Posts Tagged ‘diabetes’

Think You’re Disabled from Diabetes? Think Again.

February 11, 2010

The Social Security Administration has proposed a change in the regulations governing disability claims that would eliminate the “listing” for diabetes.  Essentially, the Listing of Impairments is a catalog of medical conditions that Social Security uses as a guide to determine when a claimant should be considered disabled irrespective of age, education, or work history.  If your condition is severe enough to meet or equal a listing, you are considered to be unable to perform any work, and you qualify for disability benefits.

Each listing requires specific criteria, not just a diagnosis of a certain disease or condition.  For example, if you broke your leg and the fracture never healed properly, you would meet a listing only if you couldn’t walk effectively, which is generally defined as needing a walker, two crutches or two canes.

So as you can see, it’s not easy to meet a listing.  Social Security wants to eliminate the listing for diabetes because “medical science has made significant advances in detecting endocrine disorders at earlier stages, and newer treatments have resulted in better management of these conditions.”  Although that is true, it doesn’t change the fact that many people still get very sick from diabetes!

Social Security’s reasoning is that experts say “adequate glucose regulation is achievable with improved treatment options, such as a wider range of insulin products.”  Again, this is true, but only for people who can afford treatment and medications.

I’ve seen many clients with uncontrolled diabetes because they could not afford regular medical treatment and/or the necessary medications.  Sometimes, even clients with insurance can’t afford these things because the co-payments required are too much.

Once again, the rules are being designed to cover those lucky enough to have access to regular, good quality medical care.  The rest are left to their own devices.  Ironically, these are the people who need disability benefits the most.