As computers become an increasingly important part of society, more and more Americans are employed in administrative jobs. But unfortunately, these office settings can be extremely detrimental to physical health, commonly contributing to medical issues like carpal tunnel. Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) can cause pain and numbness in the hands and wrists, and can even necessitate surgery in very severe cases. Ultimately, this debilitating condition can make it virtually impossible for sufferers to continue working.
However, even when you are unable to work, your financial obligations still continue to build. Your CTS may be keeping you away from your job, but you still need to pay your utilities, credit card bills, and manage your other expenses. To help address this issue, the SSA, or Social Security Administration, offers millions of disabled Americans monthly benefits. The SSA projects these benefits will reach nearly nine million workers throughout the country in 2014 — but what makes you an eligible recipient? Can you qualify for disability benefits with carpal tunnel?
To discuss your legal options in a private consultation, or to learn more about how our firm can assist you, call Arkansas disability benefits lawyer Ken Kieklak at (479) 316-0438 today.
Ken Kieklak: Arkansas Disability Benefits Attorney
If an injury or illness interferes with your employment, you may be able to obtain monthly assistance. While these benefits are an excellent resource for applicants who qualify, the process of qualifying is notoriously difficult. In Arkansas, the average approval rate during the 2013 fiscal year was only about 30% during the initial application stage. In other words, about 70% of first-time claimants were denied.
While the statistics may seem discouraging, many people can and do qualify every day. A skilled and qualified attorney who is familiar with the social security system can help increase your chances of being approved. Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law has nearly 20 years of practical experience advocating on behalf of Arkansas residents who are seeking SSI and SSDI benefits. No matter which stage of the process you have reached — whether you are still preparing your very first claim, or you have already been denied — our firm is here to fight for the compensation you deserve.
How Do I Qualify for Benefits with Carpal Tunnel?
Carpal tunnel is one of the more common medical conditions facing Americans today. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, CTS is the number one ranking cause of missed work in the United States, and leads to more than 250,000 surgical procedures on an annual basis. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons reports that women, elderly individuals, and people with diabetes are at an increased risk. The Academy also reports that the average financial loss sustained by a CTS sufferer amounts to roughly $30,000 over the course of a lifetime.
In order to qualify for SSI or SSDI, you’ll need to meet several requirements imposed by the SSA. On the general level, regardless of which medical issue you have, all applicants must demonstrate that his or her disability:
- Has lasted or will last for 12 months at minimum, or will end in death.
- Is severe enough to prohibit work.
Additionally, your income must not exceed $1,070 per month.
If these generic criteria are met, you will then be further evaluated based on your carpal tunnel. However, carpal tunnel is not included in the SSA’s “Blue Book” or Listing of Impairments, which means you must try to qualify via another route.
For example, you may be deemed eligible if you can show that the effects of your carpal tunnel match a Listing entry. Carpal tunnel (and surgeries to treat carpal tunnel) can cause severe nerve damage, which may be able to qualify you under the Blue Book’s listing for peripheral neuropathy (Section 11.14, under Neurological Conditions).
Alternately, you might be successful with a medical-vocational allowance. Medical-vocational allowances are used when a claimant experiences impairment, but his or her condition does not match any listings in the Blue Book. You will need to undergo an RFC (Residual Functional Capacity) assessment, which will measure some of your basic abilities (e.g. walking, lifting). Depending on the results of your RFC assessment, your CTS could qualify you.
If you are living with disabling CTS, or if your motor function has been damaged by a related surgical procedure, you might be an excellent candidate for monthly benefits. An experienced social security attorney can help you prepare the very strongest claim possible to boost your chances of success. To schedule your confidential case evaluation, call Ken Kieklak today at (479) 316-0438, or contact us online.