Can I Work with Diabetes?

Both Type I and Type II Diabetes, as well as the other forms of diabetes, can be debilitating if not controlled. Many can and do qualify for Social Security Disability benefits because of diabetes. However, simply having diabetes does not automatically qualify you for Social Security Disability benefits. Your eligibility for Social Security Disability depends on which symptoms you have and their severity. You may also qualify for Social Security Disability benefits due to diabetes-related conditions, such as having amputated limbs or blindness.

Diabetes is a digestive disease which affects your insulin levels. Because of the imbalance in insulin, your levels of blood sugar become elevated. This causes an increase in hunger and thirst and frequent urination. A common side effect of the constant hunger associated with high blood sugar levels and diabetes is weight gain and obesity. Additional symptoms include abdominal pain, altered consciousness, vomiting, nausea, and dehydration (usually due to craving sweet or caffeinated drinks to quench thirst). Nearly 3% of the world’s population suffers from some form of diabetes, making it one of the most prevalent diseases in the world.

Effects of Diabetes on Your Ability to Perform Physical Work

Depending on the severity of your symptoms, and which symptoms you suffer from (some people with Type II Diabetes have no noticeable symptoms at all), your ability to perform physical work may or may not be affected. In order to be eligible for Social security Disability benefits, you must be unable to perform any kind of work which you have ever done in the past, and the SSA must determine that you could not reasonably be trained to do any other kind of work.

In order to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits from diabetes, you will need to have your symptoms thoroughly documented by your doctor. You will also need to show what efforts have been made to address your symptoms. If your doctor has prescribed treatment, you will need to follow the prescription and demonstrate that your symptoms have not improved enough, despite treatment, to allow you to perform any physical work for which you are qualified or could be trained.

If you have suffered an amputation or blindness due to diabetes, it goes without saying that your ability to perform many kinds of physical work has been severely compromised. These types of cases tend to be fairly cut and dried regarding eligibility for Social security Disability benefits.

Effects of Diabetes on Your Ability to Perform Sedentary Work

Sedentary work does not require much physical labor. Sedentary jobs tend to be sit down jobs which require lifting less than 10 pounds infrequently. These jobs often involve assembling small components or people-oriented skills such as management, sales, or counseling.

Sedentary work often requires more specialized training or education. Most unskilled sedentary work involves being able to see and manipulate small components. Because diabetes can have an effect on your eyesight and your fine motor skills, many diabetes sufferers are unable to perform unskilled sedentary labor.

Your ability to perform other types of sedentary labor will be determined by considering your age, your education level, and your prior work experience. Those who are older or less educated have an easier time establishing eligibility for Social Security Disability benefits because the SSA figures it is more difficult and less cost effective for employers to teach older employees new skills and jobs requiring specialized education are simply unavailable to those without adequate schooling.

If you are looking to apply for disability benefits, you should consider contacting a Social Security Disability attorney. A qualified attorney will help you prove your inability to perform any substantial gainful activity due to your diabetic condition.