Cubital tunnel syndrome results from the ulnar nerve entrapment, which in turn restricts proper nerve and muscle communication and results in a number of related symptoms, including pain, numbness, tingling, loss of fine motor skills in the hand, and an inability to control gross muscle movements in the arm, wrist, and hand.
Cubital tunnel syndrome can range in severity from mild and repairable to pronounced and irreversible. Nerve damage can sometimes be surgically or otherwise corrected, but when the damage is permanent and disabling, cubital tunnel syndrome can be approval for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.
Medically Qualifying with Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
To qualify for disability, your cubital tunnel syndrome must prevent you from working for a period of at least 12 months. This is a basic requirement for disability benefits, and for most people, cubital tunnel syndrome can be corrected, treated, and resolved within less than a year. Because of this, getting approved for benefits can be difficult with cubital tunnel syndrome alone.
If you have other medical conditions in addition to cubital tunnel syndrome, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will consider all of those as well, which means your medical records should contain not just the details of the ulnar nerve complications but the combined effects of all your symptoms, regardless of their cause.
The first step the SSA takes in reviewing disability claims is to attempt to match a condition to a Blue Book listing. The Blue Book contains details of recognized disabilities, including medical evidence requirements for each.
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome does not appear in the Blue Book though, because most who suffer from it do not experience long-term or permanent disability as a result. Instead, you must qualify through an RFC analysis, which is a review of your residual functional capacity.
In this process, the SSA reviews:
- Your medical records
- Employment history
- Formal education and acquired job skills
- Your symptoms and their affect on your everyday activities, including your typical job functions
- Age and other pertinent factors
If all of these show the SSA that you cannot maintain gainful employment in any job for which you’re qualified, then you’ll be granted benefits.
Getting Help with Your Claim
Winning a disability claim for a Blue Book listed condition is sometimes challenging enough, but getting approved for benefits with a condition like cubital tunnel syndrome is always an uphill battle. You can get help with your claim though.
A Social Security attorney or advocate may be able to help you with your application and build a stronger case through thorough medical documentation. If your claim is denied, which is something you should be prepare for, then an attorney or advocate can also help with the appeals process, including requesting a second review, filing any additional supporting evidence, and arguing your case at the appeal hearing, if necessary.