Qualifying for Disability Benefits With Uncontrolled Diabetes

When sugar levels increase within the bloodstream, the pancreas starts to release insulin. The insulin release causes the body to absorb the glucose from the blood, thereby lowering the blood sugar levels in the bloodstream.The kidneys have to work hard to process extra sugar in the bloodstream. When they can no longer keep up, the body gets rid of the sugars through the process of urination. To get rid of the extra sugar, the body draws water from its tissues.

Our body needs that fluid to make energy, transfer nutrients, and get rid of waste; chemicals in your brain tell you that you are thirsty, and this is why you consume more water when your blood sugar may be high.

High levels of blood sugar also often cause dry mouth and cracks at the corner of the mouth. The reduced saliva and increased blood sugar may cause one’s gums to swell and one’s tongue to develop white patches. Skin problems are also common when the person suffers from diabetic neuropathy.

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Essentials to Know Before Applying

Not all diabetes patients can qualify for benefits for diabetes. However, serious problems that arise as a result of uncontrolled blood sugar levels can qualify under Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). The Social Security Administration will consider the following key points under federal law these such cases:

  • Diabetes is an invisible disabling condition
  • Diabetes is a disease because it substantially limits endocrine system function
  • Diabetes can still be regarded as a disability even if a person seems healthy and is a well-managed diabetic

Diabetes can cause postprandial or after-meal hyperglycemia, in which the blood sugar is greater than 180 mg/dL two hours after eating. People who are not affected with diabetes rarely have blood sugar levels that exceed 140 mg/dL.

Fasting hyperglycemia can occur when patients’ blood sugar exceeds 130 mg/dL after not eating or drinking for at least eight hours.

Blood sugar can rise as a result of the following factors:

  • The person skips their insulin or oral glucose-lowering medicine
  • The person is ill or suffering from an infection
  • The person is under stress
  • The person becomes inactive or exercises less than usual
  • The person participates in strenuous physical activity

Some of the issues that ongoing high blood sugar can cause include:

  • Damage to blood vessels, kidneys, or eyes
  • Changes to vision
  • Chronic constipation or diarrhea
  • Vaginal and skin infections
  • Cuts and sores that are slow to heal

With regard to federal SSDI benefits, the SSA does not include these conditions as separate disabling conditions. If your complications meet the criteria, then you may be eligible to receive benefits. For example, diabetic nephropathy is a common condition relating to diabetes and can be disabling, as it affects the kidneys and their functioning. A diabetic person who requires dialysis would be eligible to receive SSDI benefits.

Chronic skin infections are another condition that people with diabetes commonly face. These infections are capable of preventing a diabetic person from working, thereby increasing the likelihood that a person will qualify for benefits. Diabetic peripheral neuropathies affect the nerves of your arms, hands, feet, or legs. If diabetes causes you to experience cardiovascular issues, you may qualify under the chronic heart failure, coronary artery disease, irregular heartbeat, or peripheral vascular disease listings.

The SSA’s rationale is that, if medical conditions are severe enough to keep you from working, an individual’s medical records support their claim. Submitting the right details within the application is very important, along with providing valid documents. This part can be quite complex if you are not aware of the relevant rules, especially for benefits at age 50, because a separate set of rules applies for older adults.

Not All Applicants Will Qualify for Benefits

The SSA receives thousands of applications every year, and it rejects more than half of them. It is crucial to take the right steps so that the process gets off on the right foot. Below are some basic tips that can help you find success:

  • Be thorough: Providing comprehensive numbers and dates within your application can help the SSA more easily gather records.
  • List applicable children on your application: Your children may be entitled to receive benefits, as well, if you qualify.
  • Provide extensive medical records: Gather all of the available medical reports and documents, and submit copies of them to the SSA as part of your application. This can speed up the process.
  • List your medical conditions: A claimant should list all of the medical conditions that they face.
  • Be honest. Dishonesty within your application or supporting documents can prevent you from qualifying, and it may be considered fraud.

Many people find the process of securing Social Security benefits confusing. Some may face rejections due to insufficient documents, errors in their applications, and many other reasons. A legal professional can help you prepare for interviews, explain the legal process, complete the application correctly, explain all possible questions that the SSA may ask, and prepare you to provide good answers.

A Chicago Social Security disability attorney will have in-depth knowledge of disability law and can assist in this process. Key takeaways are that you have to be honest about the medical issues you face and disciplined enough to maintain the documentation you will require to qualify for benefits.

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