Neuropathy is a common medical condition, but it can be debilitating. Neuropathy is a term that applies to the conditions resulting from diseased or damaged nerves that relay messages to and from the spinal cord and brain. The body’s peripheral nerves create an intricate network that connects the spinal cord and the brain to the internal organs, skin, and muscles. While treatment may help with the condition, it cannot be cured. There are different kinds of neuropathy, such as diabetic neuropathy which is a result of nerve damage caused by diabetes.
Neuropathy is classified or characterized by the kind of nerve that has suffered damage, where the nerve damage is located within the body, and what caused the nerve damage. There are three main kinds of peripheral nerves: autonomic nerves to control involuntary movement, motor nerves to control voluntary movement, and sensory nerves that control senses. Problems with any of these nerves can be life-altering and affect your ability to work and earn a living. You need to maintain documentation to show your condition and limitations.
Different Kinds of Disability Benefits
There are two different disability programs overseen by the Social Security Administration (SSA). The first disability program is Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). SSDI is based on past work earnings and your employment history. To get approved for SSDI, you must have earned enough credits, which usually means about five years full-time out of the last 10 years. Monthly benefits are determined by your average earnings. Auxiliary benefits are available to dependent children and your spouse. Auxiliary benefits usually equal about half of your monthly benefit check – but cannot exceed the maximum allowable amount for your family.
The other disability program, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is needs-based. You must meet specific income requirements and have limited resources to qualify for SSI in addition to being approved medically. As of 2024, the maximum payable amount is $943 per month for an individual, but you may be able to earn more than $943 per month and still qualify for SSI benefits. There is a certain process that must be followed to determine eligibility based on income and resources, so talk with a representative from the SSA to determine if you may qualify for SSI benefits based on your neuropathy.
The Application Process
You can apply for disability benefits by phone or online. Visit www.ssa.gov or call 1-800-772-1213 and either talk with a representative or schedule an appointment at your local SSA office. Disability Determination Services needs to be able to fully review your condition and your restrictions, so documentation is the key to a successful disability claim. Be sure to provide detailed medical records because hard evidence, including proof of a confirmed diagnosis, your restrictions and limitations, and how you are unable to work. Remember, the key to a successful claim is to provide detailed medical records to show the severity of your condition. Help is available to help you with the disability claims process.