Diabetes is one of those medical maladies that is not simply confined to a certain body party or symptom. It tends to disrupt several body systems and you might find yourself affected from your eyes to your toes and everything in between by this widespread disease. If you are unable to work at your job because of diabetes, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Read on to learn more.
A cluster of medical conditions: Since diabetes can be thought of as an umbrella of various medical disorders, you won't find it among the listed medical conditions that are covered by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Instead, the SSA lists several connected conditions in its "bible" of covered conditions: the "blue book".
When diabetes is not controlled: This disorder, if caught early, can be controlled. The level of sugar in the blood is the culprit here, and diet and exercise is known to be a large factor in both the cause and treatment of this disorder. Unfortunately, uncontrolled diabetes can wreak havoc on your body, and in some cases it can severely hamper your ability to work at your job. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes and are suffering from some of the following closely connected medical conditions, you may qualify for benefits.
Just a few diabetes-related medical conditions covered by the SSA "blue book":
- Kidney failure
- Heart disease
- Amputation of limbs due to nerve damage to the extremities (hands, arms, fingers, toes, feet, legs).
- Vision problems caused by diabetic retinopathy.
- Damage to nerves, referred to as neuropathy, which can cause your extremities to tingle, feel numb and burn.
Getting coverage means proving your condition: While you may be too well aware of how diabetes is affecting your ability to earn a living, the SSA requires more proof than just your word. As soon as you can, seek medical treatment and continue to stay in treatment. Your medical records are the main form of proof the SSA needs to see to ensure that you are really suffering from a covered medical condition. You should get treatment and proof for each and every diabetes-related problem, and if you are able to see a specialist (retina specialist, endocrine specialist, etc) instead of a general practitioner, you could be lending more credence to your claim. To assist applicants, the SSA has created a form to provide to your doctor for documenting your medical condition for coverage.
Know that getting turned by the SSA for your initial claim is not the end of the world; talk to a Social Security attorney for help with your appeal and pushing your claim through to approval.