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Does Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Qualify for SSDI Benefits?

Donna Simpson Feb. 24, 2019

You use your hands, fingers and wrists every day at work. Whether you type at a computer, assemble products on a line, fill orders in a warehouse or perform other repetitive tasks, you may develop a repetitive stress injury. If your injury turns into carpal tunnel syndrome, though, you may not be able to continue working.

Like most residents of Tennessee, you need a regular paycheck to provide both for yourself and your family. For some injuries, Social Security Disability benefits are available to help you pay your bills. With some medical conditions, qualifying for SSDI is simple. For others, though, obtaining benefits requires extra effort. Unfortunately, carpal tunnel syndrome often falls into the latter category.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Is Not a Listing

To help applicants navigate the benefits system, the Social Security Administration has created listings. These listings indicate when a medical condition generally should allow an individual to receive compensation. As such, when an injury is a listing, proving eligibility is often straightforward. If the injury is not a listing, however, you generally must relate the injury to a condition that is. Carpal tunnel syndrome is not a listing.

Peripheral Neuropathy Is a Listing

Peripheral neuropathy is a medical condition that causes weakness or numbness in your limbs. Sometimes, severe carpal tunnel syndrome has the same health consequences as peripheral neuropathy. To increase your chances of winning SSDI benefits, you may need to compare your carpal tunnel syndrome to peripheral neuropathy. That is, you may need a doctor to determine that your carpal tunnel condition is causing symptoms that are essentially the same as the SSA's listing for peripheral neuropathy.

If you have a repetitive stress injury, you may not be able ever to work again. Because you need money to survive, you may need a strategy for receiving disability benefits for your carpal tunnel syndrome. While your case may not be a slam dunk, you can likely increase your chances of success by comparing your symptoms to an SSA listing.