Qualifying for SSD with Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus, commonly referred to as diabetes, may be inherited and is caused by an improper production and/or use of insulin in the body. Insulin is needed to turn sugar and other food into energy. If your body fails to produce and use insulin in the right way, it causes sugar to build up in the blood.

Thousands of conditions and illnesses can leave a person unable to work and eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, but diabetes is one of the most common. If you are unable to work due to your body’s inability to produce and use insulin, you may qualify for SSD based on diabetes.

Types of Diabetes

Three common types of diabetes include:

  • Type 1 – This condition is the result of the body’s inability to create insulin.
  • Type 2 – This type of diabetes is often developed over time and occurs when the body cannot make or use insulin well.
  • Gestational – Pregnant women can sometimes develop diabetes as the fetus matures.

Type 1 diabetes is more likely to develop in children and young adults. Daily insulin injections are imperative to the survival of people suffering from Type 1 diabetes, as the pancreas produces little to no insulin on its own. Type 2 typically develops in middle-aged adults, but can appear in adolescents and young adults as well.

Social Security Disability Requirements for Diabetes

As diabetes affects the endocrine system, it is classified with other conditions that are caused by over- or under-production of hormones and result in structural or functional changes in the body.

Diabetes is evaluated by the SSA using three categories of conditions:


  • What it is: nerve disorders caused by diabetes
  • How it is evaluated: by significant and persistent disorganization of motor function in two extremities resulting in long-term movement problems


  • What it is: acid build-up in the blood caused by low insulin
  • How it is evaluated: by occurring at least on the average of once every two months documented by appropriate blood chemical tests

Retinitis Proliferans

  • What it is: damage to the blood vessels at the back of the eye (retina)
  • How it is evaluated: by visual impairment examining the criteria for loss of visual acuity or efficiency.

Diabetes Awareness

Several campaigns were launched at the beginning of November to help raise awareness about the devastating effects diabetes disabilities can have on individuals. First, November was named National Diabetes Month, and Nov. 14, has been declared World Diabetes Day.

As part of the campaigns, the National Institute of Health is calling on all Americans to educate themselves on diabetes care and prevention.

We Can Help You Get SSD Benefits

Diabetes can range in severity, as some people can control it with lifestyle changes while others suffer from severe health complications. If your diabetes interferes with your ability to work and earn a living, you may be eligible to receive benefits from the SSA. However, the approval process is complex, and it can be difficult to get approved without an experienced Social Security Disability lawyer on your side.

If you’re suffering from diabetes, our team of Social Security Disability lawyers encourage you to get informed about your legal rights to compensation. We can help you better understand these rights by answering any questions you may have about your ability to qualify for Social Security Disability with diabetes. Call us today to discuss your case.


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