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Diabetes and Social Security Disability

Diabetes is a chronic condition that causes high levels of sugar in the blood. More than 20 million Americans live with Diabetes and more than 40 million Americans have a pre-diabetic condition. While not all individuals who suffer from Diabetes are unable to work because of the condition, those who suffer severe cases of the disease are often unable to maintain employment because of it. This can cause a serious financial hardship for the disabled individual and their family. Fortunately, Social Security Disability benefits can often ease some of the financial burden caused by Diabetes. If you or someone you know is suffering from a severe diabetic condition and is unable to work because of it, the following information can help you understand how Diabetes may qualify a person to receive Social Security Disability benefits.

Diabetes - Condition and Symptoms

There are four different types of diabetic conditions that an individual may suffer from including type 1 Diabetes, type 2 Diabetes, metabolic syndrome and gestational Diabetes. People who suffer from Diabetes have too much blood sugar. This can be caused by having too little insulin, a resistance to insulin or a combination of both.

When the body digests food, the food is broken down and used for energy. During this process glucose is produced, which is a sugar that enters the bloodstream. The body uses this sugar as fuel. A person's pancreas then creates insulin to move the glucose from the bloodstream into the liver cells, muscles and fat. When a person's pancreas does not make enough insulin or their muscle, fat and liver cells do not respond to insulin properly, it creates a high level of glucose in the bloodstream.

In patients with type 1 Diabetes, the body is not able to make enough insulin or, in severe cases, does not make any insulin at all. These patients require daily injections of insulin to manage the levels of sugar in the bloodstream. This type of Diabetes is usually diagnosed in childhood and while the exact cause of type 1 Diabetes is unknown, genetics, autoimmune conditions and viruses are thought to play a role.

Type 2 Diabetes is the most common form of Diabetes and is usually diagnosed in adulthood. Patients suffering from this type of Diabetes do not create enough insulin to keep their blood sugar levels at a normal level. This is normally due to the fact that the body does not respond well to the insulin that is created. Type 2 Diabetes is becoming increasingly common due to widespread obesity, which is a contributing factor to this medical condition. If left untreated, type 2 Diabetes can cause serious complications.

Gestational Diabetes is caused by high blood sugar that develops during pregnancy. The condition tends to resolve once the pregnancy is over, although women who suffer from gestational Diabetes are at an increased risk of developing type 2 Diabetes and cardiovascular disease later on in life.

There is not a single, specific cause of Diabetes, although many factors are thought to contribute to the development of the condition. Genetics, Gestational Diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, a lack of exercise, PCOS, glucose intolerance and heart disease are all risk factors.

All patients will experience different signs and symptoms when a diabetic condition develops. Some patients may not experience any symptoms until the condition has progressed. Some common symptoms of Diabetes include blurred vision, excessive thirst, the need to urinate frequently, fatigue, increased hunger, nausea, vomiting and unexplained weight loss.

If your doctor suspects that you have developed Diabetes, he or she will order a urine analysis and laboratory tests including a fasting blood glucose level test, an oral glucose tolerance test and a random blood glucose level test.

There is currently no cure for Diabetes. The condition must be controlled through diet, exercise and insulin injections. The exact course of treatment will depend on how severe the diabetic condition is.

Filing for Social Security Disability with Diabetes

Diabetes is included in the Social Security Administration (SSA)'s listing of impairments under Section 9.08, however, not all individuals who are diagnosed with Diabetes will qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. In order to qualify for Social Security Disability due to Diabetes, your condition must meet the published guidelines set forth by the SSA.

According to the SSA, an individual can qualify for Social Security Disability benefits due to Diabetes if their condition results in neuropathy that causes a significant and persistent disorganization of the motor function of two extremities, sustained disturbance of physical movements, acidosis that happens at least once every two months, or diabetic retinopathy that results in visual impairments equal to the criteria set forth in Section 2.0 of the Social Security Disability guidelines.

Diabetes and Your Social Security Disability Case

If your initial application for Social Security Disability benefits is denied, do not give up hope. Approximately 70 percent of applications are denied at the initial stage of the disability application process. Even if your initial application for disability benefits is denied, you may still be able to obtain Social Security Disability benefits if you go on to appeal the decision.

If your looking to file for disability benefits or have been denied benefits due to diabetic condition, you should contact a Social Security Disability attorney to represent you in your disability claim. Your chances of receiving disability benefits are significantly increased with proper legal representation.