Carpal tunnel syndrome can impact workers in a variety of positions because many jobs require the use of your wrist, though some more than others. It can be challenging to get benefits for this disorder for those unable to work anymore because the SSA (Social Security Administration) does not list carpal tunnel syndrome as a covered disability. However, that doesn't mean that it's impossible to be covered. Read on and learn how carpal tunnel syndrome sufferers can get Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.
Not Listed in the SSA Blue Book
The SSA maintains a list of covered ailments via a list known as the blue book, which is also available online. To be eligible for benefits, SSDI claimants must have a medical condition that falls into at least one of the following categories:
- Listed in the SSA blue book.
- Equivalent or equaling a condition in the blue book.
Like Other Conditions
Since carpal tunnel syndrome is not specifically listed in the blue book, claimants must locate other conditions that are similar to it in the way it affects their ability to work and its symptoms. For instance, some claimants have other medical conditions along with carpal tunnel syndrome that are listed in the blue book such as arthritis, lupus, diabetes, and more. Since carpal tunnel syndrome is a nerve condition, several impairments that involve nerve damage may be used as equivalent conditions. However, be warned that you must also meet the impairment guidelines for those other conditions as well. For instance, if you cite diabetes, you must have proof that you have that disorder.
The SSA Standard of Proof
It's not enough to locate an impairment that affects you as carpal tunnel syndrome does—your condition must also affect you in such a way that you are unable to do your job. Many carpal tunnel syndrome sufferers must coordinate with their doctors and complete certain diagnostic tests that produce physical evidence of the disorder. Also, be prepared to demonstrate your grip strength and other task-related tests to prove that you cannot perform the duties of your most-recent job or any job for that matter.
What Claimants Can Do
It's not unusual for anyone applying for SSDI benefits to be turned down and many that suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome will experience that perhaps even more so. When that happens, claimants need to take advantage of the appeal hearing and speak to a Social Security lawyer about getting them approved. Your lawyer understands what needs to be done to show how your impairment is preventing you from working. If you're looking to get SSDI benefits for your carpal tunnel, contact a Social Security law firm today to learn what you can do.