Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Social Security Disability
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a very painful condition that affects millions of workers worldwide. If your work involves repetitive motion of your wrist, you may be at risk of developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Secretaries, factory workers, data entry specialists and other professionals who make constant, repetitive motions with their hands and wrists are at an increased risk of developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Unfortunately, once the condition is developed, it will be nearly impossible to perform the job-related functions that caused the condition.
If you are suffering from Carpel Tunnel Syndrome and unable to work, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. When applying for disability benefits due to a case of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, there are a few things you need to know.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome - Conditions and Symptoms
Your wrist is surrounded by fibrous tissue used to support the joint of your wrist. There is a space between this tissue and the bones of your wrist. This space is called the Carpal Tunnel. Repetitive motion of your hand and wrist can cause the tissue within the Carpal Tunnel to swell and become inflamed. When this happens, the nerve running through the carpal tunnel is squeezed and compressed, causing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
In the beginning stages of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, people suffering from the condition will experience numbness and tingling in the hand. Over time, these symptoms will become worse. The numbness and tingling will turn into a burning sensation along with cramping and weakness of the hand and wrist. Eventually those who suffer from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome will go on to experience decreased hand strength and sharp pains in the forearm. As the symptoms progress, it becomes nearly impossible for the person suffering from the condition to perform their day-to-day job activities.
While there are some medications that can help alleviate the pain caused by Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, these medications only address the pain caused by the condition and not the condition itself. Oftentimes the people suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome will opt for surgery to correct the condition, but if these people return to work the condition may come back.
Filing for Social Security Disability with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
If you are suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and are unable to work due to the condition, you may be considering an application for Social Security Disability benefits. Unfortunately, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is not found in the Social Security Administration's impairment “Listings”. These listings are used to determine whether or not a person is disabled, so not all people suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome will automatically qualify for benefits. That does not, however, mean that all cases of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome do not qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. If your age and education prevent you from being able to find a job that your disability would not interfere with, your case might still be approved.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Your Social Security Disability Case
Because Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is not listed in the SSA's impairment listings, the chances of your Social Security Disability claim being approved at the initial level are slim. With that being said, however, it is important to understand that a denial of your initial disability claim does not mean that you will not be able to go on to successfully appeal the decision.
When applying for disability benefits due to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, you will need medical evidence documenting that you are unable to work due to the condition. If there is not enough evidence showing that your condition directly impacts your ability to work, your chances of receiving Social Security Disability benefits are slim to none. Talk with your doctor about the symptoms you are experiencing and explain how the condition is preventing you from doing your job. It will be very important to have this information documented.
If your initial claim for benefits is denied, you will need to appeal the decision. The chances of your claim being denied at the initial level are high when you are applying for Social Security Disability due to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
If your initial claim is denied, you should consider hiring a disability attorney to help you with the appeal process since Carpal Tunnel Syndrome disability cases can often be complicated and harder to win.
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