How to Tell if You Could Get Financial Assistance
Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common conditions experienced by people whose work involves tools, machinery, typing or other repetitive movements with their hands.
It can cause numbness or pain in your hand, wrist and arm, tingling, the sensation of electric shocks—and it can zap your strength for gripping objects.
It can be debilitating, especially for certain types of work where you really need your hands. On its own, however, carpal tunnel isn’t considered an official disability for the purposes of qualifying for financial help from Social Security Disability benefits.
Social Security Disability requires you to be completely unable to work for at least 12 months at a time. Then you can get monthly disability income to make your life easier.
But people are often able to manage their carpal tunnel syndrome and continue to work. Or they can get treatment for it and return to work.
Still, if you applied for disability benefits with carpal tunnel syndrome and got denied, there are paths you can take to appeal the denial and ultimately win life-changing benefits.
On this page, we’ll look at two approaches:
- Your “residual functional capacity”
- Combining carpal tunnel with other medical conditions
The Morgan Law Firm disability attorneys in South Bend help people appeal denials of benefits in Indiana, Michigan and the whole Michiana region. We’ve helped thousands of people reverse denials.
Social Security Disability Is All We Do.
Key to a Disability Claim with Carpal Tunnel: “Residual Functional Capacity”
Even though carpal tunnel isn’t specifically named in Social Security’s listing of impairments for disability benefits, there still are ways to get approved.
Your diagnosis, whether it’s carpal tunnel or something else, doesn’t have to be on the list.
You can still show Social Security how your medical condition, or a combination of medical conditions, impedes your daily activities.
You’ll need an assessment of what Social Security calls your “residual functional capacity.” It’s what you can actually do, regardless of your specific health problems.
Your RFC rating includes these elements:
- How much weight you can lift and carry
- How long you can stand or walk
- How long you can sit
- How well you can push or pull objects like controls
- Whether you can climb stairs, ramps or ladders
- Whether you can get into positions like kneeling, crouching and crawling
- How well you can reach for things
- How well you can hold things
- If you can use your fingers to manipulate small objects
- How well you can feel objects
- Your vision
- Your hearing
- Your speaking ability
- How well you can handle environmental conditions like heat, cold, wetness, noise, fumes and more
Carpal tunnel syndrome could potentially limit you on several of these points.
A doctor can fill out an RFC assessment for you, showing how your case of carpal tunnel is severe enough to make it impossible for you to do your job.
To get a better idea of whether you may have a strong appeal for disability benefits with carpel tunnel, you can reach out to the disability law team at The Morgan Law Firm for an initial conversation about your case.
There’s no charge for that.
Other Conditions that Can Combine with Carpal Tunnel to Qualify for Disability
In addition to establishing that your residual functional capacity rules out working, you can also show how your carpal tunnel syndrome combined with other health impairments makes you eligible for benefits.
These conditions are sometimes associated with carpal tunnel, or they’re more common in people with carpal tunnel. They could be part of your disability claim if they apply to you:
- Inflammatory diseases
- Kidney disease
- Nerve damage
- Rheumatoid arthritis
If you have something that’s not directly related to carpal tunnel and not listed here, that, too, should be part of your disability claim.
If carpal tunnel’s not enough on its own to qualify you for Social Security Disability, you can and should provide a full picture of your health limitations.
A disability lawyer can help you with the medical evidence you’ll need and the legal arguments you’ll need to make.
It could well be worth it to try appealing your benefits denial with a Social Security Disability lawyer, because of the financial relief and sense of stability you can get.
Plus, you pay no attorney fee until you win benefits.
If you’re struggling to hold on to your livelihood because of severe carpal tunnel syndrome, get in touch with us.