If you suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome, you might qualify for Social Security disability benefits because your physician has placed permanent restrictions on you in the workplace.
It is an injury that creeps up on you. What was once a dull pain in a joint morphs into a raging ball of fire that prevents you from holding down a steady job.
As a repetitive stress injury, carpal tunnel syndrome adversely impacts millions of American workers every year. The symptoms can reach the heights of severity that you can no longer work in any type of job.
Permanent Restrictions You May Experience with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome typically develops in the joints that connect the wrist and/or the elbow. The result of the injury can be excruciating pain that makes it difficult to continue working at your current job.
Because carpal tunnel syndrome inhibits the ability to grasp and carry objects, the injury is especially prevalent for professionals that work in physically demanding jobs. However, it can also develop as an injury that negatively impacts workers that sit in front of a computer throughout the day.
Sometimes, simply not using the affected part of the body is enough to alleviate the pain that is associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. However, some cases of the injury require surgery that can put someone out of work for weeks, if not months on end.
The first two weeks after surgery on your wrist or elbow requires a heavy bandage to cover the impacted area. Then, another several weeks pass before you regain control of your wrist or elbow. Medication can reduce the pain associated with carpal tunnel syndrome, but for many cases, surgery is required to prevent the reoccurrence of painful symptoms.
Work History and Job Skills
Missing work because of carpal tunnel syndrome can cost you a considerable amount of money. With a loss of income, you have no way to pay for medical expenses for the diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of the repetitive stress injury.
Fortunately, the Social Security Administration (SSA) offers financial assistance in the form of Social Security disability benefits. In addition to reviewing your disability claim, the SSA also takes a look at your job history over the past 15 years to discover a pattern the defines your job skills. The key for the SSA is to match your professional skillset with the requirements of another job that relies less on physical labor.
Can You Perform Sedentary Work?
Although carpal tunnel syndrome usually does not produce a permanent impairment, it can keep a worker on the sidelines for months at a time. With many SSA-approved illnesses and injuries, performing sedentary work is the answer to dealing with an injury.
Since carpal tunnel syndrome negatively impacts the wrist and/or elbow, working a desk job is not the solution to the occupational problem that is presented by the potentially disabling condition. The best solution to biding your time while dealing with carpal tunnel syndrome is to work a desk job that does not involve extensive computer work.
Can You Get Disability Benefits for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Yes, you may be able get disability benefits for carpal tunnel syndrome if you are unable to work for at least one year. Carpal tunnel syndrome typically develops in the joints that connect the wrist and/or the elbow. The result of the injury can be severe chronic pain that makes it difficult to continue working.
This is because carpal tunnel syndrome can stop you grasping and carrying objects which makes it difficult to complete tasks that are physically demanding. Even undertaking a more sedentary job such as sitting at a computer is difficult to achieve.
To help prove you are unable to work you can use the results from a Residual Functional Capacity Assessment (RFC). This is when a disability claims examiner will complete an RFC assessment form after conducting both a physical and mental examination.
Sometimes the SSA will allow your physician to complete the form. The doctor or examiner will test your limitations related to how long you can stand without needing to rest and how much weight you can carry or pull before resting.
Your mental capacity is assessed too, like how much you can understand and what your communication limitations are while you are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome. When the assessment has been completed the SSA will decide if your carpal tunnel medical condition will stop you from working for at least 12 months. If the assessment favors you, the SSA may approve your payments for disability benefits.
Get Help with Your Claim
Losing your job because of carpal tunnel syndrome can generate serious financial consequences for years to come. A Social Security attorney may be able to strengthen the evidence you submit to the SSA, as well as meet every deadline that is required by the SSA.
Considering applying for Social Security disability benefits but not sure how much you’ll earn per month? Our SSDI Calculator can help you determine how much you’ll receive from the SSA before you file for disability
Complete the Free Case Evaluation on this page to get in touch with an independent, participating attorney who subscribes to the website.