Cubital Tunnel Syndrome: Is This Condition Covered by the SSA?

Disability Benefits for Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

The sensations you feel in half of your ring finger and your entire pinky finger are transmitted by your ulnar nerve. This nerve runs all the way from those fingers to the bump on your elbow. Because it’s an important nerve that’s also responsible for enabling you to use your hand to grip, it’s protected by a tunnel within your arm. Unfortunately, it’s possible for the nerve to become trapped, inflamed or irritated within the tunnel. If that occurs, it can cause a variety of issues.

What Are the Signs of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome?

Common symptoms of this condition include tingling or numbness in the pinky or ring finger, trouble controlling finger movement and elbow pain. In more serious cases, muscle wasting of the hand and weakening grip may also occur. Depending on how severe the complications of cubital tunnel syndrome are, treatment can range from steroid injections to bracing to surgery. Physical therapy can also be useful in some cases.

What Causes This Nerve Condition?

A direct blow to your elbow, mouse and keyboard overuse, fluid accumulation in the elbow and leaning on your elbow for an extended amount of time are all examples of things that can cause cubital tunnel syndrome. Although changing some of your personal or work habits can reduce the likelihood of experiencing this problem, it’s still a significant risk for most office workers who have to spend the majority of their time in front of a computer.

Does the SSA Recognize Cubital Tunnel Syndrome?

While the Social Security Administration does recognize that cubital tunnel syndrome, which may also be referred to as ulnar nerve entrapment, is a real condition, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to get any benefits for it. In order to qualify, the SSA must decide that this condition will or did prevent you from working for at least a year. Even though this condition may not be completely cured, since there are cubital tunnel syndrome treatment options that take far less than a year, it’s fairly likely your initial claim will be denied.

Are There Any Ways to Strengthen Your Claim?

Depending on your specific situation, there may be one or two factors that can help your case. Because cubital tunnel syndrome is often associated with Type 2 Diabetes, their combined impact may be more persuasive than a single condition. Also, if you’re 50 or older, the medical-vocational grid rules used by the SSA are more favorable than they are for someone under the age of 50.

If you’re currently suffering from cubital tunnel syndrome and have already filed a disability claim or are thinking about doing so, contact Lisa M. Ritacco to have a free consultation about the merits of your specific case.