Premier Disability Services would like to wish everyone a safe and happy 4th of July weekend! Before you fire off a bunch of bottle rockets this weekend, spare a thought for your fingers, toes and other extremities. Injuries from fireworks send thousands of Americans to the emergency room around this time of year, new data shows. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were an estimated 9,100 fireworks-related injuries treated in U.S. emergency rooms in 2018; and of these, about 5,600 occurred in the one-month period around July 4th (from June 22 to July 22).
If you have suffered a hand injury, whether from a firework accident or otherwise, and it prevents you from working, then you may be entitled to Social Security Disability benefits.
Nearly every job requires full and complete use of the hands. Anyone who has “manipulative limitations” caused by injury or pain needs to be aware that this can be an important component of a disability claim. While more obvious in situations involving a condition such as carpal tunnel syndrome or a specific hand injury, this limitation can also be important even when it is not the major disabling condition.
Social Security law says that in order to do even unskilled, sedentary work a person must have good use of both hands and the fingers – this is called “bilateral manual dexterity” in the regulations. Any significant limitation in a person’s ability to handle, pick up and finger small objects is important in the disability decision. Many claimants have conditions that restrict the amount of lifting they can do. Anyone person who can lift and carry even 10 pounds for most of the day may still be found capable of sedentary work, under Social Security regulations. The addition of a manipulative limitation, particularly of the dominant hand, can be enough to tip the scale in favor of the claimant.
By: Joyce Trudeau of Premier Disability Services, LLC®