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Can I Receive Social Security Disability Benefits if I Live with Type 2 Diabetes?

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Diabetes is a disorder that affects how your body produces or uses insulin, the hormone responsible for metabolizing glucose, the body’s main source of energy. Over 30 million adults in the U.S. live with diabetes, and an estimated 84 million people are at high risk for developing diabetes in their lifetime.

Type 1 diabetes is a condition common with children, in which the pancreas produces little to no insulin. Comparatively, type 2 diabetes, where the body doesn’t use insulin correctly, is normally diagnosed in adults. If you are a Muncie resident living with type 2 diabetes, you could be eligible for Social Security disability benefits.

Diabetes as a Disability

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It is possible to manage type 2 diabetes with medicine and healthy lifestyle choices. It is even possible to prevent type 2 diabetes — even if you have a family history of the disease — by making healthy choices like eating healthy foods, staying active, and losing weight.

Diabetes is considered a disability under federal law. However, because diabetes can be managed enough for you to be gainfully employed, the Social Security Administration (SSA) does not consider the disease on its own to be enough to warrant disability benefits. Instead, you must prove how complications from type 2 diabetes have prevented you from engaging in substantial gainful activity.

Social Security Disability Evaluation

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Without insulin to help your cells process glucose, the sugar levels in your blood rise to unhealthy levels. High blood sugar can lead to serious complications like:

  • Heart disease
  • Nerve damage (which can lead to loss of all feeling or even amputation of affected limbs)
  • Seizures
  • Kidney failure
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis (which can lead to other severe complications like intestinal necrosis and cardiac arrhythmia)

These complications may also leave you unable to keep gainful employment. If you are unable to keep working due to type 2 diabetes complications and decide to file for Social Security disability benefits, the SSA will evaluate your:

  • Physical abilities. Are you able to do regular work activity on a continuing basis? Can you stand up to physical demands of your job?
  • Mental abilities. Are you able to understand, remember, and complete instructions, and respond to situations at work?
  • Other work requirements. Can you adjust to doing work that has fewer physical or mental demands?

Not only do you have to prove that complications from diabetes render you unable to work, but you must also show that you have been following your doctor’s prescribed treatment plan. If your condition worsened because you deliberately ignored your doctor’s treatment plan, then you would not be eligible for disability benefits.

Help from a Muncie Social Security Disability Attorney

Applying for disability benefits can be daunting. A local Muncie Social Security disability attorney can help you fill out an application, apply for an appeal, and prepare for a hearing. Don’t try to tackle a complex system on your own. Call Hensley Legal Group or contact us online for a free conversation.