Can I Qualify for Social Security Disability if I have Peripheral Neuropathy?

English: A diagram of the Human Nervous system...

English: A diagram of the Human Nervous system. Français : Schéma du système nerveux humain. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

     Persons suffering from Peripheral neuropathies may qualify for Social Security Disability or SSI benefits.  Peripheral neuropathy, a result of nerve damage, often causes numbness and pain in your hands and feet. People typically describe the pain of peripheral neuropathy as tingling or burning, while they may compare the loss of sensation to the feeling of wearing a thin stocking or glove.

     Peripheral neuropathy can result from problems such as traumatic injuries, infections, metabolic problems and exposure to toxins. One of the most common causes is diabetes.

     The nerves of your peripheral nervous system send information from your brain and spinal cord (central nervous system) to all other parts of your body and back again. Nerves that may be affected by peripheral neuropathy include:

  • Sensory nerves that receive sensations such as heat, pain or touch
  • Motor nerves that control how your muscles move
  • Autonomic nerves that control functions such as blood pressure, heart rate, digestion and bladder function

     Most commonly, peripheral neuropathy starts in the longest nerves — the ones that reach to your toes. Symptoms vary, depending on which types of nerves are affected. Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Gradual onset of numbness and tingling in your feet or hands, which may spread upward into your legs and arms
  • Burning pain
  • Sharp, jabbing or electric-like pain
  • Extreme sensitivity to touch, even light touch
  • Lack of coordination
  • Muscle weakness or paralysis if motor nerves are affected
  • Bowel or bladder problems if autonomic nerves are affected

     Peripheral neuropathy may affect one nerve (mononeuropathy), two or more nerves in different areas (multiple mononeuropathy) or many nerves (polyneuropathy).

     The requirements are set out in section 11 of the Listings.  Appendix 1 to Subpart P of Part 404 of the Code of Federal Regulations states:

 11.14 Peripheral neuropathies. With disorganization of motor function as described in 11.04B, in spite of prescribed treatment. 

11.04BB. Significant and persistent disorganization of motor function in two extremities, resulting in sustained disturbance of gross and dexterous movements, or gait and station (see 11.00C).

C. Persistent disorganization of motor function in the form of paresis or paralysis, tremor or other involuntary movements, ataxia and sensory disturbances (any or all of which may be due to cerebral, cerebellar, brain stem, spinal cord, or peripheral nerve dysfunction) which occur singly or in various combinations, frequently provides the sole or partial basis for decision in cases of neurological impairment. The assessment of impairment depends on the degree of interference with locomotion and/or interference with the use of fingers, hands and arms.

      If a claimant does not qualify for benefits based on this Listing, the impairments can still be considered when determining whether she can return to past employment or whether jobs exist in the local and national economy.  For instance, if lifting, standing, walking, sitting, or pushing/pulling are significantly limited, these factors might eliminate jobs existing in the local or national economy to the point a claimant is found disabled. 

      If you need more information about a Social Security Disability/SSI matter, personal injury matter (car wreck, boating accident, slip and fall, etc.), EEOICPA claim, long or short-term disability, VA disability, Railroad Retirement Board disability, or a workers compensation matter, please contact the Law Offices of Tony Farmer and John Dreiser for a free case evaluation.  We can be reached at (865) 584-1211 or (800) 806-4611, through Facebook, or through our website.  Our office handles claims throughout East Tennessee, including Knoxville, ChattanoogaKingsport, Bristol, Johnson City, Morristown, Maryville, Rogersville, Dandridge, Tazewell, New Tazewell, Jefferson City, Strawberry Plains, Sevierville, Gatlinburg, Loudon, Kingston, Halls, Maynardville, Crossville, Cookeville, Jamestown, Sweetwater, Lenoir City, Athens, Oak Ridge, Clinton, LaFollette, Lake City, Jacksboro, Bean Station, Cosby, Newport, White Pine, Mosheim, Wartburg, Sunbright, Pigeon Forge, and Deer Lodge.

About farmerdreiser

Based in Knoxville, Tennessee, The Law Offices of Tony Farmer and John Dreiser provide comprehensive representation to injured victims throughout eastern Tennessee in personal injury, Social Security disability, and workers' compensation cases.
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