Social Security Disability Based on Hand Impairments

Posted July 22, 2016 by Premier Disability Services, LLC®

Most jobs in our national economy require the worker to use their hands in some form.  Whether they are performing an office job or a labor job requiring heavy lifting, the ability to use one’s hands is extremely important for gainful employment.  For this reason, a severe impairment affecting a claimant’s ability to use their hands can be disabling.

Some of the most common hand impairments we see claimants suffering from include carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, neuropathy, and even amputations.  As with any condition, a claimant’s ability to receive Social Security Disability benefits for hand impairment depends on the severity of the condition and the related limitations.

To support a claim based on hand impairments, a claimant will want to obtain as much objective testing as possible.  For example, imaging such as x-rays, MRIs, EMGs, or nerve conduction studies is extremely important in supporting a claim for disability based on hand impairments.  If supportive, this evidence can give a claimant a very strong case.  In addition, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will look at whether the claimant’s grip strength is reduced, whether there is visible swelling, and whether there is any evidence of deformation.  In cases where the impairment impacts only one hand, SSA will focus on whether the impairment impacts the dominant hand.

The limitations SSA will look for are difficulties with writing, typing, grasping, handling change, lifting/carrying objects, and any other activity requiring fine or gross manipulation.  Essentially, a claimant filing for disability based on hand impairment is trying to prove a significant reduction in their ability to use their hands for these activities on a daily basis.

It can be challenging to prove disability based on hand impairment and often requires the submission of the correct evidence in addition to a supportive statement from a treating doctor.  If you are considering filing for disability based on a disabling hand condition, please contact us for a free evaluation.

By: Devon Brady of Premier Disability Services, LLC®