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.