If you have been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome you are probably not able to earn an income.
You may be entitled to disability benefits to cover you for the financial hardship you have to withstand because of the effects of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common nerve disorders in the country.
For many, this disorder can be quite debilitating, especially when experiencing symptoms such as numbness, weakness and at times a shooting pain originating in the hands which is felt in the shoulder.
This can mean everyday tasks may be too hard to perform.
The Initial Application for Disability Benefits for Carpel Tunnel Syndrome
There are two types of disability benefits that might be available to anyone who has been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome.
These are both administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA).
The first type is available to anyone who has Social Security Disability Insurance and has accumulated enough work credits when paying taxes.
The second isn’t linked to work credits but is based more on financial need.
Before you can file any application for disability benefits you must prove you are disabled and are not capable of going to work for at least 12 months.
There is no listing for carpal tunnel syndrome in the Blue Book.
However, if nerve damage is obvious, your condition could be classified as peripheral neuropathy, but it is hard to be eligible for disability benefits with this sort of condition.
There are three ways to apply for Social Security benefits.
You can file an application online, which is more appropriate to applicants who have adequate work credits.
You can also call the Social Security office to book an appointment or go to your local Social Security office without an appointment.
The SSA will want to view your medical records, including CT and MRI scans, which show the date you first became disabled with carpal tunnel syndrome.
You will have to prove you are unable to carry out the work you did before becoming disabled and that the disability will last at least 12 months.
Whether you are offered disability benefits depends partly on what your physician knows about your carpal tunnel syndrome and if s/he considers you can work.
If you are denied disability benefits for carpal tunnel syndrome, you can file a request for reconsideration.
Request for Reconsideration With Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
If you decide to file an appeal for disability benefits because your request for reconsideration was unsuccessful, you will need to present your disability case in person to an administrative law judge (ALJ).
Arranging the date and the hearing itself are both conducted at the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR).
The most likely reason for a disability benefits application being denied is due to the lack of evidence of your disability.
Before the hearing date you should get more medical tests completed to prove the presence and pain caused by the carpal tunnel syndrome like x-rays and MRIs.
Also, you could provide proof that you need an assistive device to enable you to be more mobile.
Another step you can take if all else has failed is getting your doctor to conduct a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment which is a tool used by Social Security to assess your physical and mental abilities with regards to performing a job.
If your claim for disability benefits has still not attained a successful outcome from the ALJ you may consider turning to the Appeals Council.
You are given 60 days following the ALJ decision to request a review at the Appeal’s Council.
All the Appeal’s Council does is determine if the ALJ has made an error when finalizing its decision.
If you don’t want to accept the Appeal’s Council decision your last chance is the Federal District Court where many claims are won.
Help With Disability Application Process for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
An experienced disability lawyer can work on your behalf to get your disability benefits entitlement and help you file an appeal if your claim is denied.
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Ultimately, the application process for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be rather lengthy so it is important to seek help from an attorney!