Idiopathic neuropathy is a condition affecting your sensory and motor nerves with no obvious underlying etiology. The term idiopathic means any condition which arises spontaneously or from an unknown cause. The root cause of a lot of conditions are largely unknown. Neuropathy is one of those conditions that can start suddenly with no known reason or cause. In claims for social security disability benefits, the reason or cause of a condition is generally not important. What is important are the resulting symptoms of any of your diagnosed conditions. For someone suffering from neuropathy, whether it’s idiopathic, related to diabetes or a herniated disc, your documented symptoms will be relatively the same.
Neuropathy occurs when there is damage to the nerves located outside of the brain or spinal cord. Typical symptoms related to neuropathy include weakness, numbness, and pain in your upper or lower extremities. There are varying degrees to neuropathy. For some people, their resulting symptoms are only minor whereas in others their symptoms can be quite debilitating. If you find yourself in a position where your neuropathy is impacting your ability to perform your work duties, you will want to consider applying for the social security disability program.
The social security disability program is a federally run program through the social security administration. The purposes are to provide a safety net for citizens who are unable to work due to a medical condition. It is available for those who have worked and paid taxes into the social security system. One common misconception of this program is that it is not an automatic benefit. There are federally mandated guidelines on what qualifies as being disabled, found within the code of federal regulations. Another misconception is that it is not a short-term benefit. This program is only available to those individuals who find themselves in a position where they will be unable to work for a minimum of 12 months, or diagnosed with a terminal illness. Anything short of 12 months you will not be eligible for the social security disability program. In that situation, you should turn to private disability insurance for coverage. If you are in a situation where you have worked and paid taxes your whole life, now you are suffering from severe idiopathic neuropathy that is preventing you from working for the past 12 months, this is the right program for you.
With any government agency, receiving money from the federal government is not an easy thing. There are hoops to jump through before being found eligible for benefits. The first hoop is submitting an application for benefits. This application requires a lot of information including your background information, your work history for the past 10 years, your recent medical providers, medication list, etc. An application can be done either online, over the phone or in person. Once an application has been submitted, the next hoop you will have to hurdle is completing a number of questionnaires social security will send. This includes function reports, work history forms, pain questionnaires and so on. The third hoop you will have to jump through is waiting. Social security takes its time when evaluating claims. In general, an application may take 9-12 months before a decision is made. If your application is denied, there are several appeals that will need to be submitted. Your claim could end up taking 2-3 years before a final resolution. All while you are not able to work and bring home an income. More often than not people become homeless while waiting for disability benefits.
Knowing there are a multitude of hurdles and how long your claim could take, it is important to hire an experienced social security disability attorney from the very beginning. While your attorney cannot control how long social security will take to make a decision on your claim, they will make sure a proper application is filed and that a strong case is submitted in the hopes that you will be approved sooner rather than later.
In the case of idiopathic neuropathy, your attorney may recommend additional medical treatment to strengthen your application. That recommendation may include additional testing to document the severity of the nerve damage such as an EMG or NMG. Your attorney may also recommend treatment with a neurologist or physical therapy. They may also recommend you have undergone a functional capacity evaluation. There are a number of ways to strengthen any case for disability benefits. The most important way to strengthen your case is by following all of the recommendations of your medical provider. If your doctor recommends you see a specialist then you need to make sure that is done. If your doctor recommends certain medications then you should make attempts to try medications. Not following the recommended treatment of your medical provider will be viewed as a negative from social security. The resulting answer is your condition must not impact you that much if you are not following the advice of your doctor. Of course, there are a number of logical reasons you may not want to follow your doctor’s medical advice, that would be another reason to have an experienced attorney handling your case. Someone who can tell you the impact of not following the recommendation and providing an explanation to social security if there is a valid one.
Proving you are disabled is not easy. Not only is the process extensive, but you will also likely receive multiples denials before you are approved, and the entire process could take up to three years for a resolution. But if you follow the advice of your doctors, hire an experienced disability attorney, and don’t expect to be able to return to work in any capacity within 12 months, have faith and continue with your application. Approximately 70% of people are denied based on their initial application, while 65% of people are approved after requesting a hearing before an administrative law judge. Do not get discouraged. Hire an experienced disability attorney today so as to get your application started.