In our work as North Carolina disability attorneys, we meet many people who are living with diabetes. If you have diabetes, you may be entitled to receive Social Security disability benefits if (1) your condition meets or medically equals the description of diabetes in the Social Security Listing of Impairments, or (2) your diabetes is so severe that it prevents you from working.
To meet the diabetes mellitus Listing you must have one of the following:
- Neuropathy (nerve damage) in two extremities, so severe that it disturbs your ability to walk, stand and move;
- Acidosis (a serious disturbance in blood chemistry usually requiring hospitalization) that occurs every two months, on average; or
- Retinitis proliferans (an eye disease that damages the retina) with significant loss of vision.
Even if you do not meet these specific criteria, you may have a combination of impairments associated with diabetes (e.g., heart disease, foot ulcers, or kidney failure) that “medically equals” the severity of the diabetes Listing.
Inability to work
If you are unable to establish that your diabetes meets or equals the diabetes Listing, you still may be entitled to receive Social Security disability benefits if your condition is so severe that (1) you cannot do work you have done in the past and (2) you cannot do any other generally available work, considering your age, education, work experience, and present ability to work. Essentially, you will have to prove that your diabetes and its symptoms (e.g., headaches, dizziness, pain, weakness, fatigue, blurred vision, etc.) so disrupt your ability to function on a daily basis that you are unable to work. Your testimony at your disability hearing will be critical evidence in this regard, as will written reports from your doctors.
If you are wondering whether your diabetes is severe enough to qualify you to receive North Carolina Social Security disability benefits, or if you need assistance gathering evidence in support of your claim, please contact us.