A Closer Look at Details of Neuropathy

Neuropathy can be caused by a variety of medical conditions, including diabetes and chemotherapy used to treat cancer. If you are wondering if this ailment will qualify for disability benefits, continue reading to learn more.

Neuropathy, also known as peripheral neuropathy, is a term used to describe various health problems involving damage to the peripheral nerves and the symptoms associated with those problems. Peripheral neuropathy is characterized by weakness, numbness, and pain in the hands and feet due to nerve damage outside of the brain and spinal cord (peripheral nerves). It may have a significant impact on other parts of your body as well.


People suffering from peripheral neuropathy describe their pain as stabbing, burning, or tingling. Symptoms often improve, especially if a treatable condition causes them. Medications can sometimes help to alleviate the pain of peripheral neuropathy.

Is Peripheral Neuropathy A Disability?

What is particularly intriguing about peripheral neuropathy is that, when compared to other types of conditions, symptoms worsen significantly at night. Peripheral neuropathy is especially sensitive to temperature changes, which are known to aggravate pain.

Disability For Neuropathy

Damage to the peripheral nerves can cause pain and other symptoms. These nerves are in charge of signaling to the brain whether something is hot or cold and whether something is causing pain. When peripheral nerves are damaged, the brain interprets temperature changes as pain, resulting in tingling, burning, and sharp, painful sensations.

There are numerous reasons why someone’s nerves may be damaged. Diabetes is one of the leading causes. On the other hand, some people have idiopathic neuropathy, which means that there is no discernible cause. Among the most common reasons for peripheral neuropathy are:

  • Physical trauma, diseases and disorders – 

Trauma occurs unexpectedly because of an accident or surgery. Repetitive stress can result in a dysfunctional immune system and inflammation. Some of the diseases that can cause this condition include diabetes and other metabolic and endocrine disorders, small vessel diseases, autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome and lupus, kidney disorder, cancer, HIV/AIDS, hypothyroidism, etc.

  • Exposure to Toxins –

Toxicity can be caused by medications, particularly cancer-fighting drugs, HIV drugs, blood pressure medications, and anticonvulsant medications. When this medication is stopped, neuropathy usually goes away. When medication is taken for an extended period of time, it can cause nerve damage.

Toxins from industry or the environment, such as arsenic, mercury, and lead, as well as certain solvents and insecticides can also contribute to neuropathy. Heavy alcohol consumption can also cause irreversible damage, especially in alcoholics. This is also because alcoholics are generally deficient in folate, thiamine, benfotiamine, and vitamin B12, which can lead to nerve damage.

  • Genetic Mutation –

Some people are born with a mutation, while others acquire it later in life. If genetic mutations cause neuropathy, it usually manifests itself during childhood.

Can You Get Disability Benefits for Neuropathy? 

You must meet the following criteria in the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Blue Book to be eligible for disability for neuropathy:

  • Experience disruption of motor function in two extremities, resulting in severe limitations in standing up from a seated position, balancing while walking or standing.
  • Experience significant limitations in physical functioning in one of the following areas:
    • Remembering, comprehending, and applying information
    • Having conversations with other people.
    • Concentrating, persevering, or managing to keep up the pace
    • Self-management

If you do not meet the requirements for a disability based on the criteria listed in the Blue Book, you may be able to prove your eligibility for SSI benefits by having the SSA conduct a residual functional capacity (RFC) evaluation.

For an RFC evaluation, you and your treating physician will fill out questionnaires about your daily activities and how your condition impacts them. This information provides the SSA with information that aids in determining whether you are unable to perform essential job duties or if you have limitations that prevent you from completing certain types of work.

Medical documentation must be provided to support your claim that you are eligible under the criteria stated above. Some medical records that may be used to support your claim are mentioned below. These documents will play a crucial role in your claim decision, even if you are applying for SSDI Over 50. There are separate rules for older adults. Take a look at the following documents:

  • Medical documentation detailing the progression of symptoms from your primary doctor or specialists who treat your condition
  • Documentation of previous and ongoing treatment
  • Documentation of symptoms, to include a personal journal
  • CMT must be diagnosed definitively through muscle or nerve biopsy, genetic testing, or other acceptable means.
  • Diagnostic reports, labs, and imaging tests, as well as EMG and neurological test results

Keeping a journal of your symptoms may prove to be highly beneficial. Describe the symptoms you are experiencing, their severity, when they occur, how long they last, their intensity, and how they affect your day-to-day life.

Denials can be difficult

Receiving a denial on your disability application can be extremely disheartening, but please do not give up just yet. Many people are denied benefits during the initial application process. Do not be concerned if your application does not meet the SSA’s stated criteria on the first attempt. This does not preclude you from re-applying. You can also appeal the decision. 

Suppose you can demonstrate that your condition is so debilitating that you cannot return to your previous job and are unable to transition to any other type of employment. In that case, you may be eligible for Neuropathy Disability benefits. The SSA will want to review all your records, past treatment, and doctors notes to determine your limitations and whether you can perform any work.

If you appeal a denied disability claim and hire a skilled Los Angeles disability attorney who understands Social Security Disability law, your chances of approval improve significantly. Experienced disability lawyers routinely persuade the government to reverse an unfavorable decision and award our clients the disability benefits they so rightfully deserve. But do not put off appealing any longer. After receiving your denial letter, you have only 60 days to initiate the appeal process.

We will review your claim and assist you in moving forward to secure the benefits that you may be entitled to. Now is the right time to request a free consultation.