Peripheral neuropathy causes weakness, numbness, and pain, and usually occurs in the hands and feet, though it can affect other areas of the body as well. But does federal workers’ compensation cover it?
Your peripheral nervous system is very important—it relays information between your central nervous system, which consists of your brain and spinal cord, and the rest of your body.
While not all causes of peripheral neuropathy stem from injuries that fall under workers’ compensation coverage, many do. Traumatic injury, for instance, can lead to permanent damage to your peripheral nervous system. If you’re a federal employee and you think that a work injury has caused your peripheral neuropathy, it’s important to talk to a doctor as soon as possible.
Symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy
The symptoms of peripheral neuropathy that you experience depend on a number of factors. For instance, the nerves that are affected and the type of injury can affect how it presents in a given federal workers’ compensation case. However, the following symptoms are common:
- Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet or other affected areas
- Coordination problems
If you experience any of the above symptoms and think that a work injury is the cause, seek professional medical help as soon as you can. Waiting too long can lead to permanent damage.
How to Tell if Federal Workers’ Compensation Covers Your Peripheral Neuropathy
As with any other workers’ compensation case, you must be able to show causation between your peripheral neuropathy and the conditions of your work to get coverage. Injuries can include exposure to harmful or toxic substances, nerve trauma, and continuous pressure on the nerves from repetitive tasks. If the Office of Workers’ Compensation Program accepts your claim, you could be entitled to:
- Payment of medical coverage
- Rehabilitation services
- Compensation for loss of function
- Permanent disability benefits
Generally, peripheral neuropathy injuries that are covered by federal workers’ compensation fall into two categories—bruising or tearing of the nerves from trauma suffered in the course of the duties of work or continual pressure on the nerves from stress and repetitive use.
Not all peripheral neuropathy is permanent. Some cases can be treated effectively if caught early enough, and symptoms can decrease and disappear in a matter of weeks or months.
Need help filing your federal workers’ compensation claim? Want to learn your treatment options? Get in touch with us today to set up a consultation.