Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease that affects the way your body metabolizes glucose.
Type 2 diabetes can deeply affect many systems in your body. This can lead to serious complications which can affect your ability to work.
For example, common long-term complications include:
- nerve damage (also called diabetic neuropathy)
- heart and blood vessel disease
- kidney damage
- hearing impairment
- limitations or loss of vision
- slow wound healing
- Sleep Apnea
- increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease
Due to issues like these, you may need to be absent from work unexpectedly and for a long time. Or, the effects of type 2 diabetes could make it more difficult to find flexible employment.
Fortunately, Social Security Administration (SSA) disability insurance can replace part of your income, as long as you can show that you are unable to perform any type of work consistently due to your condition.
Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) is a federal disability insurance benefit for those who have worked and contributed to Social Security.
Keep in mind that SSDI is different from Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This program is for low-income people who did not make enough Social Security contributions during their working years to qualify for SSDI.
If this describes you, consider looking at SSI as a place to start.
In either case, the benefits are limited to those who are unable “to engage in substantial gainful activity,” according to Liz Supinski, director of data science at the Society for Human Resource Management.
There are limits on how much a person can and still earn, she says, and it’s around $ 1,200 a month for most people, or around $ 2,000 a month for those who are also. blind.
SSA no longer includes type 2 diabetes on a separate disability list, so just having that diagnosis will not qualify you for benefits.
However, if you have complications that meet criteria on other disability lists, you may be eligible.
The most common are:
- Diabetic peripheral neuropathies. This is nerve damage affecting your hands, arms, feet or legs. You have to show that it significantly disrupts your mobility.
- Diabetic retinopathy. If your condition has caused a significant effect on your vision, such as blurring, you may be eligible.
- Diabetic nephropathy. Type 2 diabetes can affect the kidneys. If this is your case and you need dialysis, you may be eligible.
- Chronic skin infections. In order for this to help you qualify, infections must be significantly preventing you from working.
- Heart problems. If your type 2 diabetes has led to cardiovascular problems, you may be eligible for chronic heart failure, peripheral vascular disease, coronary artery disease, or an irregular heartbeat.
If you have such symptoms as a result of your diabetes, even if you are taking treatment prescribed by your doctor, you may be eligible for disability benefits.
However, keep in mind that if your condition is not being managed well because you are not Following treatment prescribed by a doctor, you may be refused help for people with disabilities.
To make sure the process is streamlined, it helps to compile your medical documents in advance.
According to Thomas Giordano Jr., founding partner of Pond Lehocky Giordano, a Philadelphia law firm that often consults on Social Security disability issues, this includes things like:
- date of initial diagnosis
- descriptions of impairments
- work history
- treatments related to your diabetes
“Type 2 diabetes can be a crippling disease that can prevent you from working or maintaining a regular job due to pain or complications. So it’s important to understand that you may be eligible for benefits, ”he said. said.
“To be eligible, you need to be able to provide as much information as possible about your medical treatment,” he adds.
Information about your daily activities is important, but be especially diligent in obtaining medical records and documents, he says.
“Consistency of treatment for type 2 diabetes is not only important for the management of the disease, but will also demonstrate the severity of your condition for SSA,” said Giordano.
Also let your doctors, colleagues and family know that you will be going through the application process.
The SSA collects feedback from healthcare providers as well as the requester, and sometimes requests additional information from family members and co-workers to determine if you are considered disabled based on SSA criteria.
Applying for disability benefits can be a long and complex process, but taking the time to understand the criteria used by SSA can help get you closer to getting a claim approved.
Consider contacting representatives at your local SSA office. They can help you apply for SSDI and SSI benefits.
Make an appointment by calling 800-772-1213 or complete an online application on the SSA website.