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Is Diabetes A Schedule A Disability

Diabetes Not A Disability Under The Ada?

Diabetes Not A Disability Under The Ada?

On 1/30/17, a federal judge granted summary judgment to an employer on an ADA discrimination claim on the ground, among others, that the employee’s diabetes was not a disability under the ADA. The court reasoned that the employee had not produced evidence that the diabetes substantially limited him with regard to any major life activities. The case is Sanders v. Bemis Company, Inc. (E.D. Kentucky 1/30/17). The court noted that a number of other federal circuit courts have reached the same conclusion, and that in these cases “diabetes ordinarily fails to rise to the level of a disability under the ADA,” particularly where the diabetes only requires an employee to inject insulin daily, wear a pump and monitor blood sugar and make modest dietary and lifestyle changes. No liability for failure to accommodate. The court also concluded that even if the employee’s diabetes qualified as a disability, the employer was entitled to summary judgment nonetheless. There is a reasonably complex factual background (just like many in ADA/FMLA cases). The court noted that the facility at which the employee worked had changed ownership several times during his employment. When the employee was first hired in 1986, he worked 8 hours shifts. In March 2002, the facility changed ownership and the new owner altered his work schedule and required him to work 12 hour shifts. He submitted a physician’s recommendation that he work an 8 hour shift because of his Type 1 diabetes. The new owners agreed, and he was assigned an 8 hour per day shift of Monday through Friday. Subsequently, the facility changed hands again, and the employee continued to work an 8 hour shift until June 2014 when the employer advised him that he would need to work 12 hour shifts going forward. The employee spoke t Continue reading >>

Diabetes In The Workplace And The Americans With Disabilities Act (ada)

Diabetes In The Workplace And The Americans With Disabilities Act (ada)

Introduction The Americans with Disabilities Act (1990), as amended in 2008, is a Federal Law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. Title I of the ADA covers employment by private Employers with 15 or more employees as well as State and local government employers. The Rehabilitation Act provides similar protections related to Federal employment. In addition, most States have their own laws prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of disability. Some of these State laws may apply to smaller employers and provide protections in addition to those available under the ADA. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces the employment provisions of the ADA. This guide explains how the ADA might apply to job applicants and employees with diabetes. In particular, this guide explains: when diabetes is a disability under the ADA; when an Employer may ask an applicant or employee questions about her diabetes; what types of reasonable accommodations employees with diabetes may need; and, how an employer should handle safety concerns about applicants and employees with diabetes. General Information About Diabetes Diabetes is becoming more common in the United States, with approximately one million new cases diagnosed each year.(1) Today, nearly 17 million Americans age 20 years or older have diabetes, including individuals of nearly every race and ethnicity.(2) Diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not produce any insulin or produces very little insulin, or when the body does not respond appropriately to insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches, and other food into energy. The process of turning food into energy is crucial because the body depends on this energy for every action, from pumping Continue reading >>

Can You Receive Disability Benefits For Diabetes?

Can You Receive Disability Benefits For Diabetes?

According to the American Diabetes Association, a total of “25.8 million children and adults in the United States—8.3% of the population—have diabetes.” In 2007 alone, more than 70,000 death certificates listed diabetes as the underlying cause of death. Diabetes is known to result in such severe conditions as blindness, kidney disease, neuropathy, and even necrosis of the limbs (usually legs) that necessitates amputation. With such an extensive list of complications and a skyrocketing death toll, one might think that diabetes would be recognized as a disabling condition in the SSA’s blue book. So, Does Diabetes Qualify for SSDI Benefits? The answer to this question is both yes and no. In and of itself, diabetes is not considered sufficiently disabling by the SSA, though it can cause disabling conditions that do qualify. This is because diabetes, when managed through an appropriate treatment regimen, does not typically interfere with a person’s ability to engage in “substantial gainful activity,” i.e. work. One of the SSA’s most important screening tests is to determine if you can continue to perform the work you had been doing before with reasonable accommodations from your employer that do not cause an undue burden on said employer. For many diabetics, the accommodations that employers have to make are more than reasonable and do not pose an undue burden on their business. Because of this, people with diabetes are not commonly considered disabled. Over time, however, diabetes can result in conditions that the SSA does recognize as disabling, such as blindness and nervous system disease (neuropathy). In some severe cases, diabetics may require amputation of their extremities, such as their feet. Yet, not even these horrific symptoms of diabetes may qua Continue reading >>

Ada: The 10 Most Common Disabilities And How To Accommodate

Ada: The 10 Most Common Disabilities And How To Accommodate

ADA: The 10 Most Common Disabilities and How to Accommodate By Norman H. Kirshman & Roger L. Grandgenett II I. Introduction {1} The Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") is the most significant employment legislation in a decade. This paper discusses what constitutes a disability under the ADA and what reasonable accommodation and undue hardship mean. This paper will also analyze the ten most common disability claims and how employers accommodate these disabilities. {2} Title I of the ADA is intended to ensure that individuals with disabilities not be excluded from job opportunities unless they are actually unable to do the job. In a nutshell, no covered entity shall discriminate against a qualified individual with a disability because of the individual's disability with regard to all aspects of employment (job application procedures, hiring and firing, advancement, training, compensation, benefits, etc.). 42 U.S.C.A. § 12112(a). A covered employer must make a reasonable accommodation to the known physical or mental limitation of a qualified individual with a disability unless the employer can show that the reasonable accommodation would cause an undue hardship on the operation of its business. 42 U.S.C.A. § 12112(b)(5)(A). The ADA provides some examples of reasonable accommodation and undue hardship, and these issues will be analyzed later. II. ADA DEFINITION OF DISABILITY: {3} Title I of the ADA protects qualified individuals with disabilities from employment discrimination. Under other employment legislation, such as Title VII or the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, whether an individual is in a protected class is a relatively simple matter. Race, color, sex, national origin and age are, in most cases, easily determined. However, whether an individual is Continue reading >>

Schedule For Rating Disabilities; The Organs Of Special Sense And Schedule Of Ratings-eye

Schedule For Rating Disabilities; The Organs Of Special Sense And Schedule Of Ratings-eye

Department of Veterans Affairs. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) proposes to amend the portion of the VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities (VASRD or rating schedule) that addresses the organs of special sense and schedule of ratings—eye. The purpose of these changes is to incorporate medical advances that have occurred since the last review, update current medical terminology, and provide clear evaluation criteria. The proposed rule reflects advances in medical knowledge, recommendations from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), and comments from subject matter experts and the public garnered as part of a public forum. The public forum, focusing on revisions to the organs of special sense and schedule of ratings for eye disabilities, was held on January 19-20, 2012. Comments must be received on or before August 10, 2015. Written comments may be submitted through www.Regulations.gov;​ by mail or hand-delivery to Director, Office of Regulation Policy and Management (02REG), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW., Room 1068, Washington, DC 20420; or by fax to (202) 273-9026. Comments should indicate that they are submitted in response to “RIN 2900-AP14-Schedule for Rating Disabilities; The Organs of Special Sense and Schedule of Ratings—Eye.” Copies of comments received will be available for public inspection in the Office of Regulation Policy and Management, Room 1068, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday (except holidays). Please call (202) 461-4902 for an appointment. (This is not a toll-free number.) In addition, during the comment period, comments may be viewed online through the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) at www.Regulations.gov. Nick Olmos-Lau, M.D., Medical Officer, Part 4 VASRD Staff (21 Continue reading >>

Work Disability Among Individuals With Diabetes

Work Disability Among Individuals With Diabetes

Abstract OBJECTIVE—Diabetes is rapidly increasing in prevalence among working-age adults, but little is known about the clinical characteristics that predict work disability in this population. This study assessed clinical predictors of work disability among working-age individuals with diabetes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—In a cohort of diabetic individuals (n = 1,642) enrolled in a large health maintenance organization, excluding homemakers and retirees, we assessed the relation of diabetes severity, chronic disease comorbidity, depressive illness, and behavioral risk factors with work disability. Three indicators of work disability were assessed: being unable to work or otherwise being unemployed; missing ≥5 days from work in the prior month; and having severe difficulty with work tasks. RESULTS—In the study population, 19% had significant work disability: 12% were unemployed, 7% of employed subjects had missed ≥5 days from work in the prior month, and 4% of employed subjects reported having had severe difficulty with work tasks. Depressive illness, chronic disease comorbidity, and diabetes symptoms were associated with all three types of work disability. Diabetes complications predicted unemployment and overall work disability status, whereas obesity and sedentary lifestyle did not predict work disability. Among subjects experiencing both major depression and three or more diabetes complications, >50% were unemployed; of those with significant work disability, half met the criteria for major or minor depression. CONCLUSIONS—Depressive illness was strongly associated with unemployment and problems with work performance. Disease severity indicators, including complications and chronic disease comorbidity, were associated with unemployment and overall work Continue reading >>

Employment Considerations For People Who Have Diabetes

Employment Considerations For People Who Have Diabetes

W W W . H R T I P S . O R G 1A D V A N C I N G T H E W O R L D O F W O R K w w w . h r t i p s . o r g What is Diabetes? Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. Nearly 24 million people in the United States have diabetes, which means that 7.8% of the United States population has the disease. There are two major types of diabetes: Type 1 (formerly known as “juvenile diabetes†or “insulin-dependent diabetesâ€) – a disease in which the body produces very little or no insulin, often first diag- nosed in children and young adults. People with type 1 diabetes must receive insulin from an outside source (typically through injections or use of an insulin pump) to stay alive. Type 1 diabetes accounts for 5 to 10 percent of all cases of diabetes diagnosed in the United States. In type 2 diabetes (formerly known as “adult onset†diabetes) the body retains the ability to make insulin, but cannot make enough to meet its needs because cells cannot recognize insulin or use it as effectively as in people without diabe- tes. Type 2 accounts for 90 to 95 percent of diabetes cases in the United States. Some people with type 2 (particularly in the early stages of the disease) can con- trol their diabetes through diet and exercise. Others must take various types of oral medications, while still others use insulin, much as those with type 1 do. 2 Employment Considerations for People who have Diabetes Diabetes causes blood glucose (sugar) levels to be too high. This is known as hyperglycemia. In the short term, high blood glucose levels can cause hunger, thirst, headache, blurry vi- sion, frequent urinati Continue reading >>

Managing Diabetes: An Employer/employee Success Story

Managing Diabetes: An Employer/employee Success Story

As we celebrate National Diabetes Month this November, I sat down with David Morey, recently retired Senior Operating System Controller of General Electric, to understand how he managed his disability in a senior position and worked with his employer to continue his heavy workload. An overlooked disability that affects a significant amount of employees and jobseekers, diabetes is one of the most prevalent diseases in the United States. In 2012 over 29 million Americans, or 9.3% of the population, had diabetes. In addition, another 86 million Americans (27%) had pre-diabetes, and many of these people will develop full-blown diabetes. Hear directly from David: “After several years of pre-diabetes, I was diagnosed with adult-onset Type 1 diabetes in 2009 after experiencing many symptoms for several months. I was told that it was brought on primarily as an auto-immune response to increased work-related stress. My body’s immune system literally treated the beta cells that manufacture insulin as an invader and killed most of them. We treated the diabetes with a healthier diet, increased exercise, and oral medications. Soon I also had to take insulin injections as my body’s insulin production sagged. Despite my best attempts to manage the disease, I would experience periodic low blood-sugar episodes (usually overnight) that would leave me wiped out the next day. Those low blood-sugar episodes were very unpredictable – similar daily routines could elicit very different results. I had to manage my stress level and pace myself throughout the week because eventually my body would shut down at the worst times if I ignored it. Plus, my body’s tolerance for skipping meals and logging late hours was diminished. Fortunately, my employer was understanding and accommodated my s Continue reading >>

Is Diabetes A Disability Under The Ada?

Is Diabetes A Disability Under The Ada?

In 2008, the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) was amended to broaden the scope of conditions that constituted a “disability” under the ADA. The definition is considered so broad that employment lawyers often joke everything is a disability. While this joke is a good cautionary tale, courts continue to provide guidance on what is and is not a disability under the ADA. For instance, in Sanders v. Bemis Company, Inc., the District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky recently held an employee’s diabetes was not a disability under the ADA or Kentucky Civil Rights Act, the state employment discrimination statute. In that case, the plaintiff was a current employee of the company and continued to work there throughout the litigation. The basis of the plaintiff’s claim was that the company failed to provide a work schedule which accommodated his Type I diabetes. Specifically, he sought to work an eight hour day rather than twelve, but his doctor did not indicate he was substantially limited in any major life activity. The employee (although it was not doctor ordered) modified his own schedule and only worked eight hour shifts without repercussion. In its decision, the Court reasoned the employee did not produce evidence his diabetes substantially limited any major life activity. The Court noted “diabetes ordinarily fails to rise to the level of a disability under the ADA” particularly where the diabetes only requires an employee to inject insulin daily, wear a pump and monitor blood sugar and make modest dietary and lifestyle changes. This is a very conservative view of the definition of disability, and we will see if the new Administration leads to more decisions like this. A take away from this case is courts are more inclined to side with the emp Continue reading >>

Type 2 Diabetes And Your Workplace Rights

Type 2 Diabetes And Your Workplace Rights

Living with type 2 diabetes is hard enough. But what if your condition affects your work or the way people treat you there? Learn about your employment rights as someone with diabetes. Diabetes is considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This law applies to any employer in the United States that has 15 employees or more. It also applies to: labor organizations joint labor-management committees employment agencies all state and local government employers If you’re employed by or applying for a job with one of these organizations, the ADA protects you from discrimination. An employer can’t refuse to hire you based solely on your diabetes. In fact, you don’t even have a legal obligation to tell a prospective employer about your condition. Once you’ve been hired, the ADA also requires your employer to provide reasonable accommodations. These include changes to your workplace or routine that can help you to manage your condition. You may also be protected under the Rehabilitation Act if you’re federally employed. Depending on where you live, additional state laws may cover smaller employers or offer broader protections. In most cases, an employer can’t use your diabetes as a reason: not to hire you not to promote you to fire you The only exception is if your condition poses a direct threat to your health or safety or those of others. For example, do you frequently experience hypoglycemic episodes that could interfere with your duties? These episodes might incapacitate you while you’re operating heavy machinery. This could put your life at risk. In this case, an employer has the right not to hire you for a role that requires you to operate that machinery. Once you’ve received a job offer, you’re subject to the same medical req Continue reading >>

Is Diabetes A Disability Under The Americans With Disabilities Act?

Is Diabetes A Disability Under The Americans With Disabilities Act?

Is diabetes a disability? Do diabetic employees have any protection in the workplace? Does an employer have any obligation to its employee who have diabetes? Millions of Americans live with diabetes—a disorder caused by the body’s inability to produce or use insulin. While diabetes can be managed and those affected can still lead normal lives, the disorder is still a disability and diabetic employees cannot be discriminated against because of their condition. In 1990, Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which protects employees from being discriminated against because of their disability. This means that an employer cannot discriminate against a qualified individual on the basis of his disability when it comes to hiring, firing, promotion, and pay. So, an employer cannot deny job benefits to a disabled employee or create tests that screen out otherwise qualified but disabled individuals. The ADA also requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for disabled employees so that they can perform their jobs. The ADA covers employers with fifteen or more employees, and, like most federal employment statutes, only applies to employees and not independent contractors. An employee is an individual that the employer has the right to control. If an employee believes that he has been discriminated against on the basis of his disability, he must show that he has a disability as defined by the ADA, that he was otherwise qualified for the position, and that his employer failed to make a reasonable accommodation. To qualify as a disability, diabetes must be a physical impairment that substantially limits a major life activity. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines a physical impairment as “any physiological disorder or condition, Continue reading >>

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Citation Nr: 0705878 Decision Date: 03/01/07 Archive Date: 03/13/07 DOCKET NO. 04-30 193 ) DATE ) ) On appeal from the Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Office in New Orleans, Louisiana THE ISSUE Entitlement to an increased initial rating for diabetes mellitus, type II, currently rated as 20 percent disabling. REPRESENTATION Appellant represented by: Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States ATTORNEY FOR THE BOARD Jennifer Hwa, Associate Counsel INTRODUCTION The veteran served on active duty from February 1968 to December 1979. This matter comes before the Board of Veterans' Appeals (Board) from an April 2003 rating decision of a Department of Veterans Appeals (VA) Regional Office (RO) that granted service connection and awarded a 20 percent disability rating for diabetes mellitus, type II, with peripheral neuropathy of the bilateral lower extremities, effective December 6, 2001. FINDING OF FACT The veteran's service-connected diabetes mellitus is manifested by the need for daily insulin treatments and dietary restrictions, but his physical activity has not been clinically regulated. CONCLUSION OF LAW The criteria for a rating higher than 20 percent for diabetes mellitus have not been met since December 6, 2001, the effective date of service connection. 38 U.S.C.A. § 1155 (West 2002); 38 C.F.R. § 4.119, Diagnostic Code (DC) 7913 (2006). REASONS AND BASES FOR FINDINGS AND CONCLUSION Increased Rating Disability evaluations are determined by the application of VA's Schedule for Rating Disabilities. Separate diagnostic codes identify the various disabilities. 38 U.S.C.A. § 1155 (West 2002); 38 C.F.R. § Part 4 (2006). When rating a service-connected disability, the entire history must be borne in mind. Schafrath v. Derwinski, 1 Vet. App. 589 (1991). Where entit Continue reading >>

Can I Continue Working With Diabetes?

Can I Continue Working With Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic condition in which the pancreas doesn't function effectively which results in consistently high rates of sugar in the blood stream. As the individual’s own body is not able to effectively regulation blood sugar levels, medical intervention is required to do so. There are two major forms of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2. The onset of Type 1 diabetes can occur in individuals of all ages, but is most commonly diagnosed in minors. The pancreas of Type 1 patients produces little to no insulin and insulin injections are required to manage the disease. In Type 2 diabetes, the onset of the condition can also occur at any age, but happens most frequently in adulthood. Type 2 patients may be insulin resistant, produce too little insulin, or both. Medication and/or insulin injections may be necessary to manage the disease. Most diabetics must either take a prescription medication to control their blood glucose levels or must inject themselves with insulin, a hormone produced by a healthy pancreas, which is responsible for regulating level of sugar in the blood stream. Additionally, diabetics must typically monitor their blood glucose levels throughout the day and also ensure they eat an appropriate diet for promoting blood sugar regularity. Success in managing diabetes and its symptoms varies significantly from one case to the next. Most people are able to continue working even with the condition; however, in severe cases in which the disease and its symptoms severely limit the ability to perform standard job functions, the individual may be unable to maintain gainful employment. Diabetes and Physical Capacity Diabetes can cause a number of symptoms, most of which are associated with high blood sugar levels and include excessive thirst, frequent urination, we Continue reading >>

Can I Get Social Security Disability Benefits For Diabetes?

Can I Get Social Security Disability Benefits For Diabetes?

Diabetes refers to a group of illnesses that result from the body’s inability to effectively produce or use insulin. This condition is characterized by high blood glucose levels. Over time, high blood sugar levels can affect other bodily functions. For example, diabetes can affect the body’s ability to fight infections and can cause serious problems for the heart, kidneys, nerves, eyes, and feet. Whether your diabetes has been recently diagnosed or you have had it for years, the complications associated with this disease can make it difficult to get around, to take care of yourself, and to hold down a job. Diabetes Can Have Serious Complications If your diabetes is well managed and you do not suffer any complications, then you can continue to work and your Social Security disability application will be denied. However, many people are not that lucky. Diabetes can have significant complications that may make you eligible for Social Security disability. These side effects include: Neuropathy. Diabetes can result in nerve damage in the legs and feet. Retinopathy. Diabetes may affect your vision to the point where you are unable to perform your work duties. Organ damage. Diabetes can cause severe damage to organs such as the liver or kidneys. These complications can be devastating and result in your total disability. Are You Eligible for Social Security Disability? The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses a five-step process to determine whether a person with diabetes qualifies for Social Security disability benefits. Specifically, the SSA is going to ask: Are you working? If you are employed and earning more than $1,170 a month ($1,950 if you are blind), then your application will likely be denied—regardless of the severity of your diabetes. Is your disability s Continue reading >>

Types Of Reasonable Accommodation

Types Of Reasonable Accommodation

The following types of accommodations are defined as reasonable: No-tech: An accommodation costs little or no money…just time, support and creativity (e.g., additional preparation time for an individual, or a color-coded filing system). Low-tech: Any accommodation that is technologically simple or unsophisticated, and readily available in most offices (e.g., replacing a door knob with an accessible door handle, providing a magnifier). High-tech: Any accommodation that uses advanced or sophisticated devices (e.g., screen reading software with synthesized speech). Examples of Possible Accommodations Job restructuring as a form of reasonable accommodation may involve reallocating or redistributing the marginal functions of a job. Job restructuring frequently is accomplished by exchanging marginal functions of a job that cannot be performed by a person with a disability for marginal job functions performed by one or more other employees. An employee must be able to perform the essential functions of the job, but where it is possible to remove certain non-essential tasks from an employee’s work requirements, this should be done. Example: An agency has two data processing clerks. Typing on the computer is an essential function, using the phone is a marginal one. If a qualified data processing clerk had a speech impairment, it would be reasonable to assign the function of using the phone to the employee without a speech impairment in exchange for doing that employee’s filing. The agency is not required to reallocate essential job functions. It may be a reasonable accommodation to change when or how the essential functions are done. These include: Reassign work at the existing site among coworkers. Example: If a secretary had a vision impairment that prevented the secreta Continue reading >>

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