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Can you win a disability claim and be awarded benefits based on Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?



 
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a musculoskeletal condition and it would be included in section 1.00 of the adult SSA bluebook listings...if there were a listing for this condition.

What is the bluebook? The bluebook is the impairment listing manual used by disability examiners and judges to award benefits through Social Security Disability and SSI for specific medical conditions, either physical or mental, based on very specific and often detailed medical criteria.

Not every condition is included in the listings. Carpal Tunnel is one of those conditions that is not given a listing. Why this is the case is unclear. As section 1.00 states "Impairments may result from infectious, inflammatory, or degenerative processes". Obviously, carpal tunnel is a condition resulting from repetitive stress that usually involves significant pain and inflammation.

Note: for those who are curious, this section of the listings book does include individual listings that address the following: soft tissue injuries, certain fractures, disorders of the spine, major joint dysfucnction due to any cause, and reconstructive surgery or surgical arthrodesis of a major weight-bearing joint.

Getting disability based on carpal tunnel syndrome

Without the existence of a listing, can you win a disability case and get disability benefits for carpal tunnel?

The answer is yes. As there is no listing to qualify under, a claim that is solely based on CTS would need to be won via a medical vocational allowance, the type of approval that is made in most approved cases. This is where the determination is made that a person is so affected by their condition that they can no longer do their past work and cannot do any other type of work as well.








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For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.