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From San Jose, California, USA:

My son is now 29 years old and was first diagnosed with type 2 when he was 26 years old. Less than a year ago, he was re-diagnosed with type 1 and now takes insulin shots four times a day. He is also taking two different types of insulin, one type during the day and another type at night.

Who can we contact for information on his rights when it comes to his diabetes? He is a driver with a class C license. The California DMV will not renew his license because they have a clause indicating that, if insulin is being used, a person cannot drive a class C licensed vehicle. He knows other drivers who have indicated that they drive larger and heavier trucks (with air brakes) and a class C license is not required at all, medical condition or not. His doctor also indicated that insulin shots should not be an issue.

Can he take disability retirement or receive disability benefits due to his type 2 diabetes which could cause him to lose his current job as a result of the above?


The question of your son's driving privileges requires expert knowledge of California laws and regulations concerning commercial driver's licenses. I would suggest that you contact an attorney whose practice includes actions involving the DMV. As far as disability insurance, it is unlikely that a claim for coverage would be approved because your son is physically able to perform work. The interruption from work is not caused by his inability to perform the job, but that he cannot get the license that allows him to lawfully drive.


Additional comments from Debbie Butler, MSW, LICSW, Licensed Clinical Social Worker:

I would suggest that you call the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and ask to speak to someone in their legal advocacy department. The ADA national number is 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383).

Your son can apply for disability benefits, but he may not be eligible. Usually, a diagnosis of just diabetes does not make a person eligible for disability benefits. A person with diabetes that does receive disability benefits usually has other medical or psychological disabilities in addition to the diabetes For more information, see Disability Programs.


Additional comments from Heather Valdes Speer, Clinical Research Coordinator:

You should contact the ADA Legislative Advocacy. Lisa Murdock is the California contact at I believe this battle has already been fought and resolved.


Original posting 27 Oct 2004
Posted to Other


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:58
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