absorption of glucose from the bloodstream into body cells for conversion into cellular energy.
When the blood glucose doesn’t reach the cells, all kinds of serious health problems can result, including:
- Heart Disease
- Kidney Disease
- Nerve Damage
- Retinopathy and other Eye Problems
- Dental Disease
- Foot Problems
There are two major types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are chronic disorders that can have serious disabling complications.
- Type 1 diabetes — previously known as “juvenile diabetes” or “insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus” (IDDM) — is caused by a complete deficiency of insulin production that commonly begins in childhood and continues throughout adulthood. Treatment for this type of diabetes requires lifelong daily insulin.
- Type 2 diabetes — previously known as “adult-onset diabetes mellitus” or “non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus” (NIDDM) — occurs when the body’s cells resist the effects of insulin, impairing glucose absorption and metabolism. This type of diabetes commonly requires lifestyle changes, such as increased exercise and dietary modification, and may require treatment through insulin and other medications.
More than 30 million in the U.S. have the disease, making diabetes one of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States. The good news is there are effective medications to treat diabetes. In many instances, diabetes can be managed or even prevented through maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes a low sugar diet, not smoking and regular exercise.
Prediabetes and Preventing Diabetes
This focus during National Diabetes Month 2021 is on prediabetes and preventing the disease. Prediabetes is a serious condition in which blood sugar levels are elevated, but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes.
Approximately 88 million adults in the U.S. have prediabetes, according to the CDC. That’s more than 1 in 3 adults. The majority of people who have prediabetes are not aware that they have it.
Fortunately, it is possible to prevent this condition from advancing to type 2 diabetes and even reverse it by making small healthy lifestyle changes, such as:
- Make healthier food and drink choices
- Lose weight and keep it off
- Incorporate more movement into your daily life
Disabled Due to Diabetes?
In some instances, a person may be unable to manage their disease. They may be unaware they have the disease, have other disorders that can affect blood glucose levels, are unable to manage their condition due to a mental disorder, or are receiving inadequate treatment or suffer other diabetes-related complications.
If a person is unable to work because of diabetes-related health problems, they may qualify for Social Security disability benefits, provided they meet the criteria for being disabled as established by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Basically, this means providing evidence (in the form of extensive medical documentation supporting their disability) that the symptoms of their diabetes are so severe they are unable to work any job.
An experienced Social Security disability attorney can help prepare an application to ensure the necessary evidence is submitted to support a claim. They can also prepare an appeal if an initial claim was denied and represent their clients in Administrative Hearings.
Get the Diabetes Disability Benefits You Deserve
Leading disability attorney M. Stanley Whitehead is Board Certified in Social Security disability law. He’s helped thousands of disabled Americans with diabetes and other serious medical conditions obtain the disability benefits they deserve, even after their claims had been denied by the SSA, Veterans’ Administration or a private insurance company.
Don’t risk losing the disability benefits you need and deserve. Contact the law offices of M. Stanley Whitehead to schedule a free initial consultation meeting to discuss your situation.