Living in America with diabetes is hard for anyone to afford, even with a job. Health care for someone with diabetes costs close to $17,000 a year on average.

What do people with diabetes do when they cannot work but are too young to retire or get Medicare? Some soon focus on a solution they have heard about, although there are many, often complicated options to explore.

Writing everything down

If you are beginning to focus on this problem, experts suggest writing things down. Whether who you talked to, at what time and date, the phone number, or what you asked and what they answered, keep everything and write the date on it.

You have may have many options, and some of them critically need you to keep good records.

Who says you cannot work?

People with diabetes have job rights. The federal government protects most Americans from discrimination for having diabetes. Employers cannot treat you differently in firing, hiring, paying, demoting or in many other ways due to diabetes.

They must also make reasonable arrangements so you can handle your diabetes with breaks, glucose checks, sitting, using special equipment and other things.

Keeping an open mind to consider every option

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) keeps a valuable list of options to explore.

For example, it includes a reminder that the 2010 Affordable Care Act brought many protections for people with diabetes. Georgia even joined the federal exchange market.

The Social Security programs SSI, SSDI and SSD

People whose diabetes has brought on certain complications and/or badly limited their ability to function might qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security disability benefits (SSDI or SSD) benefits.

SSI is a needs-based social program for those with low income and few assets.

SSDI/SSD are entirely different and funded differently. They are insurance programs funded with payroll taxes taken out of all your paychecks and those of other workers.

Qualifying for these benefits is usually difficult and the process can be complex, especially if a denial has you wanting to file an appeal. Reaching out for experience help is likely to give you your best chance of success.