Does Diabetes Qualify For Disability

Does Diabetes Qualify For Disability

As of 2011 Social Security removed diabetes and all other endocrine disorders from its list of impairments that naturally qualify for disability benefits. Due to this amendment it is no longer probable to receive disability benefits based on a specific diabetes listing but you may qualify based on the severity of your other symptoms. Other diabetes-related complications such as cardiac disease and kidney failure may also meet or be on par with a ‘Blue Book’ listing.


An individual suffering from diabetes may be eligible for Social Security benefits built on the presence of severe and uncontrolled complications such as peripheral neuropathy. Properly controlled diabetes will not on its own be able to form the basis of a successful claim but most disability applicants suffering from other medical conditions that will hinder their ability to work.   It is of vital importance to list all diagnoses and symptoms, even if they are unrelated to your diabetes, when you file for disability.

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If your diabetes has been uncontrolled and thus prevented you from working for a period of at least a year or if you expect to be absent from work for at least 12 months you may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income benefits. If your diabetes remain uncontrolled due to you not following doctor’s orders your will not be eligible for any disability benefits.

Qualifying for a Medical-Vocational Subsidy based on diabetes

Obtaining a medical-vocational subsidy is the most customary way to gain approval for disability benefits. If your diabetes symptoms prevent you from continuing with your previously-assigned work or any other jobs within the economy you may be eligible for benefits under a medical-vocational allowance. This allowance considers your age, vocational history residual functional capacity (RFC) and level of education in determining whether you will be able to work full-time in the future.  The RFC assessment indicates your capabilities despite your limitations. Social Security requires medical proof to form the basis of your RFC so you need to ensure that all pertinent medical records are submitted to indicate the extent of your impairments.

Qualifying for a disability listing for diabetic complications

The Social Security Administration’s listing of impairments (known as the ‘Blue Book’) indicates what the severity of an illness must be in order to qualify for disability benefits. As mentioned diabetes alone will no longer qualify you for disability benefits but your complications may.

Here are examples of listed diabetes complications that patients often suffer from:

Diabetic nephropathy  – If your kidneys are malfunctioning to the extent where you need regular dialysis of any nature or if it is proven that your bloodplasma contains too much creatine or protein you may qualify for benefits under this listing.

Diabetic retinopathy – If you suffer from poor visual acuity (not higher than 20/200) in your stronger eye or have poor peripheral vision after corrective surgery you may qualify for benefits under this listing.

Heart problems –  Diabetes can lead to a number of serious cardiac illnesses including chronic cardiac failure, heart palpitations and peripheral vascular disease which may all see you qualify for benefits.

Skin conditions – Ulcerating cuts and skin lesions that last for a minimum of 90 days and affect the use of your extremities (walking or using your hands to perform basic tasks) could be sufficient in affording you disability benefits.

Diabetic neuropathy – Nerve damage that occurs in the hands, arms, feet and legs is fairly common among diabetes sufferers. In order to qualify for disability under this listing you have to be able to prove that the neuropathy is affecting your ability to walk and perform basic tasks with your hands.

Amputation – If you have lost a limb such as a foot or a leg due to diabetes you might qualify for benefits if you suffer from other constraints as well. It has to be proven though that the amputation has hindered your ability to work.

Social Security’s disability listings necessitate the above complications to be of a certain severity in order to qualify for benefits which often mean that people who apply for disability due to diabetes do not meet the minimum requirements.

If you suffer from diabetes as well as another deficiency such as depression Social Security has to consider the combined effect of all your conditions when considering your disability application.

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