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Diabetes and the Vascular System

A person with diabetes is two to three times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than someone without diabetes. At least 65 percent of people with diabetes die from some form of heart disease or stroke, according to the American Heart Association.

It is possible to qualify for Social Security disability benefits if you have diabetes, but not everyone with diabetes will qualify. You must meet a listing in the Social Security Administration’s Listing of Impairments or show that the limitations caused by your diabetes keep you from working full-time, considering your age, education, and work experience.

Winning Benefits by Meeting a Listing

Because diabetes can cause problems with several different organs and body systems, including the brain, the heart, and the vascular system, there are several listings that may be applicable. If you experience cardiovascular problems specifically, the relevant listing is 4.00.

Ischemic Heart Disease

Listing 4.00 has several subsections. For example, if your diabetes has led to ischemic heart disease, you will be found disabled under Listing 4.04 if exercise tolerance testing shows that you cannot handle a task that ranks five on the MET scale (roughly equivalent to riding a bike at a leisurely pace).

You can also meet Listing 4.04 for ischemic heart disease if you have three episodes requiring revascularization in a 12-month period, or if an SSA medical consultant determines that you cannot safely perform an exercise tolerance test.

Continue to Peripheral Arterial Disease.