What Are the Benefits of Applying for SSDI with Diabetes?

61 million adults in the United States live with a disability. That means 1 in 4 of the U.S. population who may find it hard to complete daily tasks.

They need to depend on family for many of their needs and they suffer from financial hardship because they find it impossible to work with a disability like diabetes.

Diabetes is a disability because it restricts the normal functioning of the endocrine system. This is the system that controls insulin and blood glucose (sugar).

Diabetes may make it more difficult to control both blood pressure and cholesterol. This can lead to a stroke or a heart attack. Nerves in the body can become damaged, causing a loss of feeling, pain, burning and tingling. All these symptoms make it hard to earn an income when disabled by diabetes.

Financial Help With Diabetes

The Social Security Administration (SSA) assesses the medical condition of those with diabetes and other disabilities to determine if they are eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.

Anyone who is eligible for these benefits must have accumulated enough work credits when employed. The number of work credits you need depends on your age and when you became disabled with diabetes.

If you have not yet reached the age of 24 years you are only required to have earned six work credits but if you are over 62 years you must have accrued 40 credits.

If the SSA has made the decision you are eligible for SSDI because your medical condition with diabetes is expected to last for at least 12 months and you have enough work credits you will begin to receive SSDI. Each year SSDI increases when Social Security cost-of-living adjustments are made.

Diabetes may qualify you for Social Security disability benefits.

Retirement and Survivors Benefits 

If you were born after 1928, you require 40 work credits if you wish to qualify for retirement benefits. If you have earned more than this number the amount you receive in retirement benefits won’t be any different.

If you have been working and have been Social Security taxes, some of the taxes are set aside for survivors’ benefits. Your family members may receive survivors’ benefits if you die.

The number of credits needed for family members to be eligible for survivors’ benefits depends on the age you are when you die. The younger you are, the fewer the credits are required.

No one needs to have more than 40 credits.  If you are receiving retirement or disability benefits at the date of your death, the SSA will pay your survivors based on that entitlement.

Medicare Coverage

Medicare is available to some people with disabilities if they are under 65 years. These people must have been receiving Social Security Disability benefits for 24 months.

People with a disability like diabetes who are already receiving Social Security Disability benefits should be sent a Medicare card by mail when the 24 month qualifying period has been reached.

Once you receive the card Medicare will cover the cost of inpatient hospital stays, care in a skilled nursing facility, hospice care, and some home health care. It also covers doctors' services, outpatient care, medical supplies, preventive services and prescription drugs.

Return to Work Incentives - The Ticket to Work Program

The SSA’s Ticket to Work Program aim is to offers career development opportunities for those who are receiving Social Security disability benefits who are between the age of 18 and 64 years and are keen to get back into the workforce. The Ticket to Work Program is both free and voluntary and helps people with disabilities to be financially independent.

The PASS Program

The aim of the PASS program is to help disabled individuals find employment so that it reduces or eliminates the need for them to receive SSI or SSDI benefits.

Additional Resources