I am not a doctor but the parent of a child with types one and the daughter of a type 2. Under the law you are considered to have a disability as diabetes does impair the brain and body, I would not feel guilty. The law and disability insurance is not only for those disabilities that can bee seen from the outside. You have worked your whole life, you are entitled to get the help and not feel guilty.
You sound like hard worker, a lifelong hard worker. I can imagine that being unemployed under these circumstances could be very difficult to swallow indeed.
Since you're bright and capable, but not strong enough for traditional construction work, I wonder if you could view disability as the income you need in order to create a career bridge for yourself? Would you consider returning to school or to learn a trade that's not so physically demanding? Perhaps there is a state office of "Diability Services" office (not sure what it'd be called, but it might be "Vocational Rehabilitation" or some such) that could provide both counseling and guidance on career options if you're interested and able.
If you're not able to work at this point, perhaps you can feel good about doing volunteer "work" with youngsters or adults learning to read or any number of things that require a sound mind, tho' not necessarily a sound body.
I hope you find a new calling before too long. Until then, you're entitled to disability benefits and you've probably PAID for them already in your taxable income these many years since you were 16. Good luck and let us know what new interests you're considering :-)
Thanks so much for the input from everyone.
Thank you for reaching out to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. I am not a physician or an attorney, but can give you my own personal experience and knowledge dealing with diabetes and in your case, disability.
I have a son who has had type 1 diabetes for 20 years. He developed a complication that requires hospitalization often. He has been very lucky that the company that he works for has been a compassionate one and his boss works with him to keep him on. Like you, he has also been a very hard worker. Because he is only 28, I am hoping that he will only have to use Social Security Disability as a last resort, but it is nothing to be ashamed of.
This is a critical issue with all of us facing many debilitating diseases and I am so very sorry that you are dealing with this decision. I faced the same question 23 years ago. I had to go on disability due to rheumatoid arthritis. Like you, especially because of my age, I faced a major guilt problem as a steady employee with my company. It is a tough one, but this is why we pay into SS.
As far as looking
Thank you DM for your help and I will let yall know what I find out. If i can help anyone her at all let me know.
Looks to me you've done extremely well working in Construction for as long as you have... anyone w/out diabetes would be having to consider a different line of work to do by being 48 years old... You've done GOOD... It's just time now to look forward onto a different line of work for yourself. You sound like a very smart young 48 year old who I'm sure has many more talents within... Just put your mind to work, keep on believing in yourself and all that you still are... You have much to offer - you just need to figure out what you'd like to do & go do it! GOD bless you & may HE be right by your side helping you find your next good venture in the working world... Take good care & bye for now...