Top 5 Tips For Getting Disability With Neuropathy

Neuropathy is a common disorder caused by a variety of different conditions. However, just because it is common does not mean it is less severe — in fact, those with more widespread neuropathy experience enough pain and numbness to prevent them from working or carrying out daily tasks.

If your neuropathy is keeping you from living your daily life, then Social Security disability benefits may be an option for you. Before applying, be sure you follow the following three tips to increase your chances of getting benefits. Having as much support on your side as possible will increase your chance of getting approved for Social Security benefits with neuropathy. And, for more tips, check out our article on the 8 most common signs your disability claim will be approved.

There are a few ways in which you may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits for Social Security disability insurance. In the disability evaluation handbook (the Blue Book), there is a disability listing for neuropathies, and if you meet the requirements specified in the listing, your disability application may be accepted. The Blue Book is the list of conditions that qualify for disability. 

Here are the top 5 tips for receiving disability for neuropathy.

Tip #1: Receive Up-To-Date Medical Tests Including: Motor Function Tests, Nerve Tests, And Scans

Neuropathy often begins as numbness or pain in the extremities, particularly in the hands and feet. However, neuropathy is capable of escalating to more severe symptoms which are capable of affecting different body systems, making life especially difficult. It is important to make sure all of your medical tests properly reflect your current diagnosis.

Even if this means retaking tests you’ve already done, sometimes new findings can better demonstrate to the Social Security Administration (SSA) that you are in need of benefits. Motor function tests and nerve tests are typically the most important, as most applicants with neuropathy receive benefits due to a lack of proper motor function. However, MRI scans of affected areas can also give insight onto the severity of your diagnosis.

The SSA will analyze the medical history and employment history of a claimant and can determine that, based on physical disabilities, age, experience and expertise in the workplace, the claimant may not have the capacity to return to his or her past work and cannot switch to less challenging occupations.

Tip #2: Make Sure You Have Enough Work Credits

 To get for disability for neuropathy, you need to make sure you have earned work credits from your time working. That is because disability is for those who at one point could work full time, but now can’t because of a disability like neuropathy. 

You need certain number of work credits to qualify for disability with neuropathy, which the SSA determines by factoring in your age and how long you have participated in the workforce. In 2023, for every $1,470 you have earned in wages, you receive 1 work credit. 

You can earn up to 4 work credits for each year you have worked. How many work credits you need in order to qualify for disability with neuropathy is based on how old you were when you developed neuropathy. The older you are, the more likely you will qualify for disability with neuropathy because you likely would have earned enough work credits from working. If you are over the age of 30, the number of work credits you need are followed: 

  • 30 and over: If you become disabled after age 30, you generally need around 20 work credits in 10 years before your disability began.

 If you have earned enough work credits, while meeting the medical criteria for neuropathy, you may be able to get disability for neuropathy. 

Neuropathy Disabling Condition Social Security Benefits

Tip #3: Get an RFC test from your physician.

Aside from medical tests, it is also important for the SSA to understand how well you can complete normal daily functions. This is measured using a Residual Functional Capacity test (RFC for short), which can be completed by any licensed physician. Scores on this test are determined by how well you can complete common tasks such as lifting things, reaching, standing up, sitting down, or walking. The lower your RFC scores, the more likely you are to receive benefits for your neuropathy.

At the time of your hearing before an Administrative Law Judge, RFC forms completed by your medical practitioner may be of great help to you. Before the hearing, instead of a DDS medical or psychological consultant, you should request an RFC form completed by your own doctor.

Peripheral neuropathy can qualify for disability. Find out more today.

The SSA also gives considerable weight to the opinion of the primary doctor of a disability applicant. The treating doctor has a physician-patient relationship with first-hand knowledge of the disability and prognosis of a claimant and is therefore in a stronger and more knowledgeable position to provide data on the weaknesses of an applicant.

If a treating doctor's opinion is presented with a detailed RFC form describing why the various medical conditions of an applicant cause different physical and mental disabilities and are compatible with the medical facts of a claimant and other information in the file, then Social Security should give that opinion a great deal of weight.

Tip #4: Build evidence that can attest to your inability to work.

If you are worried about your ability to qualify for disability by SSA’s standards for neuropathy, there may be another way for you to qualify. If an applicant can prove that their condition (not qualified by the book) is still capable of preventing them from doing any of the work they are qualified to do, then they may still be eligible for benefits.

This is called receiving a “medical vocational allowance”. One of the best ways to do this is by providing your work history and demonstrating your inability to work. Testimonies from old bosses or coworkers can be especially useful here to proving that your condition makes you unfit for previous work. Educational history can also help to prove that your skill set is unfit for performing other new kinds of work.

To be able to apply you will need timely documents that are recent enough. If you have a disability that is rapidly evolving, then you should provide more updated information. The SSA generally likes records no more than six months old. Accurate reports properly state the condition with medical sources requirements.

Contain sufficient reliable information from acceptable medical sources to allow the SSA to make an objective medical decision with respect to the nature and seriousness of your condition. For example, it is not enough to suspect and diagnose neuropathy.

Tip #5: Get Help from a Disability Attorney 

A disability attorney can help increase your chances of getting disability with neuropathy. A study from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) concluded that those who worked with a disability lawyer were 3 times more likely to get approved for disability than those who did not work with a disability. 

A disability lawyer can help make sure that you have all the right paperwork to include in your disability application. 

Your disability lawyer can help you file an appeal if it is denied, your disability attorney will also be able to speak to the administrative law judge (ALJ) and present your case on why you should be able to earn disability for neuropathy. You do not need to pay a disability lawyer upfront; disability lawyers are only paid if you win your claim. Take our free disability evaluation to see if you qualify for disability and get connected with an attorney who can take a case in your area.

Common Questions for People Applying for Disability with Neuropathy

When applying for disability with neuropathy, there are a lot of common questions that people have regarding their disability, whether they can qualify, how much they can earn in disability, etc. When working with a disability attorney, your attorney will be able to answer any questions you have regarding your claim. Below are a list of common questions that you could have when looking to apply for disability with neuropathy.

Is Neuropathy a Disability? 

Yes, neuropathy is a disability according to the Social Security Administration (SSA) if your condition will keep you out of work for at least 12 months. You will also need to supply enough medical evidence, proving your neuropathy meets the SSA's definition of a disability.  

How Does Neuropathy Qualify For Disability Benefits?

 Neuropathy qualifies for disability benefits if you can meet the medical and work requirements outlined by the SSA to qualify for disability. The SSA  establishes work and healthcare guidelines for disability applicants to receive financial assistance.

You have to gain a certain number of work credits to qualify for disability benefits, which the SSA determines by factoring in your age and how long you have participated in the workforce.

Peripheral neuropathy can qualify for disability. Find out more today.

In 2023, Americans received one work credit for every $1,470 earned in wages or self-employment income. For example, you gain four work credits in 2023 for earning $5,880.

Determining whether there is a connection between neuropathy and disability often comes down to referring to the medical guide published by the SSA called the Blue Book.

The Blue Book lists neuropathy as a qualifying disability under Section 11.14. However, you also must meet the severity of symptoms standards listed in the Blue Book.

For neuropathy, that means meeting one of two criteria. First, you must experience diminished motor function on at least two extremities. Second, you might be eligible for disability benefits if neuropathy has limited your ability to manage routine daily activities.

The SSA requires all applicants for disability benefits to have missed work for at least 12 consecutive months. A team of medical examiners from the SSA examines your medical records to determine eligibility for Social Security disability benefits.

Your healthcare provider should give you the results of diagnostic tests, as well as a written statement detailing the prognosis for you to make a full recovery.

If the SSA denies your disability claim, you have the opportunity to complete a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment, which measures how much of an impact the disease has limited your mental and physical skills.

Can You Get Disability for Neuropathy in Your Feet? 

You may be able to get disability for neuropathy in your feet if it makes it impossible for you to work full time. You need be able to show the SSA through medical evidence that you are unable to work full time because of your neuropathy in your feet.

Can You Get Disability for Diabetic Neuropathy?

 You may be able to get disability for diabetic neuropathy as diabetic neuropathy can cause nerve damage that can make it difficult for someone to be able to work full time. 

There are a couple of ways to get disability for diabetic neuropathy, first is that if you meet the medical requirements for the peripheral neuropathy listing in the SSA’s Blue Book.  

Having a sufficient amount of medical evidence to back up your claim is the key to medically qualifying for disability with diabetic neuropathy. 

If you do not meet the peripheral neuropathy disability listing, you can still qualify for disability with diabetic neuropathy under the diabetes listing in the SSA’s Blue Book.

How Much Can You Get for Disability with Peripheral Neuropathy? 

The average Social Security disability benefit for someone with peripheral neuropathy is around $1,420 per month. However, that number could be much higher depending on your work history and income history. The maximum amount that you can get for SSDI with peripheral neuropathy is $3,627 per month. 

Considering applying for Social Security disability benefits but not sure how much you’ll earn per month? Our Social Security Benefits Calculator can help you determine how much you’ll receive from the SSA in monthly benefits before you file for disability

2 Minutes To See If You Qualify

The disability benefits application process can be tricky for some, especially when it comes to properly filing paperwork and staying in contact with the SSA. If you are looking to apply for disability benefits, consider speaking with a disability advocate or attorney.

Peripheral neuropathy can qualify for disability. Find out more today.

 While getting legal help may seem intimidating at first, disability attorneys are capable and well-versed in legal terms and paperwork proceedings, giving you the best possible chance of receiving disability benefits for your condition.

Before applying, consider getting a free consultation with a disability attorney near you. 

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