Diabetes

Living with a disability can be devastating. Many disabled individuals struggle with the reality that they are no longer able to participate in all of the activities that they enjoyed in the past. Beyond the personal emotional struggle that can result when a person suffers from a disability, financial struggles are common for the disabled. Mounting medical bills and the costs of housing, food and other basic necessities often accumulate when a disabled individual is unable to work due to complications of the disabling condition. Fortunately, social security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits are available for those who are truly unable to work due to a disability.

SSDI benefits are funded through paycheck deductions, and the program is managed by the federal government. Unlike other assistance programs, SSDI benefits are only available to people who have worked in the past. SSDI benefits are earned, so there is no reason to hesitate when applying for much-needed assistance.

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What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a medical condition that occurs when a person’s body cannot adequately produce the insulin needed to process glucose. People who suffer from diabetes may be able to control the condition with diet and exercise. Even if a person needs to take medication for diabetes, it is generally a condition that can be controlled.

However, older individuals or those who have suffered from diabetes for a long time may not be able to control the symptoms and complications of diabetes. Uncontrolled diabetes can cause significant damage to the internal organs, circulation issues and nerve damage. People who have uncontrolled diabetes may face amputation of one or both feet due to severe ulcers that cause permanent tissue and bone damage.

There are two types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes develops when a person’s immune system begins to destroy cells that produce insulin. Most people who have Type 1 diabetes develop the condition during childhood, and there is no way to prevent this type of diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes occurs when a person’s body is not able to readily use insulin. This complication is called insulin resistance. As the condition worsens, the pancreas of a sufferer starts to produce less insulin. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented through healthy diet and exercise.

Both types of diabetes cause symptoms including an increase in the frequency of urination, chronic fatigue and increased hunger or thirst. Type 2 diabetes also causes symptoms including numbness in the extremities, an increased susceptibility to infection and slow healing times for cuts and bruises.

Getting Disability for Diabetes

If a person has uncontrolled diabetes that is expected to make it impossible for the individual to work for at least 12 months, the disabled individual may qualify for SSDI benefits. The challenge is proving to the Social Security Administration (SSA) that complications of diabetes make it impossible for the applicant to work in any position for which he or she is qualified.

Medical records are used to determine whether the complications of uncontrolled diabetes are severe enough to make working impossible. Medical records that detail that a person suffers from complications including diabetic retinopathy, diabetic nephropathy, diabetic peripheral neuropathies, chronic ulcerous lesions or amputation help to qualify a person for SSDI benefits.

Getting Help from an Attorney

Anyone who is applying for SSDI benefits should consult an attorney before beginning. The process of applying for benefits is complicated and lengthy, so it is important to have an expert available to answer questions and guide you through the process. SSDI lawyers are familiar with the SSA’s requirements and can help clients gather the necessary proof of disability. The first step is to schedule a consultation. I have ten years of experience in social security cases and appeals, and am ready to fight for your benefits. Contact me today to get started on your case.

Ruth F. Kolb, Esquire has been practicing social security disability law since 2003 handling all levels of representation from initial claims through all stages of appeal.