Disability Protection for Those with Diabetes: Know Your Rights
Before 2009, the U.S. judicial system had a habit of narrowly defining disabilities. This made establishing coverage under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) problematic for many people with diabetes.
Fortunately, alterations to the ADA in 2008 broadened the courts’ view.
The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) makes it clear that those with type 1 and type 2 diabetes are entitled to disability protection. The ADAAA went into effect Jan. 1, 2009.
Life Activity Limitations
An individual disability, under the ADA, is a mental or physical impairment that significantly limits any life activities.
The ADAAA includes major bodily functions as a type of major life activity:
[A] major life activity also includes the operation of a major bodily function, including but not limited to ... circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions.
Because diabetes, by definition, impairs the functioning of the endocrine system in significant ways, it should be straightforward to easily prove that the disease causes substantial limitation in endocrine function, with minimal medical evidence.
Where proof of diabetes is required, a report from the individual’s physician or endocrinologist should be adequate. The report needs to explain the effects of diabetes on the endocrine system and provide relevant details about the patient’s condition and treatment.
'Regarded as' Impaired
Disability protection under the ADA also includes people "being regarded" as having an impairment.
The “regarded as” clause states that when a person is subject to an action – Continue reading