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Tucson Social Security Disability Blog

If I Don't Have Full Use Of My Hands, Should I Apply For Disability?

Posted by John Kuhnlein | May 05, 2016 | 0 Comments

There are any number of conditions, some traumatic, some chronic, that can prevent a person from having full use of his or her hands. Among the most common of the chronic conditions that affect use of the hands are carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), arthritis, and neuropathy. Each of these can leave a person with only limited use of his or her fingers and or even entire hands.  This is very important when it comes to Social Security disability.   

Use Of Hands Is A Critical Part Of Social Security's Evaluation Of Your Claim

When Social Security examines your application for disability benefits, they are going to want to know two things: 1) can you go back to any of the work you have done in the last fifteen years before becoming disabled and 2) if not, is there any other work you can do, given your medical problems. This evaluation is going to turn on the specific vocational limitations you have. Among all physical limitations, the inability to use your hands is among the most important.

Consider for just a moment all the jobs you can think of. Now, ask yourself: how many of those could a person do without the full use of his or her hands? Can you come up with any? This will be even more true as we move further into a technological work force. More and more, jobs require the ability to type or otherwise use various electronic devices.  For those more traditional labor-type jobs, the analysis is even simpler: no one is going to be a roofer or mason or a car mechanic without full use of both hands. 

Education And Job Skills Affect The Importance Of Loss of Use Of Hands

It is worth noting that you could be in otherwise great health, but if you cannot use your hands, you still might not be able to keep and find work. The amount of education and job skills you have, however, is going to play into this.  Simply put, the less education and skill you have, the more likely you are to need your hands to stay employed.  A woman working as a theoretical physicist at NASA who loses use of her hands is still probably able to do something productive. Less so the man who cleans her office when she goes home at night.  

Consider Applying If You Have Lost The Use Of Your Hands

If you have lost the full use of your hands due to an accident or a chronic condition, it may be time to explore filing for Social Security disability benefits.  This is true regardless of your age and overall health. 

If you have any questions about the use of your hands and your ability to work, please call or email. 

About the Author

John Kuhnlein

Since 1992, I have been helping the people of Southern Arizona get the benefits they are due. Before devoting all my efforts to assisting people with Social Security disability claims, I also handled such complex lawsuits as medical malpractice and products liability. I brought to my Social Security cases all the skills and attention to detail that I developed in the courtroom. I approach each Social Security disability case as if it were a million-dollar lawsuit. For the people trying to get Social Security benefits, their claim is every bit as important. Because I have personally handled so many Social Security cases, I have refined the skills I need to win your case for you. I have helped people win cases for every kind of ailment from arthritis to valley fever. At present, I am focused on helping those persons with neurological and orthopedic disorders. Because claims for people over age fifty bring additional complications, I particularly seek out those cases to work on. I regularly write about back and spine conditions on my blog. I actively seek out the latest information about orthopedic and neurological disorders to ensure I can represent my clients as effectively as possible. Because of my current focus, I regret that I am not able to take any cases for mental disorders. If you are over age fifty and suffer from any orthopedic or neurological disorder, please contact me at once.


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John Kuhnlein has been assisting people with Social Security disability claims for the past 25+ years.

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