We often get asked, “Is diabetes a disability?” The short answer is yes. All types of diabetic patients are protected as people with qualifying disabilities. But that doesn’t mean you’ll face restrictions. For instance, people with diabetes can play contact sports, fight fires, drive race cars, and generally do what everyone else can do. Now let’s discuss how diabetes is a disability and what rights and protections you might be entitled to in the United States.

Is diabetes considered a disability?

In the U.S., federal laws like the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act are in place to protect people with disabilities. Under most laws, diabetes is considered a disability. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are considered as a disability. Moreover, under the 2010 Equality Act, diabetes is defined as a disability. This is because it may have a long-term, substantial, negative impact on a person’s ability to perform regular, day-to-day activities.

Is diabetes a disability for social security?

You are not eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) by only having diabetes. In most cases, people with diabetes can work normally. However, if you’re unable to perform your job or daily task, then you can likely qualify for SSD. The symptoms that reflect your inability to perform daily task include:

  • failure to control blood sugar levels throughout the day
  • vision problems
  • dizziness
  • numbness

That said, diabetes alone doesn’t make you eligible for disability benefits. It is the difficulties caused by other related illnesses combined with diabetes that may qualify you for social security benefits. These illnesses can be diabetic vision loss, heart disease, kidney failure, and peripheral neuropathy. Thus, it is associated with diabetes and disabling.

Diabetes: Rights and Protections

The rights and protection for people with diabetes ensure that they deserve fair treatment in school, workplace, public places, and dealings with law enforcement.

Under federal law, children with diabetes have the right to receive care to participate in school life like any other student. Therefore, schools are required to provide trained staff members to help children manage their blood sugar levels. Moreover, they are required to administer a child’s insulin and glucagon.

On the other hand, schools cannot stop children with diabetes from attending any school-sponsored activity. Moreover, they can’t transfer children with diabetes to a different school to receive appropriate care. Additionally, state laws also provide rights and protection for such children. Make sure to check your state law regarding rights for children with diabetes at schools.

Under federal law, people with diabetes have rights and protections in the workplace. For instance, you are entitled to be given reasonable accommodations. This will allow you to have a seat (if neuropathy is present) and take regular breaks to check your blood sugar levels. Moreover, under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), you can take 12 weeks of unpaid leave if you have a severe medical condition or you have to care for a family member with a serious medical condition.

Public Places
Under federal laws, public places cannot discriminate against people with diabetes. If you have diabetes, you cannot be excluded from public places because of your medical condition. In fact, you’re allowed to bring diabetes care supplies like insulin and syringes through security checkpoints.

Final Words
To sum up your question, “Is diabetes a disability?” Yes, diabetes is considered a physical disability. This is because diabetes generally makes it difficult for you to perform your day-to-day tasks. Additionally, diabetes is a complicated condition that is regarded as a disability under federal law of the United States. Moreover, you have rights and protections if you have diabetes. This ensures your protection against discrimination and entitles you to receive the same opportunities as those without diabetes.

If you’re suffering from diabetes or any other medical condition, visit Internal Medicine Diagnostic Center. We are here to provide you with the help, guidance, and treatments that you need to live a full and active life.

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