The New York City Department of Health estimates that 650,000 people in New York City have diabetes. Those who notice some of the signs and symptoms of diabetes should see their doctor for evaluation. Doctors may order blood tests to diagnose the condition. Those who are diagnosed and cannot work may qualify for Social Security disability if they suffer related complications and health conditions that are found in the Social Security Listing of Impairments.

Types and Causes of Diabetes

In type I diabetes, the body does not produce insulin, and the patient needs lifelong insulin injections. Experts are unsure of the cause of type I diabetes. Those with type II diabetes do not use insulin properly or may fail to produce enough of it. One common cause of type II diabetes is poor lifestyle choices, such as poor diet and lack of exercise. If not treated and properly controlled, diabetes can lead to many complications like cardiac arrhythmias, digestive problems, blindness, coronary artery disease, infections and depression.

Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes

The American Diabetes Association lists the following as some common symptoms of diabetes:

  • urinating often;
  • feeling very thirsty or hungry even though you’re eating;
  • weight loss, despite eating more (type I);
  • blurry vision;
  • extreme fatigue;
  • slow-healing cuts, bruises and other wounds; and
  • pain and numbness in the hands, feet, fingers or toes (type II).

If you experience these symptoms, schedule an appointment with your doctor. The tests used to diagnose diabetes are fairly simple and measure blood sugar over a period of time, according to the ADA. Women who are pregnant and at risk of gestational diabetes should also be tested for diabetes, even if they do not show any signs.

Disability Benefits for Diabetes & Related Conditions

Social Security disability provides benefits for people who qualify as disabled. Applicants qualify by either meeting a Social Security listing or by showing that based on their age, skill level and limitations, there are no jobs in the national economy that they can perform.

There are no specific listings for diabetes, so simply presenting a diagnosis of diabetes based on your symptoms and blood test results isn’t going to qualify you for disability benefits. You must establish that you suffer other related health conditions and complications that qualify.

Many of the complications that arise from diabetes, like amputations, blindness or cardiac arrhythmias to name a few, are in the SSA’s Listing of Impairments that qualify a person as disabled and entitled to benefits, provided he or she meets other program qualifications. Applicants need to submit a detailed application and medical records in order to prove their disability to the Social Security Administration.

Markhoff & Mittman helps New Yorkers with diabetes and related conditions obtain the benefits to which they’re entitled. Contact our office at 866-205-2415 or contact us online to set up a consultation.