Legal Assistance

Treated Unfairly Because of Diabetes?

No one should ever be treated unfairly because of diabetes. The American Diabetes Association helps people all across the country to stand up for their rights. If something does not feel right, contact us to know your rights, and learn how we can help.

You're not alone. Others have faced - and defeated - discrimination because of diabetes. Here are some recent examples.

  1. I think I am seeing unfair treatment. What are my next steps?
  2. What kinds of unfair treatment get help from the Association?
  3. What kind of help can I expect?
  4. Can I get an attorney to represent me?
  5. How long will it take to get help?
  6. Can local Association offices help me with a legal problem?
  7. I never received a call from a legal advocate. What should I do?
  8. Is service available in Spanish or other languages?

Know Someone Who Needs Help? You can contact 1-800-DIABETES (800-342-2383) or askada@diabetes.org on their behalf. Thank you for improving the lives of people affected by diabetes!

Question

I think I am seeing unfair treatment. What are my next steps?

Answer

Call 1-800- DIABETES (342-2383) or askada@diabetes.org. Representatives at the Center for Information are available to answer calls during most business hours. Tell the representative your problem or question. Be sure to mention as many details as you can, and any urgent deadlines. If there is not enough information, we may reach out for more details.

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Question

What kinds of unfair treatment get help from the Association?

Answer

Unfair treatment takes many forms. Here are some examples of the kinds of problems and questions we respond to every day:

  • Employment: Someone is not allowed to take breaks to test blood glucose or eat
  • School: A child's school can't provide diabetes care. What can we do about that?
  • Commercial Licensing: A worker cannot become a truck driver because they use insulin.
  • Police and Prison: Someone is arrested. Can they be denied access to diabetes medication in jail?
  • Public places: A restaurant doesn't allow blood glucose testing. An airport throws away supplies. Can they do that?

The Association has information about medical insurance and benefits, but we do not help directly with insurance or benefits legal problems. The same is true about criminal defense or family law cases. Contact us if you are not sure whether the problem is within our area of service.

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Question

What kind of help can I expect?

Answer

Different people need different kinds of help:

  • A representative can send information about your rights
  • A legal advocate can answer a legal question by phone or email
  • A legal advocate can give you tools to advocate for yourself
  • We can help you negotiate a solution and solve problems
  • We can guide you through the legal process

If none of this can help, we can look for a local attorney to provide full representation.

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Question

Can I get an attorney to go to represent me?

Answer

Our legal advocates are experienced attorneys with an expertise in diabetes discrimination and related legal areas. They cannot represent you, and they are not your attorney. This means they cannot go to court, cannot attend meetings, and cannot write any formal legal documents on your behalf.

If a legal advocate believes you need a local attorney, we will look through our Attorney Advocacy Network. This is a network of hundreds of volunteer and private attorneys across the country who have an interest in diabetes discrimination. Not every area of the country has attorneys, and not every problem will need an attorney. But our Attorney Network is a powerful tool to help solve diabetes discrimination problems.

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Question

I have an urgent need, or a quick question. How long will it take to get help?

Answer

We want to help everyone. We work hard, but we are a small team helping hundreds of people each month. It is very difficult for us to respond in the same day, even for urgent needs. If you need help quickly, please tell us why, as clearly as possible, and mention any important dates or deadlines.

Sometimes a quick question may be hiding complex legal problems. We may need to research, or collect materials to respond. Depending on the need, and the business of the season, we may contact you as soon as the next day, or as long as 10 business days, depending on the type of problem and the number of people we are trying to help.

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Question

Can local Association offices help me with a legal problem?

Answer

Your local offices are dedicated and involved in advocacy efforts, but all of our legal advocacy staff attorneys are in our national office located in Virginia. People in the field offices are not attorneys, and it is not fair to ask them to solve complex legal problems, including school-related problems. If you need to know you rights, or need help with a diabetes-related legal problem, contact 1-800-DIABETES (800-342-2383) or askada@diabetes.org.

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Question

I never received a call from a legal advocate. What should I do?

Answer

Sometimes a legal advocate sends information by email instead of reaching out by phone. Check your email. Other times we have too many people asking for help to give individual assistance. You should still receive a packet of information.

If you still need help, or have a hard time using the information in the email, you can contact us at 1-800-DIABETES (800-342-2383). Mention you received an email, and what it said, and tell the representative what you need.

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Question

Where can I find more disability resources?

Answer

Yes. Many representatives are fluent in Spanish, and our legal advocacy staff attorneys, are fluent in Spanish. The Association also has access to a telephone service that provides interpretation for nearly every other language. Language should not be a barrier to getting help.

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  • Last Reviewed: August 16, 2016
  • Last Edited: August 18, 2016

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