Denied Long-Term Disability for Peripheral Neuropathy?
If you have received a diagnosis of peripheral neuropathy or nerve damage, you may be entitled to long-term disability benefits. Unfortunately, insurance companies often make it difficult for individuals to receive long-term disability benefits and wrongfully deny claims, even when there’s a diagnosis like peripheral neuropathy.
Peripheral nerve disorders may qualify you for long-term disability. If you suffer from peripheral neuropathy and have been denied long-term disability, call our law firm at 816-203-0143. Our long-term disability attorney will review your denial letter for free and provide a strategy on how to fight back.
Causes of Peripheral Neuropathy
Peripheral nerves are the pathways for messages and signals sent throughout your body. Damage to peripheral nerves can be caused by numerous health conditions, medications, and physical trauma. Some causes of peripheral neuropathy include, but are not limited to:
- Autoimmune diseases, such as Guillain-Barre syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, vasculitis, and Sjogren’s syndrome
- Infections, including HIV, Lyme disease, hepatitis B and C, shingles, and diphtheria
- Bone marrow disorders
- Liver disease
- Inherited disorders
- Certain medications, such as chemotherapy
- Physical trauma and injuries
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Exposure to poisons and other toxic chemicals
- Vitamin deficiencies
In some cases, the cause of peripheral neuropathy cannot be determined. However, the person is unable to perform activities of daily living, or their daily functioning is severely impaired because of the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy.
Disabling Symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy
Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy can range from mild to disabling. A person could develop symptoms suddenly or over time. Symptoms are based on the types of nerves impacted by the damage.
For sensory nerve damage, symptoms could include:
- Extreme sensitivity to touch
- Throbbing, sharp, or burning pain
- Inability to sense temperature
Symptoms of motor nerve damage include:
- Poor reflexes
- Twitching or jerking motions
- Problems grasping objects
- Falling and trouble walking
- Lack of coordination
- Muscle weakness
- Partial or complete paralysis
Autonomic nerve damage includes symptoms such as:
- Trouble breathing or swallowing
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Lower blood pressure causing lightheadedness or dizziness
Any of the above symptoms could become chronic and prevent a person from working. For example, a person with peripheral neuropathy may be unable to grasp objects or stand for an extended period. In addition, they may have trouble walking and controlling muscle movements.
Because of the numbness caused by peripheral neuropathy, some individuals may develop infections from sores on their feet that they do not feel. As a result, they may injure their feet, arms, legs, and hands without knowing it has happened. In severe cases, these injuries lead to infections that result in amputations of limbs or body parts.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Peripheral Neuropathy
Most people see a physician when they begin to experience one or more symptoms they cannot explain. Generally, doctors begin with a physical examination and neurological examination. They may also perform one or more diagnostic tests, such as an EEG (electroencephalography), EMG (electromyography), and NCV (nerve conduction velocity) studies. In addition, doctors may order blood tests, CAT scans, MRIs, and spinal taps depending on the symptoms.
If the doctor identifies an underlying cause of peripheral neuropathy, the doctor treats the underlying cause. For example, if diabetes or infection is causing peripheral neuropathy, the doctor treats the patient for these conditions.
Treatment of underlying conditions can slow or reverse peripheral neuropathy in some cases, but not always. However, the longer the patient goes without treatment, the worse peripheral neuropathy can become. The result could be permanent nerve damage.
Applying for Long-Term Disability for Peripheral Neuropathy
When you file a long-term disability claim, the insurance company evaluates your claim based on the peripheral neuropathy and any underlying conditions. Your condition must be severe enough to diminish your ability to perform job duties significantly.
It is essential to have medical evidence that describes the severity of your symptoms and how those symptoms impair your daily activities, including preventing you from performing specific tasks.
For example, if you use hand tools to perform your job, your peripheral neuropathy may prevent you from grasping and holding objects even for short periods. Peripheral neuropathy could make it difficult for you to tolerate standing or walking for long periods. It could be dangerous for you to navigate a work environment if peripheral neuropathy causes a lack of coordination or balance.
Our long-term disability lawyer works with your physicians and medical experts to obtain the evidence necessary to prove that your peripheral neuropathy restricts your activities.
How Our Long-Term Disability Attorney Can Help After a Denial
Obtaining long-term disability benefits for peripheral neuropathy can be challenging. The insurance company scrutinizes your medical records to find any indication that you could perform some type of job, including sedentary work.
Our experienced long-term disability attorney can help you prepare the strongest case for long-term disability benefits based on your situation. Working with our experienced long-term disability attorney gives you the best chance for approval for long-term disability benefits.
Kevin McManus is a nationally recognized attorney with substantial experience with ERISA claims appeals of long-term disability cases. Our law firm has the experience, skills, and resources necessary to fight the insurance company to get your long-term disability benefits.
Contact our office to schedule your free consultation with our long-term disability attorney by calling 816-203-0143 or completing our online contact form.