If You do not Understand Your Rights to Social Security Disability Benefits as a Result of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, You will Hate Yourself Later
Did you know that carpal tunnel syndrome or CTS, is a repetitive strain injury of the carpal tunnel area of your wrist. What happens? The connective tissue in your wrist becomes enlarged and inflamed resulting in the pinching of a nerve that runs from the tunnels of bones to ligaments in your write to the fingers of your hand and the base of your thumb.
That pinching will cause:
- A sensation or tingling, burning and even numbness in your fingers.
- Loss of dexterity of your hand and grip strength.
- Locking of your finger joints.
- Swelling and inflammation of your fingers.
It is not easy to win a Social Security Disability claim if you suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome. Why? There is a five step sequential evaluation for the Social Security Disability claims process and, at step three, the Social Security Administration will review what is called the listing of impairments to determine whether or not you have a medical condition listed in that guide that qualifies of Social Security Disability benefits. Well, the bad news is that there is no listing for carpal tunnel syndrome.
Therefore, as a result, you can still win your Social Security Disability claim by establishing the necessary evidence at step four and five.
At step four, you have to establish that you are unable to return to the lightest job that you have held in the last fifteen years. So, for example, you were a secretary and you can no longer perform the repetitive key boarding, you will establish that you cannot return to your past relevant work. Or, for example, lets say that you are an assembler and your job requires you to perform repetitive hand motions such as twisting or gripping. If your carpal tunnel syndrome prevents you from doing those job duties, the Social Security Administration will determine that you cannot return to your past relevant work, but is that enough to win your claim? No! At step five, the burden of proof shifts to the Social Security Administration to determine whether or not you are capable of doing other work. Well, what’s other work? The Social Security Administration will look at your age, education and transferable skills to see whether or not there is other work that you might be capable of doing.
How can you establish that your carpal tunnel syndrome prevents you from doing other work? Well, you must show detailed medical records that document the severity of your condition and your physical restrictions and limitations. For example, your medical records should show that you have problems with inflammation, swelling and pain and difficulty doing repetitive motions, including working. How can you help your doctor document the severity of your medical condition? At Cavey and Barrett, carpal tunnel Social Security Disability attorneys, we suggest that you give your doctor concrete examples of problems that you have in your daily living. So, for example, if you have difficulty opening drawers, picking up a coffee cup, drop things frequently, have a loss of sensation in your wrist or your fingers, make sure that your doctor has that documented in your medical records.
Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits and Have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
These are all functional limitations that go to show that the difficulty you have using your hands eliminates a number of transferable skills that you might have. Additionally, your medical records should document your pain and the impact it has on your ability to concentrate and engage in activity on a constant basis. So, for example, if you have pain and find it difficult to pick up silverware out of the dishwasher or putting the silverware away, that shows that you have difficulty using your hands in any kind of sustained activity. If your claim for carpal tunnel Social Security Disability benefits has been denied, you should appeal immediately and retain the services of an experienced Social Security Disability carpal tunnel attorney.