No, you will not get automatic qualification for disability benefits if you have been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy, despite it being a disabling condition which can prevent you from being able to continue working. The SSA maintains a limited list of medical conditions which qualify for a compassionate allowance. This means that an application for disability benefits is fast tracked and the successful applicant is then able to receive benefits payments earlier than through the normal application process. Neuropathy, or peripheral neuropathy, is not on the SSA’s list for consideration for a compassionate allowance.
How to Automatically Qualify For Disability Benefits
The SSA maintains a list of around 200 medical conditions which are considered so serious that they prevent the sufferer from being able to support themselves financially through employment and are likely to have a terminal or untreatable fatal medical condition. The SSA does review its list now and again and may add some medical conditions which are then meet the criteria for a compassionate allowance. A compassionate allowance approval means that the application process can take days, rather than the weeks or months for a normal application for disability benefits. In fact, a typical time frame for a decision to be made following receipt of a disability benefits application is 6 months or more. This can be much longer to resolve if an appeal is to be made following a rejected application.
Does Neuropathy Automatically Qualify For Disability Benefits?
As stated above, neuropathy does not qualify automatically for disability benefits as it is not considered a fatal disease, even though it can be so bad that it prevents the sufferer from being able to continue working.
Even though neuropathy sufferers cannot be approved for benefits through the compassionate allowance program, they can still apply to the SSA in the normal way. Approval for disability benefits follows a very thorough assessment of the medical symptoms evident in the neuropathy sufferer and a comparison with the relevant section in the Blue Book. This is in section 11.14 of the Blue Book’s listing for neurological disorders- Adult, 11.14Z.
In addition to an assessment of the symptoms which have been described professionally by a medical practitioner, the SSA will also examine the medical history, how the symptoms of neuropathy developed and any tests and scans that provide evidence of the severity of the condition.
The other criteria that determine whether approval for a benefit may be made include evidence of how the condition prevents the applicant from being able to work or earn a living for at least the next 12 months as well as a record of sufficient work credits (for benefits through the SSDI pathway.)
It is quite common for initial applications to be rejected, often because of insufficient evidence submitted. A rejected application can be appealed, although the appeal process can be lengthy and quite frustrating. You are advised to seek legal help if you need to appeal a denied application.
Get Help With Your Claim
If you have been diagnosed with neuropathy, it may mean you are unable to continue working, but because the condition is not on the limited list of conditions that automatically qualify for approval for a compassionate allowance, you should still apply in the normal way for disability benefits. You may find that a disability attorney can help you with advice or legal help, especially if you have to appeal a denied application.
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