Maybe you work in a call center and have to constantly type what the person on the other end of the phone says to you. Perhaps you are an administrative assistant and manage the schedule and records for an entire office.
The longer you have done your job, the more physically painful your job responsibilities may become even though you aren’t doing any particularly heavy lifting. Constantly typing, for example, can cause tightness and pain in forearms, wrists and hands. Needing to grip a phone or constantly file paperwork can also strain your hands and arms.
Repetitive hand and arm motions may eventually lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. Can you potentially get workers’ compensation benefits for carpal tunnel?
Yes, any work-acquired medical condition can qualify
You don’t have to get hurt in a dramatic accident where a computer short circuits or a chair suddenly collapses to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. You only need a diagnosis with a medical condition clearly caused by your job.
An office worker developing carpal tunnel syndrome will surprise few people. Carpal tunnel is actually a leading cause of workers’ compensation claims among those who work in office settings.
What will workers’ compensation do for your carpal tunnel?
The first and most obvious benefit of filing a workers’ compensation claim is that it will pay for your medical treatment. Many people with carpal tunnel require physical or occupational therapy to learn a different way to do their jobs. If the carpal tunnel is severe, a worker might actually require surgery to prevent their condition from getting worse.
Workers may also require a leave of absence to allow their hands, arms and wrists a chance to recover and heal from overuse. The doctor overseeing someone’s care for carpal tunnel syndrome may recommend frequent rests or a change in their job responsibilities. If their employer cannot accommodate these necessary work changes, then an employee may need disability benefits.
They may need temporary total disability benefits if they cannot work at all until they start to recover. They could also receive permanent partial disability benefits if they have to leave their profession and take a less-skilled, lower-paid job, like working as a cashier or greeter at a grocery store.
Learning more about workers’ compensation benefits can help you manage the medical issues that arise because of the work that you do, even if you are in a relatively low-risk environment, like an office.