Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) represents a repetitive stress injury that if left untreated, can develop into a debilitating medical condition that can last for years. The injury develops because of repeated pressure placed on the median nerve.
Located on the palm side of the hand, a carpal tunnel is a narrow passage that is surrounded by bones and ligaments. When the median nerve compresses, highly painful symptoms can develop, which makes it difficult or impossible to move the hand and wrist.
Despite the potential seriousness of carpal tunnel, the Social Security Administration (SSA) does not list carpal tunnel as a disability in its medical guide called the Blue Book. If you need to know how to get disability for carpal tunnel, working with a disability attorney can help you submit a claim for financial assistance.
Is Carpal Tunnel a Disability?
You have many standards to meet to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. The most important, as well as the most difficult standard to meet, is to demonstrate that your disability meets the guidelines published in the Blue Book. Since there is not an official listing in the Blue Book for CTS, you might have trouble getting a claim approved for financial assistance.
One of the reasons the SSA does not list carpal tunnel syndrome in the Blue Book is the medical condition often improves with the right type of treatment and rehabilitation programs.
Although CTS does not receive a listing in the Blue Book, you might qualify for the peripheral neuropathy listing if you sustained nerve damage. If your carpal tunnel injury involves ligaments losing the ability to function properly, you might be eligible for disability benefits under the listing for soft tissue injuries.
How to Get Disability Benefits for Carpal Tunnel
Getting disability benefits for carpal tunnel syndrome requires you to gather and organize medical evidence, as well as financial records that prove you have missed work because of your medical condition. You undergo several diagnostic tests such as a thumb weakness test that measures the strength of your thumb.
Completing the Phalen’s test provides your healthcare provider win insight into the condition of both hands. A pressure provocation test applies pressure over the carpal tunnel to determine whether you experience pain and/or tingling of the nerves.
You should submit records that describe your treatment programs and physical therapy sessions. A formal prognosis statement submitted by your healthcare provider describes the likelihood of you returning to the workforce in the short-term and long-term. The SSA needs to see that you suffer from severe symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome for you to get approved for Social Security disability benefits.
Get Help With Your Carpal Tunnel Claim
Because receiving approval for a CTS claim is difficult to do, you should consider hiring a Social Security disability attorney to help you file the most persuasive claim Your lawyer may ensure you meet the medical standards established by the SSA in the Blue Book. You may also get legal support in the form of monitoring your claim through the SSA processing system.
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