Qualifying for Disability Benefits (SSDI) with Carpal Tunnel in NJ
Carpal tunnel is a disability that affects millions of Americans. Many citizens spend a large portion of their day typing on a keyboard, making them especially prone to this ailment. Not all hope is lost for people who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome, though; they may be eligible to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits through the Social Security Administration. This program is intended to provide aid to people who are incapable of working full-time or unable to work at all.
If you are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome and want to know what you can do to apply for SSDI benefits, call our New Jersey disability lawyers at Young Marr & Associates at (866) 781-4058 for a free consultation today.
The Social Security Administration’s Definition of Carpal Tunnel
New Jersey residents who apply for Social Security disability benefits must have conditions that are severe enough to match the requirements laid out in the Listing of Impairments (also known as the “Blue Book”). The Listing of Impairments is a document that specifies how severe each qualifying condition must be for the applicant to receive Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.
The Listing of Impairments does not list carpal tunnel as a qualifying condition. However, applicants who would like to receive SSDI benefits for their carpal tunnel may still qualify if they can attribute carpal tunnel to another condition. Carpal tunnel happens as a result of nerve compression in the wrist, which makes carpal tunnel a form of “peripheral neuropathy,” a listing in Section 11.14 of the Listing of Impairments. Applicants can qualify for SSDI benefits for their carpal tunnel as a form of neuropathy if they can demonstrate the following symptoms:
- An inability to control or use at least two extremities, which results in an extremely limited ability to walk, sit, stand, balance, or use those extremities. This is known as a “disorganization or motor function.”
- A marked limitation in physical function, as well as a limitation in understanding, remembering, or applying information; interacting with others; concentrating, persisting, or maintaining pace; or adapting or managing oneself.
If an applicant’s carpal tunnel happens as the result of another injury or disease, it may make that applicant eligible to receive SSDI benefits. Applicants may still be able to receive SSDI benefits for their carpal tunnel if their condition does not match the requirements listed for peripheral neuropathy. Applicants can apply for benefits through what is known as the medical vocation allowance. With medical vocational allowance, applicants do not need to match criteria listed in the Listing of Impairments but rather demonstrate that they have severely limited basic abilities.
Applying for SSDI benefits through a medical vocational allowance requires applicants to undergo an assessment administered by the Social Security Administration. This assessment is known as a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC), and it gauges the types of work that applicants are able to perform. It will assess the physical limitations that prevent you from meeting the requirements of a workplace, which may be physical, sensory, or mental, among other things. In the case of carpal tunnel, an applicant must show that their carpal tunnel prevents them from typing, grasping, or performing other fine motor skills necessary to do a job.
How to Qualify for SSDI Benefits in New Jersey
To qualify for SSDI benefits in New Jersey, applicants must have conditions that are severe enough to meet the standards of the Social Security Administration. SSDI benefit applicants must have conditions severe enough to prevent them from working and earning an income. Also, the disability must affect the applicant for a certain period of time: It must have already affected the applicant for at least 12 consecutive months, be expected to affect the applicant for at least 12 months into the future, or be expected to end in death. These requirements apply to all conditions.
There are also certain income requirements that applicants must meet to qualify for SSDI benefits. Applicants who make an income that is determined by the Social Security Administration to be “substantial gainful activity” (SGA) are not eligible to receive benefits. Monthly income that exceeds $1,220 is considered SGA and disqualifies applicants from receiving benefits. The SGA limit for blind applicants, it should be noted, is slightly higher: $2,040 per month.
What Happens If You Are Denied SSDI Benefits
Applicants are denied requests for SSDI benefits more frequently than they are accepted; in fact, about 70% of applicants for benefits have their applications denied. Applications for SSDI benefits are most commonly denied because the applicant has a condition that is not severe enough to qualify them. The applicant may have a severe condition but is still ultimately denied because their ailment is not severe enough to prevent them performing normal duties at work. Applicants may also be denied because they earn too much income or because their applicants have glaring technical issues.
Luckily, applicants who are denied are able to file appeals. The process of appealing begins with a request for reconsideration and will be followed by a disability appeal hearing, during which an administrative law judge will make a ruling on your case. If the judge denies your application at this stage, you are still able to request a review from the Appeals Council. If your application is denied by the council, you can continue to appeal by taking your case to a federal judge.
Social Security Disability Attorneys for SSDI in New Jersey
Social Security disability lawyers Young Marr & Associates are available to help you in your pursuit of SSDI benefits. Their 25 years of experience with thousands of New Jersey cases has given them the skills to help you file an application for SSDI benefits for carpal tunnel that has a high chance of success. Get in touch with them soon to schedule a free consultation by calling (866) 781-4058.