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Diabetes And Disability Benefits

Part of the qualifications for Social Security Disability depend on what type of disease or condition the applicant has. The Social Security Administration maintains a comprehensive list of these conditions. Diabetes is a debilitating disease that the SSA recognizes.

Diabetes Overview

According to Social Security, diabetes is a disease of the endocrine system. This disease causes an imbalance in hormones among the glands of the system. Either too much or too little excretion of hormones can cause various complications in the body when it comes to diabetes. The administration views diabetes as a disruption of hormones, including insulin, that controls metabolism and digestion. Diabetes mellitus is the most common pancreatic-gland disorder that controls absorption of glucose to body cells and disrupts its conversion to energy.

Types Of Diabetes

Although there are three types of diabetes, two types will generally qualify for benefits. Juvenile diabetes (DDM) is known as type 1. It usually occurs in children or young adults. These individuals lack the ability to make adequate insulin. This form of diabetes requires lifelong treatment of daily insulin. Type 1 diabetes normally begins in childhood and carries through to adulthood.

Affecting 95 percent of the diabetic population is adult-onset, or type 2, diabetes. This type of diabetes is also known as noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). This type of diabetes generally occurs because of unhealthy lifestyles and eating habits, thereby causing the individual’s body to use insulin inefficiently.


While these types of diabetes are usually controlled through various means, some cases do not respond favorably to treatment. Hypoglycemia is the result of uncontrolled diabetes in all cases. Inability to control diabetes comes from several causes, including a mental disorder or insufficient treatment. Treatment for diabetes can be a hardship for some individuals which can result in a disability. Rarely, if ever, do people qualify for assistance with gestational diabetes which occurs only while pregnancy.


The SSA also recognizes conditions that occur as a result of diabetes. Hyperglycemia, which is abnormally high levels of blood glucose, include other conditions such as diabetic ketoacidosis and chronic hyperglycemia. These conditions cause acute and long-term complications that can affect quality of life and may also end in death. Hypoglycemia, or abnormally low levels of blood glucose, may cause complications such as seizures, loss of consciousness, altered mental status or cognitive defects.

Disability Determination

The SSA uses the Code of Federal Regulations to determine the severity of these conditions and if you qualify for disability benefits due to diabetes. These regulations are extremely exacting. Remember that the agency determines your disability status based on your ability to work and how these diseases affect that ability.

Applying for disability benefits because of diabetes can require detailed documentation. Some cases have been known to go on for years after the initial application for benefits. Contact our attorneys for advice and assistance.