In the past few decades, Americans have become more aware than ever about the prevalence and seriousness of diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), more than 34 million Americans had diabetes in 2020, with more than seven million undiagnosed cases, and more than 32 million having type 2 diabetes.
These are frightening numbers. If you have diabetes, these numbers can be even more frightening when it comes to your long-term disability insurance. Will your disability insurer grant your benefits? What will the insurer be looking for in order to grant or reinstated benefits? These can be complicated questions worth exploring.
You are not alone
In addition to the ADA numbers listed above, it is important to put some names and faces to diabetes. Good Housekeeping lists actors Tom Hanks, Halle Berry and James Earl Jones, as well as singer Bret Michels and football player Jay Cutler, among those afflicted with diabetes. Even people whose lives can seem so perfect are not immune.
Diabetes can cause significant, debilitating symptoms
In addition to the everyday problems associated with spiking blood sugars, diabetes can result in:
- Vision problems
- Heart attacks
- Kidney problems
- Even increased risk of dementia
- Peripheral neuropathy
This is a small sampling of the possible long-term issues that could result from diabetes.
Will disability insurance cover long-term disabilities caused by diabetes?
This is the primary question: is diabetes and its long-term impact eligible for disability coverage? While the question is impossible to answer definitively without looking at your specific policy, there are some important principles involved.
In general, to receive long term disability benefits, your diabetes symptoms should be well documented in your medical records. With diabetes, there are medical tests that should be performed that confirm your diagnosis, so those should be included in any claim you make. It is optimal if your treating health care professional ties diagnosis, symptoms, conditions and the limitations you are experiencing to your inability to do your work.
Again, each policy is different and usually requires the knowledge and experience of an ERISA lawyer to help you understand what your insurer needs to grant or reinstate your log term disability benefits. If your diabetes diagnosis has directly caused disability making it impossible to perform your job adequately, we may be able to get your long term disability benefits granted or reinstated.