Neuropathy affects millions of people in the U.S, disabling them from working and living a normal, active life. Due to the nature of the disorder, valid disability claims are routinely challenged by insurance companies, or fall short of satisfying the requirements of Social Security Disability and Veterans Disability programs.
Many times, neuropathy disability claims are denied on the initial filing or on appeal. If this has happened to you, don’t lose hope. Our disability firm has the experience and skills to help. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Understanding Neuropathy Disorders
Neuropathy means damage or malfunction of the nerves. Neuropathy itself is not one disease. Rather, it is the resulting damage to peripheral nerves caused by any one of a group of various disorders, including diabetes, traumatic injuries, autoimmune disorders (such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis), tumors, infections, genetic conditions, and toxic chemical exposure. Sometimes the cause of a person’s neuropathies are unknown, which is referred to as “idiopathic.”
The nerves that are affected are those of the peripheral nervous system, as opposed to the central nervous system. Peripheral nerves affect the extremities, motor nerves (controlling muscle movement), sensory nerves (detecting sensations such as pain, heat and cold), and internal organs.
Individuals who suffer from neuropathy disability experience symptoms according to the nerves that are damaged:
- Burning, deep pain or numbness in their feet, legs, and arms
- Muscle control may be grossly affected
- Problems with body organs, such as the heart and digestive system
The most common cause of neuropathy is diabetes, which can result in diabetic neuropathy disability. The nerve damage causes a person to lose the ability to sense pain, beginning in the toes and feet. As a result, sores and wounds go unnoticed and untreated. These injuries can lead to infected ulcers, which may require amputations of toes, feet, legs, or fingers.
Long Term Disability Insurance for Neuropathy
Many of our clients have tried to work through the constant pain or loss of functionality that is associated with peripheral neuropathy. Eventually they are forced to stop working and file for long-term disability insurance benefits. These benefits may be through a private disability policy they have bought, or through their employer’s insurance plan.
Not having a skilled attorney’s help can put you at risk of the insurance company denying your claim, even though your disability is valid. We frequently help claimants who were denied benefits because they
- did not understand the laws
- did not have the resources to get the medical reports they need
- did not get the opinions from doctors that are necessary for a successful claim
- cannot interpret the language of the policy
Insurance companies know this, in fact many of them count on it in the hope that claimants get frustrated and give up. With claims for neuropathy disability benefits, insurance companies often base a decision of denial on reasoning such as “lack of objective evidence” or “pre-existing conditions.”
If these or other forms of denial have happened to you, don’t give up hope.
Proper presentation of your claim, consultation with treating physicians, medical records and other relevant information is essential. Our firm has helped hundreds of people fight “big insurance” to get the compensation they are due.
We handle long-term disability claims against major disability insurance companies for clients across the country. If you believe your insurance company is not playing fair, contact our firm today: (800) 562-9830.
Winning a Neuropathy Disability Claim under Social Security
Neuropathy is recognized in the Social Security Listing of Impairments, under Neurological Listing 11.14, Peripheral neuropathies.
To meet or equal the listing, you must have peripheral neuropathy with “disorganization of motor function with significant and persistent disorganization of motor function in two extremities, resulting in sustained disturbance of gross and dexterous movements, or gait and station.”
Your medical records and history of neuropathy disability must meet the characteristics described by Social Security. The reviewer will also evaluate your impairment upon the “degree of interference with locomotion and/or interference with the use of fingers, hands and arms.”
Even if you do not meet the exact requirements of the medical listing, your symptoms may be severe enough for you to be eligible for benefits based on your functional limitations, age, education, and work skills.
If your neuropathy disability claim was denied by Social Security, we can handle your appeal with the highest possible chance of success. Contact us for a free consultation.
We will review your claim, and determine exactly what is needed to prove that you either meet the medical listings, or are unable to perform your past work or any other work.
Helping Veterans Win Neuropathy Disability Benefits
Neuropathy has disabled thousands of veterans, whether the cause was traumatic injury, exposure to toxins, or infections incurred in the line of duty. Establishing your right to veterans disability benefits for neuropathy may seem to be a complicated, endless process.
Has the VA has denied your claim, or determined that your disability is not service-connected? Is their evaluation of your disability lower than you think is fair? If so, you have the right to appeal. Our firm would be honored to assist you in the process.
In the VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities, neuropathy is listed under Neurological conditions and convulsive disorders as Diseases of the Peripheral Nerves. The schedule is used by the VA rater to evaluate the severity of your disability and assign a rating.
In addition, the following neuropathy disabilities are recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs as connected to Agent Orange herbicide exposure.
- Acute Peripheral Neuropathy: a temporary dysfunction of the nervous system characterized by involuntary “tingling” of numbness in the extremities.
- Peripheral Neuropathy: dysfunction of the nervous system involving either the somatic nerves or the autonomic nervous system, which can cause sensory loss, atrophy, and muscle weakness.
- Sub-acute Peripheral Neuropathy: nervous system disorder either acute (temporary) or chronic (long-term).
As a Vietnam veteran, if you develop diabetes mellitus (Type 2) from Agent Orange exposure, peripheral diabetic neuropathy disability can be secondary to the diabetes. You may also have a direct service connection based on exposure to Agent Orange, where the damage might not be identified until much later.
Any veteran who has filed a disability claim knows that the process is long and frustrating. The Accredited Veterans Claims Lawyers at Marc Whitehead & Associates are ready to help you get the disability benefits the VA owes you. We can represent you regardless of where you live, and at all levels of the VA disability system.
Call us toll free at 800-562-9830 or arrange a Free Consultation with a lawyer to evaluate your disability claim. We represent the disabled nationwide.