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Pennsylvania Residents Disabled from Diabetes Can Seek Social Security Disability

Pennsylvania residents suffering from diabetes may be eligible for disability benefits if their symptoms limit daily activity and prevent their ability to work.  Diabetes refers to the body’s inability to process glucose.  The term refers to a group of diseases that result in too much sugar in the blood.  Diabetes  is listed under Endocrine Disorders in the Social Security Administration’s blue book.

Treatment may help to control diabetes, and it often includes both diet and medication. As adults age, diabetes can prove challenging to manage, and it can result in internal organ damage as well as other problems.

People with diabetes type 1 and type 2 often experience frequent urination, excessive hunger and thirst, and extreme tiredness. Individuals with type 2 diabetes may also experience tingling in their hands and feet, and they may suffer from frequent infections. There are many complications that arise from diabetes, including high blood pressure, kidney disease, stroke, and depression, to name a few.

Eligibility for Disability Benefits with Diabetes:  “Meet” Other Listings in the Blue Book

To be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSDI/SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, your uncontrolled diabetes must have prevented you from working for at least 12 months, or you must anticipate you will not be able to work for 12 months.

In order to qualify for disability benefits, the harm caused by your diabetes must severely limit your capabilities.  Alternatively, you must suffer complications that fall under the requirements of one of the Social Security “Blue Book” disability listings.

However, if you do not follow your doctor’s prescribed treatment, and as a result your diabetes is uncontrolled, you will not be eligible for disability. The Social Security Administration may deem you “non-compliant” and eligible for benefits if you do not follow your doctor’s instructions regarding your treatment.

Unfortunately, in 2011, the Social Security Administration removed diabetes from the list of Adult Impairments in its Blue Book, stating there had been significant medical advances regarding the diagnosis and treatment of the disease. Complications that arise from diabetes may be found under a disability listing and entitle you to benefit approval. In other words, if your complications fall under a listing that automatically qualifies as a disability, you may be approved for benefits.

Here are some of the listings in the Social Security Administration Blue Book from which individuals with diabetes can suffer:

Diabetic nephropathy. When your kidneys no longer properly filter, and you need dialysis on a daily basis, or there is too much creatine or protein in your plasma, you may qualify for benefits. (Listing 6.06.)

Diabetic retinopathy. When you suffer from poor visual acuity (less than 20/200 in your better eye) or blurred vision, you can qualify for disability benefits under this listing. (Listing 2.00.)

Cardiovascular problems. Coronary artery disease (listing 4.04) can result from diabetes, as can peripheral vascular disease (4.12) and an irregular heartbeat (listing 4.05).

Generally, many individuals applying for Social Security Disability due to diabetes fail to meet a listing. The complications must be quite severe to qualify. The agency would then conduct an analysis, assessing residual functional capacity (RFC). This analysis measures your ability to perform activities, despite your illness.

The attorneys at Needle Law have the Social Security knowledge and experience you need in filing your claim for benefits. We can help you present your case in a strong manner so that the process is more likely to go smoothly. If you or a family member needs assistance with a claim, call our office today at 570-344-1266.

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