When you’re dealing with the pain of carpal tunnel syndrome, the last thing you want to worry about is missing time from work. This chronic wrist condition can make doing your job difficult or impossible.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common nerve disorders. It affects millions of Americans, with symptoms ranging from irritating aches to debilitating pain.
You may be wondering, “Is carpal tunnel a disability?” The answer may be yes.
If your carpal tunnel symptoms are the result of your job responsibilities, you may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim. Here are the things you need to know when filing a workers’ comp claim for carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a nerve disorder of the wrist that causes pain, numbness, and weakness. The symptoms of carpal tunnel occur mostly in the wrist but can also travel into the hand, fingers, and arm. Carpal tunnel is a common disorder for employees whose jobs require repetitive hand motion, such as office workers, factory workers, and drivers.
If your carpal tunnel syndrome is a result of duties performed at your job, it’s considered an occupational disease or an occupational repetitive strain injury. In this case, you are able to file a workers’ compensation claim.
Depending on the severity of your symptoms and the response to treatment, your carpal tunnel may be considered a temporary or permanent disability.
It’s important to tell your employer about your carpal tunnel symptoms as soon as possible. Since carpal tunnel syndrome is a progressive disease, you should be able to report when you first started to notice the symptoms.
Your employer should give you the required forms to fill out as well as a list of authorized doctors to visit. Fill out all the required paperwork right away to start receiving treatment and reimbursement as soon as possible.
Be sure to follow all requirements on the forms and meet all deadlines. Failing to do so could put your claim at risk.
The insurance company may try to deny your claim by saying your injury could have occurred outside work. They may ask you to complete an Independent Medical Exam (IME) to evaluate your injuries. In this case, they will likely make you prove the injury is work-related and not caused by outside factors.
Is carpal tunnel a disability? The answer may be yes, but be prepared for the insurance company to put up a fight.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common injury for many employees, but since it’s a progressive disease that only gets worse over time, it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause. If your job requires you to do repetitive hand motions for long periods of time, chances are your job is the cause of your carpal tunnel syndrome.
A knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer will help you navigate the often confusing process of a workers’ compensation claim. An experienced workers’ comp doctor will diagnose and treat your injury and help you get well.
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