Service Connection For Carpal Tunnel
In order to receive VA disability benefits for carpal tunnel, you have to first prove to VA that your carpal tunnel is a result of your time in service by establishing service connection. To establish direct service connection, you must demonstrate the following:
- A current diagnosis of carpal tunnel
- An in-service event, injury, or illness
- A medical nexus between the current diagnosis and the in-service event, injury, or illness
The third element of direct service connection related to a medical nexus may require obtaining an opinion from a VA healthcare professional or private physician. Ideally, the medical opinion would state that your carpal tunnel is at least as likely as not related to your military service. However, service connection can also be established on a secondary basis.
Specifically, if you have an already service-connected condition that caused or aggravated your carpal tunnel, you may still qualify for VA disability benefits. Here, you must provide medical evidence demonstrating that causal relationship between the primary and secondary conditions.
Recommended Reading: How Do I Change My Va Disability Direct Deposit
If I Do Not Meet The Listing Is There Another Way To Get Social Security Disability Benefits
If you do not meet a listing and carpal tunnel is preventing you from working, you may still qualify for Social Security disability benefits, especially if you suffer from the condition in both hands.
The Social Security Administration will proceed with your case by evaluating your Residual Functional Capacity. Social Security will determine the most amount of work that you can do despite your limitations. To do this, they divide work into four different categories: heavy, medium, light, and sedentary. It is worth noting that there is sometimes a fifth category that is recognized for very heavy work however, very heavy work is scarcely used. Whether a claimant wins his or her Social Security disability benefits claim is greatly affected by which category he or she is ultimately put into. Being put into a lower category increases the likelihood that a claim is approved for SSI or SSDI disability benefits.
For a free initial case consultation, call us today at 312-999-0999. We serve clients throughout Illinois.
Related Health Issues That Often Qualify For Disability Benefits
Remember, we said theres no specific listing just for carpal tunnel in the SSAs Blue Book. Thats the list of guidelines they use to evaluate medical issues for disability benefits. However, several related health problems that appear in the SSAs Blue Book may help support your disability case. Do you have any of these doctor-diagnosed health problems in addition to your carpal tunnel? If yes, its much easier for you to get approved for monthly disability payments:
Read Also: How To Calculate Disability Retirement Pay
Can I Get Social Security Disability Benefits If I Suffer From Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is recognized by Social Security. If carpal tunnel is preventing you from working for at least 12 months, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits , even if your application has already been denied. When you apply for disability benefits with carpal tunnel syndrome, the Administration will first determine whether the condition is severe enough to meet a listing. If you meet a listing you will be found to be medically disabled. If you do not meet a listing, Social Security will then evaluate your
Other Conditions Which May Be Misdiagnosed As Cts
Carpal tunnel syndrome is frequently misdiagnosed due to the fact that it shares symptoms with several other conditions, including arthritis, wrist tendonitis, repetitive strain injury and thoracic outlet syndrome. Symptoms which CTS shares with other conditions include:
- Hot-and-cold sensations
- Difficulty grasping or using oneÃ¢â¬â¢s hand
It is important to be aware of the key differences between CTS and some other conditions which share its symptoms, in order to avoid a misdiagnosis. Other conditions which are commonly misdiagnosed as CTS include:
Arthritis can affect all the fingers in the hand, whereas CTS cannot affect the little finger. Whereas CTS is worse at night, arthritis is not affected by the time of day. The symptoms of CTS can be absent and then suddenly become triggered by a particular activity, whereas the pain associated with arthritis is usually constantly present but alters in intensity during activities which put strain on the hands and wrists.
Nerve compression due to conditions affecting the spine
Conditions such as spinal disc herniation and cervical stenosis can cause nerve compression that may result in similar sensations to those of CTS.
Thoracic outlet syndrome
Repetitive strain injury
Recommended Reading: How To Increase Your Va Disability Rating
Is Carpal Tunnel Surgery Covered Under Fmla
Carpal tunnel syndrome can be a serious, debilitating condition that sometimes requires surgery and rehabilitation. However, an employee diagnosed with the condition does not necessarily qualify for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act or for coverage under the Americans with Disabilities Act .
Can I Get Long
One of the most common questions we get is Do I qualify for long-term disability benefits if I have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome/Tendonitis?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Tendonitis are both musculoskeletal disorders, and are considered repetitive strain injuries.
Carpal tunnel syndrome affects the hand and wrist and occurs when, through repetitive or excessive movement, the lubrication system in the wrist does not work.
Tendonitis is when the tendon, usually in the hand, wrist, shoulder or elbow, becomes inflamed or irritated.
Both can qualify for long-term disability benefits!
Has your claim for disability benefits been denied? Has the insurance company denied your appeal? Were you receiving benefits and the insurance company terminated those benefits?
Our Long-Term Disability Lawyers offers:
A free case assessment Fair, flexible rates, including contingency fees Service across all of Ontario
Well work with you and your physician to help challenge the insurance companys denial or discontinuance of your long-term disability benefits.
Where necessary, we will engage other trusted professionals to support your case including specialists, functional capacity evaluators, and vocational evaluators to help credibly explain why your disability symptoms are preventing you from doing your own occupation or any occupation
You May Like: How Much Does Disability Pay In Sc
A Tie Goes To The Veteran
If there are two equally strong exams with conflicting data, or if the sciatica issue can be equally rated under two different codes, then the one that offers the highest rating will be used. Remember, every conflict is resolved in support of the higher rating. If they can be shown to warrant separate ratings, then they will be combined together.
I love running!
But running with sciatica? I was skeptical.
Although running doesnt cause sciatica, you use a lot of your lower body, which is usually affected by sciatica.
On top of that, the bouncing motion and impact from hitting the ground could cause aggravation in your back, legs and feet
With that said, running has great benefits! It can help you
- Strengthen your back and abs
- Up your cardio game
- Ease back into an exercise regime, since its suited for all ages and every level of fitness
If youre a runner and live with sciatica, remember to stretch first!
Its a great way to warm up, youd be more limber and should recover faster too.
Heres a quick 7-minute pre-run stretch for you. It takes me the same amount of time to find my sneakers.
Talking about sneakers, how are yours holding up?
How you run and how supportive your shoes are have a greater effect of your sciatica than you think!
If youre able to, custom-fit is ideal. Otherwise, look for shoes with built-in shock absorber.
Or how about no shoes at all? Thats right barefoot over grass or a sandy beach!
Report The Injury To Your Employer
If you experience pain or other symptoms and want to seek medical care, you must notify your employer as soon as possible.
The workers compensation process begins when you first report the injury to your employer. With carpal tunnel syndrome, you need to give an approximate date when you first started noticing your symptoms.
Once youve reported your injury, your employer or workers comp representative will give you the forms and instructions to file your claim.
Notifying your employer is not enough. You also have to file your workers compensation claim.
Watch out for filing deadlines. You can lose all rights to compensation if you miss the reporting or filing deadline for your state.
Find your local State Workers Compensation Office for more information about your states rules and deadlines.
You may be given a list of company-approved physicians who will evaluate and treat your injury. If you arent satisfied with the treatment youre getting from the workers comp doctor, you may be able to change doctors after a certain period.
Check your states rules to determine when you can see a carpal tunnel specialist who isnt on the insurance companys list.
Don’t Miss: How Much Does Disability Pay In California
Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome A Service
You can receive VA disability compensation for your carpal tunnel syndrome if theres a service-connected link
The carpal tunnel is a passageway near the palm of your hand that is surrounded by ligaments and bones. Theres a nerve inside this tube, and when its compressed, often by the tunnels swelling, you could experience weakness, numbness, tingling, and pain in your hand or even up your arm.
These symptoms could mean that youre suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition with many known causes, including wrist fractures, repetitive motions, rheumatoid arthritis, nerve-damaging conditions, certain medications, and working with vibrating tools.
The good news for veterans is that the VA provides disability compensation for those suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome. The amount you receive depends on which hand is affected and the severity of the condition.
Heres what you should know about receiving VA benefits for carpal tunnel syndrome.
Proving that your carpal tunnel is service-related
Before you can file a VA claim for carpal tunnel syndrome, youll need a diagnosis from a doctor, and will also have to create a service connection.
The process starts with an examination where your doctor can provide a current diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome. It also helps if you receive the diagnosis while still in the military, but this isnt mandatory.
Schedule of ratings for carpal tunnel syndrome
Carpal tunnel and TDIU
Filing a VA claim for carpal tunnel syndrome
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:
- Phalens testevaluates symptoms when hands are dangled off the edge of a table
- Tourniquet testa doctor places an inflatable cuff of the wrist to check for pain or tingling
- Nerve conduction testmeasures nerve signals traveling through nerves that control sensation and movement in the wrists and hands
- Electromyographyan electric wire is placed on muscles to assess electrical activity within that particular muscle
Recommended Reading: How To Calculate Disability Retirement Pay
Can You Get Disability Benefits For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a repetitive motion disorder interfering with the 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.
% Individual Unemployability For Nerve Damage
Individual unemployability, often referred to as TDIU, means that VA is required to pay veterans at the 100 percent rate, even if their service-connected conditions do not combine to a 100 percent rating, if the veteran is unable to work as a result of those conditions.
As such, if a veterans nerve condition is preventing them from standing, sitting, walking, lifting heavy objects, etc. without substantial pain, veterans may have trouble securing and maintaining a job. If this is the case, they may be eligible for TDIU. This alternative to the 100 percent rating is important as it is often very difficult to achieve the highest rating for nerve damage on its own based on the rating criteria outlined above.
Also Check: Blind Partially Blind Or Disabled Individuals
How To Increase Your Chances Of Approval With Neuropathy
If you have been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy and you want to file a claim for Social Security disability benefits, there are things that you can do to improve your chances of approval.
The most important aspect of your claim is the medical documentation you provide, as this is the basis upon which the Social Security Administration will evaluate your claim.
The SSA will look at your application to determine whether you can return to the work you were doing before, you cannot adjust to new work and that your disability will last at least one year.
When you look at your application, you should make sure that it provides evidence that supports your claim that you cannot work.
The rule of thumb about what medical information you should provide in your application is this: Include everything. The more information you provide, the greater your chances of approval.
Your application should include a report from your doctor detailing your diagnosis and relevant medical history, the results of lab tests and imaging scans, your treatment plan, a list of all medications you are taking and any side effects you have experienced and any other information that will highlight how your diagnosis prevents you from working.
You should think of your application in terms of providing an explanation as to why you cannot work, with the documentation you provide serving as the proof.
You May Like: How Much Do You Get For Disability In New York State?
Prioritizing Client Comfort In A Long
When assisting clients with a long-term disability dispute, our primary concern, besides a successful resolution of the matter, is our clients comfort. We regularly work with clients facing a variety of limitations and we have developed several ways to lessen the burden on them during the litigation process. From scheduling meetings during a clients good time of the day to using technology to allow clients to sign paperwork from home, we will do whatever we can within reason to accommodate a clients physical and psychological condition.
Also Check: How Much Does Disability Pay In Ca
Continue To Document Your Symptoms
Because the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome may improve over time, particularly if treatment proves to be effective or if you have surgery, the insurance company may require on-going proof of your disability. Your insurance provider may accept updated medical records or may want updated clinical tests. They will be looking for continued proof of abnormal clinical results. If you fail to provide the information they request, your benefits may be terminated.
Also Check: Is A Food Allergy Considered A Disability
First What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
You have a space inside your wrist called the carpal tunnel.
A nerve called the median nerve runs through this tube. That nerve delivers much of the sensation that you feel in your hand.
When you perform repetitive motions with your hands over a period of time, it can put pressure on your wrist, compressing your carpel tunnel and the median nerve inside itand causing carpal tunnel syndrome.
Working long hours with vibrating tools, computer keyboards and other equipment and machinery can also contribute to carpal tunnel.
The condition can be exacerbated by arthritis, bone fractures, diabetes and inflammatory diseases.
Medical sources such as the Cleveland Clinic and Mayo Clinic say carpal tunnel syndrome causes numbness, tingling, hand weakness, electric shock sensations and difficulty gripping.
As many as four to 10 million Americans have carpal tunnel syndrome, according to the American College of Rheumatology. That makes it one of the most common nerve conditions.
Don’t Miss: How To Change Va Disability Direct Deposit
Facts About Carpal Tunnel Syndrome And Filing For Disability
Facts about the conditionQualifying for disability benefits with this condition
Why are so many disability cases lost at the disability application and reconsideration appeal levels?obtained and submittedMost popular topics on SSDRC.com
How Is Carpal Tunnel Diagnosed And Treated
Carpal tunnel syndrome is diagnosed by a review of your symptoms, a physical examination, and most often, through a nerve conduction test. This type of testing checks to see how well the electrical impulses are passing through your median nerve. If these electrical impulses are moving at a slower rate, you will be deemed to suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome.
It is very important to seek treatment for carpal tunnel. If left untreated, your symptoms of numbness, tingling, and weakness could result in permanent damage to your median nerve. The typical treatment options will depend upon the severity of your condition. If your condition is determined to be mild, your doctor may prescribe activity modification including the use of a wrist brace. For more severe conditions, you may require surgical intervention. In the most extreme cases, you may require multiple surgeries to correct the pinched nerve.
Recommended Reading: How To Change Gi Bill Direct Deposit
Recommended Reading: How Much Does Disability Pay In California