Am I eligible for disability if I have type 2 diabetes?

December 7, 2021 in

Type 2 diabetes is a common medical condition, affecting close to 10 percent of the U.S. population. Type 2 diabetes is a malfunction in the manner in which the body uses and regulates glucose as fuel. The pancreas creates a hormone called insulin, which assists the cells with converting glucose into energy. People with type 2 diabetes create insulin, but the body’s cells do not respond well to insulin and take in less glucose. The pancreas will release more insulin in an attempt to get cells to respond to glucose. Eventually, the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin to keep up with glucose levels in the blood. When the cells do not respond properly to insulin, it is known as insulin resistance. As a result, the glucose builds up in the bloodstream instead. High blood sugar can cause significant damage to the body, including vision loss and heart disease.

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes often develop slowly over time and can take years to manifest. Some of these symptoms include increased urination, increased thirst, blurred vision, fatigue, weight loss, numbness or tingling in the hands and feet, wounds that heal slowly, and areas of darkened skin near the neck or armpits. Diabetes is diagnosed via blood tests ordered by your doctor. Your doctor will test your A1C, which is an average of your blood glucose levels over the past few months. An A1C below 5.7 is normal, between 5.7 and 6.4 indicates prediabetes, and 6.5 or higher indicates diabetes. Your doctor will also check your fasting glucose levels and determine whether they are high. A fasting blood sugar 99 or under is normal, 100 to 125 indicates prediabetes, and over 125 indicates diabetes. A random (non-fasting) blood sugar test may be performed as well; glucose levels over 200 indicate diabetes.

Severe type 2 diabetes can cause serious complications which may seriously affect your ability to engage in normal work activity. Long-term high blood sugar may cause damage to nerves, which can result in numbness, tingling, pain, and burning, known as peripheral neuropathy. This may lead to a loss of sensation that typically begins at the fingers or toes and spreads upwards through the extremities. Peripheral neuropathy may interfere with your ability to stand for long periods of time due to the burning sensation occurring in the feet. Peripheral neuropathy may also interfere with your ability to use your hands as easily as you used to be able to do.

Diabetes may also interfere with eye health. High blood sugar may damage the blood vessels in the back of the eyes, known as diabetic retinopathy. Type 2 diabetes also may lead to glaucoma and cataracts. Individuals whose type 2 diabetes impacts their vision often experience floaters, blurry vision, and loss of central vision. Treatment may include injections which may result in missed days of work.

Other complications from type 2 diabetes may include infections from cuts and blisters which heal slowly. Left untreated, these may result in amputation of the affected extremity. Your doctor may require that you undergo regular diabetic foot exams to confirm you do not have foot problems such as blisters or nerve damage to your feet. Type 2 diabetes may also lead to chronic kidney disease. End-stage renal disease may require dialysis, which removes the waste products and fluid from the blood when the kidneys no longer function properly. Hemodialysis typically takes place three days per week for 4-hour sessions.

Diabetes may be treated with medication. One such common medication is Metformin, which lowers glucose production in the liver. Side effects from Metformin may include diarrhea, nausea, and bloating. Your doctor may also prescribe glinides or sulfonylureas, which help the body produce more insulin. The side effects may include low blood sugar and weight gain. Some individuals with type 2 diabetes require injectable insulin. Injections may be administered with a syringe and needle, with an insulin pen, or an insulin pump that provides a steady stream of insulin throughout the day. Diabetes management often requires checking your blood sugar several times a day by using a glucose meter.

Type 2 diabetes can be very challenging to manage and maybe severely interfere with your ability to engage in normal work activities. If you are struggling to maintain employment due to symptoms and management of type 2 diabetes, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. The legal team at LaBovick Law Group is ready to assist you with your disability case.

Social Security Disability Insurance is available to those who have worked and paid taxes on their income, and who are suffering from a condition that lasts or is expected to last for at least one year or in death which prevents the person from engaging in normal work activities. The first step is to file an application. On your application, you will choose a date of disability, known as your alleged onset date. Deciding which date to select can be sometimes difficult. Some people choose to begin the date when they stopped working due to their condition. The important thing is to ensure that the date that you select is within your coverage period of disability benefits, which ends at your date last insured (DLI). Your DLI is calculated based on your work credits earned. It is also important to ensure that you have not engaged in substantial gainful activity after your alleged onset date. The team at LaBovick Law Group can assist you with selecting the correct alleged onset date for your claim.

Should your initial application be denied by Social Security, the next phase is the reconsideration phase where your denial is appealed. If the reconsideration is denied, you will then have the opportunity for a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge.

Navigating the Social Security Disability benefits process can be very challenging. It is best to enlist the help of an attorney to ensure you are building a successful case so that you are awarded the benefits you deserve and represent you at your hearing if need be. Give LaBovick Law Group a call at (561) 625-8400 for a free case evaluation.