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Is Autonomic Neuropathy A Disability & Can You Claim Benefits?

Autonomic neuropathy is a nerve disorder that develops due to the damage to the nerves of the autonomic nervous system. It affects the involuntary body functions like blood pressure, heart rate, digestion, bowel movements, and others. It develops because there is an interruption of the flow of signals between the brain and the autonomic nervous system due to nerve damage. It can become complicated if not treated. It may cause muscle atrophy, tissue damages, and others as complications that disturb one’s ability to perform basic functions.

Is Autonomic Neuropathy A Disability?

Is Autonomic Neuropathy A Disability?

Autonomic neuropathy is a nerve disorder characterized by damage to the nerves outside the brain and spinal cord. It affects the autonomic nervous system that controls the involuntary functions of the body such as blood pressure, digestion, heart rate, bowel movement, and body temperature. (1) It causes disturbances in the flow of signals between the brain and the autonomic nervous system. (2)

Diabetes and Parkinson’s disease are the common cause of autonomic neuropathy. It may also develop due to an adverse reaction after infection, and adverse drug reactions. It may also occur due to the direct injury to the nerve, surgery, or alcohol abuse. The patients of Guillain-barre syndrome, AIDS, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis may develop autonomic neuropathy. (1)

Autonomic neuropathy can affect one organ or many organs at a time. Its effects can develop in the single part or entire autonomic nervous system. Its symptoms representation is based on the underlying cause and location of the nerve damage. Dizziness or faintness while standing up, vomiting, nausea while eating, inability to empty bladder, sexual dysfunction, and increased heart rates even at rest are some of its symptoms. (2)

Autonomic neuropathy is a chronic ailment that cannot be reversed. It is because the nerve damage is irreversible. Many treatments and therapies are present today to manage the symptoms and prevent the progress of the disease. It can cause complications in the future if it is left untreated. Muscle atrophy, tissue damage and loss of nervous system functions are some of its complications that can cause disability in the patients. (1)

Autonomic neuropathy is a disability that can affect the normal life of a person. It can affect the daily routine of the person that can restrict his ability to walk, stand, lift and carry anything. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has listed autonomic neuropathy under sections 9.08 and 11.14 in the blue book. Its first section focuses on the diabetes-related neuropathy. Its second section focuses on other neurological disorders. (1)

Can You Claim Benefits For Autonomic Neuropathy?

You can claim disability benefits if you have autonomic neuropathy. To evaluate your credibility for disability benefits, SSA will assess your disease, its underlying cause and your ability to perform basic activities. The patients with autonomic neuropathy cannot walk, stand or perform basic activities like fine and gross movements of limbs in coordination. SSA will evaluate your documents that involve your medical diagnostic test results. It will act as evidence that would certify your ability to perform work activities in your office. The blue book guidelines are followed that involve the requirement of disability benefits in your case if you feel tremors, paralysis and improper muscle coordination to perform fine and gross physical movements with your two or more limbs. The severity of your illness is assessed according to your reports and medical certificates. When you qualify maximum guidelines of SSA for Autonomic neuropathy, then you may get disability benefits. (1)


Autonomic neuropathy may cause disability if it is not managed properly in time. It may cause muscle atrophy, tissue damage and diminished nervous function that may limit your ability to form basic activities such as standing up, walking, holding and carrying objects. SSA has given some guidelines in the blue book for this. If you qualify them, then you can claim disability benefits for Autonomic neuropathy.


  1. https://myphiladelphiadisabilitylawyer.com/disabling-conditions/peripheral-autonomic-neuropathy/
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/autonomic-neuropathy

Also Read:

Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 3, 2022

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