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.

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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. We may be able to:

  • Send information about your rights
  • Provide an answer to a legal question
  • Give you tools to advocate for yourself
  • Help you solve problems
  • Provide guidance on the legal process

If none of this can help, we may be able to refer you to a local attorney for possible legal representation.

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Question

Can I get an attorney to go to represent me?

Answer

Our legal advocacy staff attorneys have 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 we believe you need a local attorney, we will look through our Attorney Advocacy Network. This is a network of hundreds of 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. We cannot guarantee that an attorney will take your case. 

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Question

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

Answer

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 call volume, it may take up to 10 business days to receive a response. 

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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 cannot provide legal assistance, including with 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

Due to the high demand for assistance, we cannot provide phone consultations to everyone who contacts us about a discrimination issue within our area of service. We may send you a response by email or regular mail instead. At times we have too many people asking for help to give personalized assistance but you should still receive a packet of information by mail or email.  

If you still need help, or have a hard time using the information we send you, you can contact us again at 1-800-DIABETES (800-342-2383). Mention you received information but still need assistance and tell the representative what you need.

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Question

Where can I find more disability resources?

Answer

Yes. Some of our staff members 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: February 24, 2017
  • Last Edited: February 27, 2017

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Diabetes Forecast