Do Diabetic Complications Qualify for SSD?

We might blame hormones for emotions and sugar for weight gains, but inside the body, hormones and sugar play a vital role. When we eat food, those delicious carbohydrates and sugars break down into a different kind of sugar, called glucose. Then, a hormone called insulin, which comes from the pancreas, helps the glucose enter the bloodstream, where it becomes energy. Thanks to insulin and glucose, we have the energy to get through the day!

However, some people do not produce insulin, or do not produce enough for this process to run smoothly. When the body doesn’t produce enough insulin, it causes an abnormal level of glucose in the blood, leading to diabetes. Diabetes is a relatively common disease and can be controlled through medication and treatment. However, it can still have a huge impact on day-to-day life, including the ability to work.

What is Diabetes?

There are two categories of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1, formerly called juvenile-onset or insulin-dependent , occurs when the body does not produce any insulin. It usually develops in children and teenagers. The exact cause of Type 1 diabetes is unknown, although it could be genetic. Type 2, on the other hand, occurs when the body processes some insulin, but not enough for the body to properly use glucose. Unlike Type 1, Type 2 diabetes generally occurs in adults. It is often the result of an unhealthy lifestyle, particularly a lack of exercise or healthy eating.

Diabetic Complications

Both types can have similar symptoms, including frequent hunger and thirst, fatigue, frequent urination, and blurred vision. Neither type is entirely curable, but the disease can be managed through responsible and diligent treatment. To treat diabetes, the body needs consistent doses of insulin; this can be done either via injection or through an insulin pump. While insulin is the most important part of diabetes management, a good diet, exercise, and overall healthy choices can keep the disease from getting worse.

However, even with proper treatment, complications can still emerge. Some complications from diabetes include:

  • Eye and vision problems, including eventual blindness
  • Kidney disease
  • Neuropathy, or nerve damage
  • Hypertension
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Gastroparesis, a type of nerve damage that affects digestion
  • Peripheral arterial disease, which reduces blood flow to the limbs
  • Skin infections
  • Depression

Diabetes and SSD

On its own, diabetes can be treated and managed, and many people continue to perform their daily jobs. But when some severe complications arise, it can hinder a person’s ability to work. When this happens, they might be able to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits (SSD).

In order for diabetes, or complications for diabetes, to qualify someone for SSD, it must prevent them from doing any work. So if someone is unable to do heavy lifting at work because of nerve damage, but are still able to work at a receptionist desk, for example, they can still do some work, even with the limitation of their diabetes, and will likely not qualify for SSD. Similarly, if the complications are a result of a patient’s failure to follow their doctor’s recommendations about controlling their diabetes, they will likely not qualify.

Successfully applying for SSD is challenging, and when someone suffers from diabetic conditions like nerve damage, vision problems, and fatigue, the process can be very stressful. Even if someone has been successfully living with diabetes for years, applying for SSD is a great reason to reach out to an experienced attorney to see how they can help with the process.


The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.


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