Diabetes affects more than 171 million people around the world. It is especially common in the United States. Scientists estimate that one-third of Americans born after 2000 will develop diabetes at some point in their lives. This number is even higher among African-Americans specifically.
Diabetes (full name “diabetes mellitus”) is a disease in which the body has trouble producing insulin (Type 1 diabetes) or using the insulin it does produce (Type 2 diabetes). This causes dangerously high blood sugar levels. In the long term, diabetes can lead to heart and kidney disease, loss of vision, or stroke.
The Social Security Administration used to have three separate listings for diabetes: 9.08A (neuropathy), 9.08B (ketoacidosis), and 9.08C (retinitis proliferans). In June 2011, however, they removed all three listings. Although there is no longer a listing for diabetes, it is still possible to obtain disability benefits if you have diabetes.
The SSA will simply evaluate your claim under the listing for the affected body system. A New Mexico Social Security Disability Attorney can help you determine which listings may be applicable, but here are some of the more common routes to pursue benefits.
Diabetes and the Brain
People with Type 2 diabetes are at a greater risk for dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and depression. If your brain is affected by diabetes, the SSA will consider your claim under Listing 12.00. With Alzheimer’s disease and dementia specifically, you may be able to qualify for benefits under the SSA’s “compassionate allowances” program, which fast-tracks your claim for approval.
Diabetes and the Heart
Heart disease is even more common among diabetics than brain dysfunction. If you have diabetes, your chances of having a heart attack or stroke are twice what they would be otherwise. Heart problems resulting from diabetes are evaluated using Listing 4.00 or its various subcategories (dealing with coronary artery disease, chronic heart failure, etc.).
Getting Benefits Without Meeting a Listing
Even if you don’t meet one of these listings, it is still possible to receive Social Security disability benefits for diabetes if you can demonstrate that your symptoms keep you from working. Most people with diabetes are able to control their symptoms using exercise, diet, and insulin. However, those with more serious cases may not be able to perform regular job duties.
Winning disability benefits for diabetes without meeting a listing can be difficult because it relies on showing how your condition affects your activities of daily living. Your medical records alone will usually not be sufficient. A New Mexico Social Security Disability Attorney is especially valuable in such a case. For a free evaluation of your claim, please fill out the form on this page.