Diabetes and Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
Just some passing thoughts. I was speaking to my spouse the other day who, like me, is a former disability examiner for SSA (unlike me, however, she remains a cog in the system, working as a claims rep at a social security field office and, unlike her work associates, for fun she reads ALJ decisions and DDS examiner decisions--what a weirdo, eh?).
We both remarked about how difficult it is for an individual to be approved on the basis of the diabetes listing (I have a short page on my site regarding this listing: Social Security Disability SSI and Diabetes). In fact, neither of us could recall a single approval on the basis of the listing. That's not to say that individuals with diabetes don't get approved. But, generally, this is on the basis of other conditions, or on the functional limitations that result from a number of conditions. If you take a thousand individuals with diabetes, there'll be more than a fair chance that a high percentage of them will have hypertension and/or some form of heart disease, existing to some degree.
What's my opinion on this? Well, perhaps it is a function of too many cogs in the system (judges, examiners, medical consultants, dds unit supervisors) never having experienced the delight of peripheral neuropathies. But, I suppose it's (according to an ALJ at ssaconnect, I don't know the difference between its and it's----hey, I was a history major, not an english major!) it shouldn't be surprising...considering the fact that the disability system gives very little credence to back pain, or even pain in general.
The truth and unfortunate reality is, most people can't empathize with something unless they've actually experienced it directly. And this means great woe to disability claimants since most DDS examiners tend to be younger people (why is this? Because it's a crappy job with low pay and minion-minded supervisors that leads to high turnover).
Of course, it's not just younger individuals at DDS that make social security disability evaluation a rigged game. There are also way too many spineless medical consultants. I will recite this one example, I am sure, for years to come: a woman who suffered an accident with a kerosene heater. She suffered 3rd degree burns (that means crispy) to 25 percent of her body. And this was confined to one side of her body. She was denied by a DDS physician and unit supervisor (here I throw away the abominable fiction that examiners are actually allowed to make decisions on cases) and the basis for the decision was that there was not enough residual stricture from her burn injuries, i.e. the scar tissue had not tightened enough to satisy these two clowns (one of whom has since retired--the disabled of that state should offer thanks to the heavens for that one).
This person was denied. She was denied despite the fact that the director of a well known university burn center had written a statement detailing why this claimant could not return to work.
Who knows more? The director of a burn center, or guy clown who couldn't cut it in regular practice and now hides behind a desk at a state Disability Determination Services.
Just some passing thoughts.
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