Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a repetitive motion disorder interfering with normal functioning of the wrist, hand and fingers, causing pain, numbness, burning sensations and inability to move the hand without pain. A large nerve extends down the arms and through wrists via a “carpal” tunnel. When this nerve swells and rubs against the bony tunnel, pain radiates down the arm and into the hand. Pain and stiffness may be debilitating enough to prevent CTS sufferers from finding or retaining employment. Severe cases of CTS often require surgery to help ease swelling and irritation of the carpal nerve.
Can You Get Social Security Disability for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
The Social Security Administration recognizes CTS as a disabling condition if applicants meet criteria listed in the SSA Blue Book. However, SSA physicians typically do not rule in favor of those seeking disability benefits for CTS. Consequently, applicants filing a claim for CTS must meet one or more of the following requirements to potentially increase the chances of their claim being approved:
Nerve damage that could be diagnosed as severe peripheral neuropathy
Wrist ligaments lose enough functionality that you can no longer use your hands and wrist (soft tissue injury)
What Kind of Medical Evidence is needed to Prove Carpal Tunnel Syndrome to the SSA?
Most family doctors can diagnose CTS by asking about symptoms, degree of pain and testing reflexes. To be considered for CTS disability benefits, applicants will need to submit results of imaging or neurological tests showing physical evidence that the nerve is abnormally inflamed. These tests could include:
Phalen’s test–evaluates symptoms when hands are dangled off the edge of a table
Tourniquet test–a doctor places an inflatable cuff of the wrist to check for pain or tingling
Nerve conduction test–measures nerve signals traveling through nerves that control sensation and movement in the wrists and hands
Electromyography–an electric wire is place on muscles to assess electrical activity within that particular muscle
Why Hire a Social Security Disability Attorney for CTS?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of many conditions the SSA hesitates to approve for disability benefits. Enlisting experienced legal assistance to file your claim may significantly increase your chance of receiving approval. Call Clauson Law today to schedule an appointment.