Disability Insurance for Diabetics

Attaining disability insurance can make all the difference if you find that you are unable to work because of an accident or illness.

However, individuals with diabetes know all too well that securing any type of insurance, let alone disability insurance, can be tough.

The Impact

This is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly process insulin, the hormone required to convert sugar, starches and other foods into energy.

An estimated 23.6 million children and adults - about 8.0 percent of the U.S. population - have either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. In addition, an estimated 57 million people are considered to be pre-diabetic.

Having this disease significantly increases one's risk for a number of serious, sometimes life-threatening complications.

According to the ADA:

  • Heart disease deaths are two to four times more prevalent in adults with diabetes compared to adults without the disease.
  • Among deaths in people with the disease, 65 percent are related to heart disease and stroke.
  • Individuals with it have a two-to-four times higher risk for stroke and 2.8 times higher risk of death from stroke than those without the disease.
  • High blood pressure is present in about 73 percent of adults with diabetes.
  • It is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in adults between the ages of 20 and 74 - every year, diabetic retinopathy causes 12,000 to 24,000 new cases of blindness in adults with diabetes.
  • It is the leading cause of kidney failure - the disease accounted for 44 percent of new cases in 2005.
  • In 2002, more than 178,000 people with end-stage renal disease due to diabetes relied on chronic dialysis or underwent a kidney transplant.
  • Mild to severe forms of damage to the nervous system is seen in about 60 percent to 70 percent of people with diabetes.
  • Most non-traumatic lower-limb amputations - 60 percent - occur in people with diabetes.
  • The prevalence of amputation is 10 times higher among those with diabetes compared to individuals without it.

The list of diabetic complications sadly can go on, including complications in the area of dental health, pregnancy and sexual dysfunction.

Obtaining Disability Insurance

Because of the slew of complications related to the disease, one can see why it is so challenging for an individual with the disease to secure disability insurance.

Even obtaining social security benefits can be tough. An individual most likely will not receive benefits based on having diabetes alone. According to Social Security Administration guidelines, a diabetic person must demonstrate serious complications resulting from the disease.

For this reason, it is recommended that individuals with diabetes seek supplemental disability insurance to help cover their expenses should they become unable to work.

Securing supplemental disability insurance will still be a challenge for someone with diabetes. They might not be able to get the best policies, but for many, any policy is better than no policy.

The best step individuals can take to increase their chances of obtaining disability insurance is to do whatever they can to control their disease. When applying for coverage, the insurer will require the individual to undergo a blood test to reveal how much control of the disease an applicant has.

Other risk factors will come into play as well, including whether the applicant is overweight, smokes, has experienced any complications related to the disease or was diagnosed before the age of 28.

  Disability Insurance