How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

How many people get disability for carpal tunnel syndrome the first time they file an application?

The majority of individuals who file for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration are denied. This is a fact that has been true for decades and it applies to claims involving carpal tunnel syndrome.

Typically, a person who applies for disability on the basis of practically any mental or physical medical impairment can expect that their claim will be denied initially.

The rate of denial at the disability application level has historically tended to be about 70 percent or higher. In recent years, it has climbed to 77 percent. Meaning that only about 23 percent of all initial claims are approved. Roughly one out of four. The rate of denial will differ by state, but not by much, and the national average (currently 77 percent) is fairly consistent.

Because the denial rate is this high, most individuals will need to file for their first appeal. In most states, this is known as a DDS request for reconsideration appeal. DDS, or disability determination services, is the agency where disability examiners make decisions on claims for Social Security (both SSDI and SSI cases).

Reconsideration level appeals are denied at an even higher rate, usually more than 80 percent. Currently, the reconsideration rate of denial is about 90 percent meaning that only 1 in 10 of these appeals are approved. This makes it necessary for most individuals to file a second appeal, which is for a disability hearing date.

The rate of approval before an ALJ, or administrative law judge, has been diminishing in recent years. However, between 40-50 percent of claims decided by judges at hearings will be approved. However, this is an aggregate of all claims and includes claims for disabled adult children and SSI applicants. Claims for disabled workers in the Social Security Disability program are approved at rate of 76 percent according to the Annual statistical report on the Social Security Disability Insurance program.

So, to answer the question, Will you get disability for carpal tunnel the first time you apply?, the answer is that statistically, the odds are against you, as it is for 77 percent of all claimants.

That said, however, most claims are not decided on the basis of just one condition. In fact, it is fairly rare for a disability examiner or a judge to see a case that has only one medical condition listed. Usually, by the time a person has taken the step to actually apply for disability benefits, they have multiple health issues.

Multiple health issues, of course, will often mean more limitations in a person's ability to engage in activities of daily living and in the number of, and extent of functional limitations that they possess.

Functional limitations and Carpal Tunnel

How do "functional limitations" affect a disability case? Functional limitations that are proven by medical evidence can prove that a person no longer has the ability to engage in certain types of physical or mental tasks. This can translate to a decreased ability or inability to perform certain types of work.

In the case of carpal tunnel syndrome, it may mean that a person has difficulty grasping, holding, or pinching objects. It may mean the outright inability to engage in certain tasks involving one or both hands, or a reduced ability to do so, or an increased rate of fatigue with regard to the activity that involves one or both hands.

If the individual's past work was predicated upon the necessity to use his or her hands in ways that are diminished by their medical condition (e.g. carpal tunnel syndrome), then it should be possible to show that a return to the claimant's past work is not possible.

When that occurs, however, the next point of evaluation for a disability examiner or judge will be to determine if the claimant will be able to perform some type of other work. Being unable to do one's past work will not automatically result in an approval for disability benefits.

This is step 5 (other work) of the SSA decision process. This step will take into consideration the person's age, skills, and education, but also the limitations that are caused by their condition, which in this case is carpal tunnel syndrome but would, likely, in most cases, include limitations caused by other conditions as well.

Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

Related pages:

How to file a disability application
What happens when you file a disability application?
If you are Denied for Disability, Should you File a new Application or File an Appeal of the Denial?
What happens after you file a disability application?
Is Carpal Tunnel a disability for SSD and SSI claims?
Can you get disability for carpal tunnel?
Will you get disability for carpal tunnel the first time you apply?
How to qualify for disability with carpal tunnel
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Filing for Disability
Will Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and arthritis in my hands qualify for disability?
If you apply for disability in Maryland
Will I qualify for disability benefits in Maryland?
Getting a Disability Lawyer in Maryland

These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?

Filing a disability application in Texas

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.