Almost 26 million children and adults in the US have Type 2 diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association, and many of these people also suffer from peripheral neuropathy as a result of diabetes-related nerve damage. Neuropathy may become increasingly severe over time, causing pain, numbness, and weakness in the hands, feet, or other parts of the body, and eventually compromise an individual’s ability to work and complete normal daily activities.
If neuropathy makes it impossible for you to continue completing the normal functions of your job, you will likely need to apply for disability benefits and prove that this disability is legitimately preventing you from working. The following forms of documentation will help you prove your case and receive the benefits that you need to support yourself.
Medical records. The most obvious evidence you will need is your complete medical history, including a neurologist’s diagnosis of your peripheral neuropathy based on testing such as MRIs, a nerve biopsy, blood tests, nerve conduction tests, or a spinal tap.
Documentation of treatment. Presenting an initial diagnosis of your peripheral neuropathy is generally not enough in a long term disability case; you need to prove that you’ve continued the recommended course of treatment. If you cannot prove that you’ve received regular treatment from a neurologist or other medical provider, your claim may be denied.
Log of daily activities. In order to prove that you can no longer work in the capacity that you used to, you need to prove that your neuropathy hinders your completion of basic day-to-day activities. The most straightforward way to do this is tracking how long it takes you and what type of pain and other symptoms you experience while completing daily activities like showering, dressing, and performing household chores. If you write all this down in an activity log, you can use that log as evidence.
Written statement from neurologist. To make your claim even stronger, you should have your neurologist write and sign a detailed statement explaining the symptoms you experience, how those symptoms are disabling you, and what he or she recommends for your course of treatment.