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Diabetes and Social Security Benefits

Diabetes and Social Security Benefits

If your diabetes has caused skin or nerve conditions or organ damage that limits your activity or your ability to walk, stand, or use your hands, you may be able to get disability benefits.

The American Diabetes Association says there are 20.8 million children and adults in the United States, or 7% of the population, who have diabetes. Approximately 14.6 million people have been diagnosed with diabetes; however, there are 6.2 million people (or nearly one-third) who are unaware that they have the disease.

DiabetesWhat You Need to Know

Diabetes mellitus, often referred to as diabetes, is a group of metabolic diseases in which an individual has high blood sugar, either because of too little insulin to convert sugars into energy or because of an insulin intolerance.

Insulin is a hormone that the body uses to convert sugar, starches, and other food into energy needed for daily life. The cause of diabetes remains a mystery.  Genetics plays a role in individuals developing Type 1, while environmental factors such as obesity and lack of exercise play a large role in people who develop Type 2 diabetes.


There are two major kinds of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 results from the body’s failure to produce insulin. People develop type 2 from a condition in which the body fails to properly use insulin, combined with relative insulin deficiency.

Symptoms of both Types include

  • frequent urination,
  • excessive thirst,
  • extreme hunger,
  • unusual weight loss,
  • increased fatigue,
  • irritability, and
  • blurry vision.

To learn more about the disease, visit the American Diabetes Association website at


If your diabetes is not under control, it can certainly affect your daily living activities and prevent you from working. Social Security will provide benefits for individuals that meet certain criteria. For example, if your condition causes any of the following, you could qualify for social security benefits:

  • nephropathy (kidney disease)
  • neuropathy (nerve damage) in feet or hands that disrupts your ability to stand, walk, or use your hands
  • retinopathy (eye and vision problems)
  • cellulitis and other skin infections
  • hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • heart disease
  • stroke
  • gastroparesis (a type of nerve damage that interferes with digestion)
  • peripheral arterial disease (reduced blood flow to your limbs), and
  • depression.


Qualifying for Disability Benefits with Diabetes

If you have uncontrolled diabetes and you have been prevented from working for at least 12 months, or you expect that you won’t be able to work for at least 12 months, then you may be eligible for Social Security disability (SSDI/SSD) benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. But to qualify for disability benefits, the damage caused by your diabetes must severely limit what you can do, or you must have complications that fulfill the requirements of one of Social Security’s disability listings.

If your diabetes is uncontrolled because you don’t follow your doctor’s prescribed treatment, you won’t be eligible for disability. For more information, see our article on failing to comply with treatment orders.

Apply Now

You need to apply for Social Security Disability benefits as soon as you and your doctors agree that your injury or illness will prevent you from working. Unfortunately, many people have to wait to see what happens with their medical condition and treatment. During that time, men and women usually run into financial trouble because of medical debt and inability to work.

Talk With Us About Your Injury

The best way to learn about SSD and SSI after an accident is to talk with one of our Social Security Disability Attorneys at the Strom Law Firm. 803.252.4800 Call us for free and find out if you are eligible to receive benefits.

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