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From Miami, Florida, USA:

I have a friend who is a diabetic since she was one year old. Her husband is employed, however, he does not have insurance. She had went to the social security office approximately 3 times and was denied. They say that since the has two arms and two legs she can work. However, almost every employers in the State of Florida requires a physical and she can't lie on an application, so therefore, she can't find a job. She has two beautiful daughters and her husband does not make that much money. Just enough to pay the rent and some food. I don't understand how some people pretend that they are disturbed and some women have men living at home while they are on Welfare and my friend can't get Social Security. Diabetes is a disability: it's a disease. She did not asked for this. Why is it that there are dishonest people out there taking taxpayers' money and my friend was denied social security? If you have any suggestions on what she can do, please let me know!


To quality for social security disability, diabetes alone will not suffice. You must have complications that keep you from working, such as blindness, kidney failure on dialysis, etc.


Additional comments from Dr. Lebinger:

I think this is a major problem for all Americans who are employed, don't have medical insurance, and make "too much money" for assistance.

A few suggestions:

  • Unless the woman has disabilities such as decreased vision, or is prone to serious low blood sugars, I doubt she will qualify based on diabetes as a disability.
  • If she is willing to work, her doctor can write a letter stating that she must have a job with flexibility to eat on time, test her blood sugar, and avoid working in places where a low blood sugar would be dangerous.
  • Otherwise, her situation is similar to other mothers who do not wish to work, but want to stay home with their children. Hopefully, her children are healthy, but if they have any medical problems, she is more likely to succeed if she finds a reason that she has to stay home and care for them.
  • Another possibility is to look for a clinic that charges patients reduced fees based on their income.

Good luck and let's hope our legislators work out a better system soon.


Additional comments from Lois Schmidt Finney, diabetes dietitian:

I always feel for these people who struggle to stay off welfare, but do not have enough monies for their diabetes--certainly a tough one. I guess I would try to talk to a live person at a local Welfare Department. Perhaps strips, syringes and insulin can be covered, so that should help some. Otherwise, she might wish to talk to one of the diabetes programs in the Miami area, and ask their advice about local resources to help.


Original posting 21 Jul 1998
Posted to Social Issues: Insurance/Costs


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:58
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