I have diabetes and cannot walk can I get SSDI benefits?

Diabetes can be a very serious metabolic disorder which impairs the ability of your body correctly produce, absorb, or respond to insulin. Common diabetic conditions can include both Type I and Type II diabetes which are both chronic health conditions with mild to severe side-effects if not properly controlled.

Recently on our legal forum a user asked, “If I have diabetes and I have almost completely lost my ability to walk can I get Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or some other type of compensation to replace my income?”

What are Type I and Type II Diabetes?

Type I Diabetes Mellitus is what we commonly consider juvenile diabetes. It is a health condition which often begins in childhood and causes a deficiency of insulin production.

Type II Diabetes Mellitus most often affects adults and occurs when the body lacks the ability to properly utilize insulin, which can have a negative impact not only on the ability of the body to absorb glucose, but also can wreak havoc on an individual’s metabolism. The good news is this Diabetes Type II may often be controlled by diet and exercise.

Diabetes and SSDI benefits

Social Security Disability Insurance or SSDI is offered to claimants who have worked and paid taxes and are insured for SSDI. Claimants must also have a severe health condition which is expected to last for at least 12 continuous months and be unable to perform what the SSA calls substantial gainful activity (SGA).

All claimants with diabetes are not automatically considered disabled. In fact, millions of Americans have diabetes, and many of these individuals are able to work a full-time job. So just because you have a diabetes diagnosis does not mean that you will automatically qualify for SSDI benefits.

Does this mean you will never be considered disabled by the Social Security Administration if you have diabetes? No, in fact, the SSA does consider many diabetic workers disabled.

How do you know if you are disabled with diabetes?

The Social Security has two methods for determining whether disability applicants are disabled. First, the SSA will determine if the claimant’s condition meets or exceeds a listing on the SSA Listing of Impairments (a listing of the most common conditions and their corresponding symptoms the SSA considers disabling).

If your condition is as severe as a listed condition the SSA will consider you disabled, assuming you meet the nonmedical requirements for SSDI benefits

Meeting a listing for diabetes

To find out if your condition meets a listing you will need to review the SSA Listing of Impairments and understand how the SSA evaluates disability for diabetes. Beginning in 2011, the Social Security Administration updated their listing for diabetes.

First, to qualify for SSDI with diabetes claimants will need a diagnosis and prognosis for their diabetic condition. Next, they will need information about how their condition affects other body systems.

All side-effects and their impact on other body systems are analyzed under the listing for the body system affected. For example, cardiac arrhythmias are reviewed under 4.00, intestinal necrosis under 5.00, and cerebral edema and seizures under 11.00, diabetic retinopathy under 2.00; coronary artery disease and peripheral vascular disease under 4.00; diabetic gastroparesis that results in abnormal gastrointestinal motility under 5.00; and diabetic nephropathy under 6.00.

You specifically mentioned you were having difficulty ambulating. Whether or not the inability to walk would be sufficient to make a disability determination is tough to say without more information about your condition, but if you can prove that you are unable to perform sedentary work you may qualify for benefits.

Talk to a lawyer if you have questions about proving you are disabled and cannot work.



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