Many people in Houston suffer from either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes was formerly known as “juvenile diabetes,” and Type 2 was called “adult onset diabetes.” Most people who suffer from either disease find that the illness can be controlled with regular doses of insulin and necessary changes in diet and daily routines. Unfortunately, some people are unable to achieve successful management of diabetes, and they may face a lifetime of limited activity and inability to engage in substantial gainful activity. Persons in this last category may be able to apply for Social Security disability benefits for illness depending on the severity of their diabetes.
The Social Security Administration classifies diabetes mellitus as an endocrine disorder, and the disease does not satisfy the SSA rules for proving disability without the submission of additional medical and employment evidence. The first step is to establish that the claimant suffers from either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. The next step is to demonstrate that the patient’s diabetes cannot be successfully controlled. The inability to control diabetes is caused by any of several factors, including unawareness of the effects of hypoglycemia (a lack of glucose in the body), other disorders that can affect blood glucose levels, or inability to manage diabetes treatment due to a mental disorder.
Because diabetes is not recognized by the SSA as a disabling impairment per se, the SSA follows the evaluation process outlined in its general regulations. The applicant may be required to take a functional capacity examination to determine the individual’s ability to engage in significant gainful activity. The medical severity of the impairment will also be reviewed. Finally, the SSA will review the applicant’s ability to shift to another occupation. If at the end of the five-stage review, the applicant has demonstrated an inability to work, disability benefits may be awarded as provided by SSA regulations.
The process for obtaining disability benefits for either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes can be very complicated. The assistance of an attorney who is experienced in the law of disability benefits may be able to simplify the process.