If Chemotherapy Causes a Loss of Finger Dexterity, Call our Social Security Disability Lawyers in Norristown, PA For Help
One of the most common social security disability claims is related to cancer and the effects of treatment such as chemotherapy. Our social security disability lawyers in Norristown, PA at Silver & Silver know this is a larger issue than most people may realize. There are roughly 1.8 million new cases of cancer diagnosed each year in the United States. Of those, approximately 600,000 people die each year from this horrible disease. This leaves over a million people to continue to battle cancer, including the side effects from radiation and chemotherapy. Many cancer fighters and survivors suffer the side effects of chemotherapy and the treatment used to battle cancer. One common side effect that can affect your ability to work is called peripheral neuropathy secondary to chemotherapy.
This side effect can cause damage to the nerves in the fingers and toes, causing a significant loss of sensation and dexterity in the fingers. This can make simple tasks such as typing, writing, or even holding a water bottle very difficult if not impossible. Many individuals who have worked their entire life and successfully battled cancer may try to return to work and find themselves unable to hold a job due to this serious, permanent, and disabling side effect. What is worse is that your application to the Social Security Administration (SSA) may be denied, forcing you to seek a hearing and appeal.
Fighting cancer is a hard enough battle. At Silver & Silver, we will take on the SSA for you so you can focus on recovery. Our social security disability attorneys in Norristown, PA have over 40 years of experience and were one of the first law firms in our area to focus on representing residents of Pennsylvania on SSI and SSD/SSDI claims. If you have been unfairly denied, we can fight back to recover the compensation that you deserve and need for your disability.
What is Peripheral Neuropathy Due to Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy is most often used for the treatment of patients with cancer. While chemotherapy can be quite effective in treating patients with cancer, like many types of medications it can carry side effects as well. Many side effects can be manageable, such as nausea, constipation, fatigue, and related symptoms. However, there are some side effects that can be quite dangerous to the patient due to the potential for them to be permanent. One example of this is peripheral neuropathy.
What is Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy?
Peripheral neuropathy refers to damage of the peripheral nerves that branch outside of the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system). These peripheral nerves extend from your spinal cord to the tips of your fingers and toes. They govern sensation, movement, and other functions. These nerves are thickest by the spinal cord and get smaller as they extend to the fingertips and toes.
The thinner the nerve, the more susceptible it is to hazardous such as the caustic chemotherapy cocktails given to patients. These drugs can damage the nerves and prevent them from sensing or moving properly—or at all. As a result, patients who are fighting cancer could lose their dexterity in their fingers due to the damage and destruction of the peripheral nerves in the fingers.
Patients battling cancer who suffer from peripheral neuropathy secondary to chemotherapy should contact our social security disability attorneys in Norristown, PA. Our compassionate and skilled team at Silver & Silver is standing by and ready to assist people with their SSD/SSDI claims.
How Can Peripheral Neuropathy Affect a Person’s Day to Day Life?
It is difficult enough to be diagnosed with cancer, let alone then later to suffer from a disability as the result of medications given to you to treat your cancer. Damage due to chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy can be debilitating. It can affect the person’s ability to do the following:
- Drive a car or operate machinery
- Inability to work- if a person’s job requires their hands (as most jobs due) they may be unable to perform the duties of their job due to impaired motor and sensory function
- Text or use a phone
- Impaired ability to control muscle movements
- Impaired finger dexterity
- Inability to lift and hold objects
- Box or package items
- Push buttons on a control panel
- Use tools, and
- Many other forms of disability that Silver & Silver could recover SSD/SSDI for you.
How are Patients with Peripheral Neuropathy Entitled to Social Security Benefits
Since dexterity loss caused by peripheral neuropathy secondary to chemotherapy is often permanent and disabling, individuals suffering from this ailment may be entitled to social security benefits. There are two types of benefits that may apply, and individuals may be entitled to one or both.
Social Security Income (SSI)
SSI benefits are paid to individuals who have limited or no income, and are either over 65, blind, or disabled. There is no requirement for an individual to be employed to receive SSI. Individuals who are blind or disabled may be entitled to SSI even if they are not over 65 years old, as long as they have limited or no income.
Social Security Disability Income (SSD/SSDI)
SSD/SSDI requires an individual to have work history and to have a qualifying disability. The minimum work history requires a total of ten years of employment throughout the person’s lifetime. Within the last ten years before the disability, there must have been five years of employment.
What Can Silver & Silver Do For You
If you have suffered from dexterity loss due to chemotherapy treatment, you may be entitled to either SSI or SSD/SSDI. Our experienced and compassionate team at Silver & Silver can assist you with your claim, including:
- Gathering medical evidence to support your claim
- Submitting your application
- Working with the SSA to get your claim approved
- Filing appeals and advocating for your application on legal grounds
- Representing you at a hearing in front of a judge
- Appealing your claim if the judge still denies your application
- Address other matters regarding your application
- Ensuring your rights to SSI and/or SSD are protected.
Whether you have already submitted an application that was denied or if you are preparing to file for the first time, call our skilled social security disability attorneys in Norristown, PA for help. Silver & Silver has over 40 years of experience handling social security claims in Montgomery County and the rest of Pennsylvania. Learn how we can handle your claim by dialing (610) 658-0500 or send us a secure message on our website here.