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Do I Qualify For Disability Insurance Benefits If I Have Diabetes?

CaveyLaw.com > Practice Areas  > Long Term Disability & ERISA Lawyer  > Long Term Disability Disabling Conditions > Do I Qualify For Disability Insurance Benefits If I Have Diabetes?

Disability insurance companies don’t always make it easy for policyholders who have diabetes to get the disability benefits they deserve.  In 2012, more than 29.1 million Americans, 9.3% of the population, had diabetes. Another 8.1 million were undiagnosed. That year, approximately 1.7 million new diabetes diagnoses were made.

A diabetes diagnosis is not, in and of itself, a disabling condition. You have to prove that you meet the policy definition of disability.  One way to meet that definition is as a result of the complications of diabetes.

How Do Disability Carriers View Diabetes Disability Claims?

Many disability claims for diabetes are denied because the disability insurance company says:

(1) There is no objective basis of the diabetes diagnosis,

(2) There is no objective basis for the restrictions and limitations assigned by your physician, or

(3) There is no causal relationship between your diabetes diagnosis and/or your restrictions and limitations, and your inability to do your own or any occupation.

Nancy Cavey, who has 35 years experience handling disability cases, has successfully represented many policyholders with diabetes. She overcomes a claims denial by working closely with you and your physician.

Nancy Cavey offers a free initial consultation and welcomes the opportunity to speak with you about your disability claim.

What Is Diabetes?                              

Diabetes, or diabetes mellitus, is a hormonal disorder that affects the entire body. For energy, the body’s cells need a form of sugar called glucose, created when the body breaks down carbohydrates. Glucose circulates through your blood, and the hormone insulin allows the glucose to pass into your cell membranes.

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not produce any insulin.

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body doesn’t make enough insulin or when the body is unable to effectively use the insulin it has produced. Glucose accumulates in the blood, commonly called “high blood sugar.”

Type 1 is the more severe form. It can cause ketoacidosis, when your insulin level approaches zero. This starves the cells of glucose. To compensate the body releases ketones into the bloodstream, making your blood acidic.

Ketoacidosis can result in mental confusion, vomiting, rapid and deep breathing, loss of consciousness, coma and even death.

What Are The Symptoms of Diabetes?

According to the American Diabetes Association, the common symptoms include:

  • Frequent urination,
  • Feeling thirsty,
  • Feeling hungry,
  • Extreme fatigue,
  • Blurry vision,
  • Cuts or bruises that are slow to heal,
  • Weight loss, and
  • Tingling, pain and numbness in the hands and/or feet.

These symptoms can make it difficult, if not impossible, to work.

What Are The Complications Of Diabetes?

More often than not, it’s the complications of diabetes that are key to winning your claim. The six types of severe organ damage caused by diabetes are:

  1. Neuropathy,
  2. Kidney disease,
  3. Heart disease,
  4. Stroke,
  5. Retinopathy, and
  6. Amputation.

Diabetes can cause neuropathy, nerve damage that can result in pain, tingling weakness and numbness in your feet and legs. That can make it difficult to walk, stand and balance or even use your hands.

Kidney disease, nephropathy, can cause swelling in your feet and legs, weakness, fatigue, nausea, weight loss and disturbances in your sleep.

The narrowing of your blood vessels can cause coronary heart disease or peripheral artery disease. This can result in a heart attack, stroke, slow healing of wounds and even amputation.

Diabetic retinopathy can cause blurring or even loss of vision.

Any one of these complications, in and of itself, can be disabling.

How Do I Get The Disability Insurance Benefits I Deserve?

Diabetes can interfere with your daily activities and with your ability to work.  For example, you may have difficulty with your vision, problems with walking, standing and balancing and tingling and numbness in your hands that limits your ability to dress, write and pick up objects.  Stress can make your diabetes worse.

If you no longer can work or your doctor has told you to apply for disability benefits, you should take steps before you apply:

  1. Obtain a copy of your disability policy. See how it defines “disability,” “occupation” and “self-reported conditions.” You’ll need to understand what you have to prove and if there are limitations in your coverage.
  2. Obtain a copy of your medical records. Review them to see if there is an objective basis for your diagnosis, what your records say about your report of symptoms and your restrictions and limitations.
  3. Obtain a copy of your personnel file to see if your diabetes has affected your work performance.
  4. Obtain a copy of your job description. Create your own description of your physical duties with an explanation of how your symptoms impact your ability to do your occupation.
  5. Provide your doctor with the occupational description. Ask your doctor to prepare a report that explains the objective basis for your diagnosis, the objective basis of your restrictions and limitations, and the objective reasons you can’t perform some or all of the material and substantial duties of your occupation.
  6. Prepare a diabetes diary that explains and gives examples of how your symptoms interfere with your ability to do things on a daily basis and the side effects of your medication.
  7. Hire Nancy Cavey to help you file your initial application. The application process is confusing and designed so you and your physician make mistakes that can result in a delay or even a denial of your benefits. Ms. Cavey knows how to prepare and file a winning shock and awe disability application that leaves the carrier little reason to question your claim.
  8. Hire Nancy Cavey to help you appeal a wrongful denial or termination of your disability benefits. Disability carriers are in the business of collecting premiums and not paying disability benefits. They’ll use any reason to deny your claim. The odds of getting your benefits on appeal are greater when you are represented by an experienced ERISA/private ID policy disability attorney.

Contact Disability Attorney Nancy L. Cavey, Who Can Help You Regardless of Where You Live

Diabetes and its complications can make it difficult, if not impossible, to work. You owe it to yourself and your family to get help today! Nancy Cavey can review your policy and your medical records, and explain to you what your policy says and how to get your disability benefits.  Call today for a free consultation at 727-894-3188.