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SSDRC Disability Blog

Is Diabetic Neuropathy considered a disability by Social Security?




 
Diabetes is given consideration in disability applications in its own listing (listings, or listed conditions, are conditions that are specifically designated in the blue book, or social security disability list of impairments) and diabetic neuropathy is given consideration within that listing.

The listing for diabetes is Impairment listing 9.08 and this listing requires a person to have a diagnosis of diabetes mellitus with one or more of the following:

1. Neuropathy evidenced by persistent and significant disorganization of motor function abilities in two extremities. The disorganization must result in constant disturbance of both gross and dexterous movements as well as gait and station.

2. Acidosis that happens on average once every two months. This must be documented by the correct blood chemical testing.

3. Retinitis proliferans is a visual impairment is evaluated using the visual impairment listings rather than the diabetes listing. Remember, Social Security is more about the limitations of function than what you specific condition is.

As a disability examiner for social security I found that most claims predicated mainly on diabetes and neuropathy alone had difficulty in gaining approval.

Having said that, though, it was also true that few cases involved only diabetes and its complications (neuropathy, retinopathy, nephropathy) alone. Instead, most disability cases involve a plethora of conditions, meaning that a claimant with diabetes and diabetic neuropahty, whose condition fails to meet the diabetes listing, is typically evaluated the way most claimants with non-listed impairments are evaluated.

That is, 1) the claimant's records are read and evaluated, 2) the disability adjudicator--a judge or a disability examiner, depending on the level the claim is at--determines the claimant's residual functional capacity, i.e. what they still can do, and 3) this remaining capacity is compared to the demands of the claimant's past work and the demands of other work for which it might be possible for them to transition to.

As I've said many times, the name of the condition, mental or physical, is largely irrelevant. Social security, instead, is concerned with the extent to which a claimant's condition inhibits their ability to engage in work activity.








Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions








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Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI


These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria