Qualifying for Disability Benefits (SSDI) with Carpal Tunnel in Pennsylvania
According to recent studies, at least half of employed Americans spend the majority of their working week sitting and typing at desk jobs. One 2009 study places the percentage of desk-bound Americans around 50%, while others report numbers closer to 80 or even 90%. While reports vary, they all point to the same basic fact: a huge chunk of the American workforce is spending at least 40 hours per week typing away at a keyboard.
Unfortunately, this climate of computer-oriented desk work has been a major contributor to a painful and widespread health condition in the United States: carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal Tunnel Disability Statistics in the United States
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, carpal tunnel results in more work days missed than any other medical condition. The Center also reports that on an annual basis, approximately 260,000 operations related to carpal tunnel are performed.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that repetitive strain injuries such as CTS also take the greatest toll on the nation’s economy in terms of missed work, amounting to over $20 billion per year in workers compensation.
CTS is considered to be a repetitive strain injury. CTS occurs when the walls of the carpal tunnel, which is a space between the bones and fibrous tissue inside your wrist, swell with inflammation. When the walls of the carpal tunnel are swollen, they put pressure on the nerve running through the carpal tunnel, leading to burning, cramping, numbness, weakness, and pain. Workers in industries such as administrative, clerical, legal, marketing and transcription. These unpleasant sensations can make typing or performing other repetitive motions with your wrists and hands impossible.
How to Qualify for Benefits with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)
The SSA uses a guide called the Listing of Impairments to evaluate potentially disabling medical conditions. Because carpal tunnel is not included in the Listing of Impairments, it can be difficult to qualify for monthly benefits; but it is not impossible. If you can successfully demonstrate to the SSA that your carpal tunnel will prevent you from working for a period of at least 12 months, you may be approved.
While CTS itself is not in the Listing, CTS may cause nerve damage. If you experience nerve damage, you may be able to qualify under Section 11.04, Peripheral Neuropathies.
CTS may also be an underlying condition associated with a disease which is considered disabling by the SSA. For example, CTS can be related to arthritis (Section 14.09, Inflammatory Arthritis) or diabetes (Section 9.00, Endocrine Disorders).
It is extremely important that you supply the SSA with all of your medical documentation, as well as your physician’s contact information. You should tell your doctor about the pain and other symptoms you experience, and thoroughly describe the way your CTS has interfered with your employment. The SSA will want to know about any surgeries or other types of treatment you are taking for your CTS.
Call Our Philadelphia + Bucks County Disability Attorneys Today
If you’re one of the many Americans who is living with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), and your CTS is preventing you from working, you may be able to qualify for disability benefits. However, CTS is not included in the Social Security Administration’s official Listing of Impairments, which means that getting your disability benefits claim approved can be very challenging.
If you are living with CTS in New Jersey or Pennsylvania and are unable to work as a result, you could qualify for monthly benefits. An experienced social security lawyer can help you navigate the complex application system and advocate on your behalf if your claim is denied. To schedule a free, private case evaluation, call the law offices of Young, Marr & Associates at (609) 755-3115 in New Jersey or (215) 701-6519 in Pennsylvania, or contact us online today.