Aims: Diabetes distress affects approximately 36% of adults with diabetes and is associated with worse diabetes self-management and poor glycaemic control. We characterized participants’ diabetes distress and studied the relationship between social support and diabetes distress. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, we surveyed a population-based sample of adults with type 2 diabetes covered by Alabama Medicaid. We used the Diabetes Distress Scale assessing emotional burden, physician-related, regimen-related and interpersonal distress. We assessed participants’ level of diabetes-specific social support and satisfaction with this support, categorized as low or moderate–high. We performed multivariable logistic regression of diabetes distress by level of and satisfaction with social support, adjusting for demographics, disease severity, self-efficacy and depressive symptoms. Results: In all, 1147 individuals participated; 73% were women, 41% White, 58% Black and 3% Hispanic. Low level of or satisfaction with social support was reported by 11% of participants; 7% of participants had severe diabetes distress. Participants with low satisfaction with social support were statistically significantly more likely to have severe diabetes distress than those with moderate–high satisfaction, adjusted odds ratio 2.43 (95% CI 1.30, 4.54). Conclusions: Interventions addressing diabetes distress in adults with type 2 diabetes may benefit from a focus on improving diabetes-specific social support.