As an office worker, driver or support professional, you have a higher-than-average risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome because of the manual tasks that you perform. Whether you spend all day typing and answering the phone or gripping the steering wheel, you use your hands, wrists and forearms for hours at a time with very little rest.
Over many years, such heavy use may lead to the development of carpal tunnel syndrome. What starts as tingling, occasion pain or weakness may progress to a point where it affects your job performance and your sleep. While you may have health insurance that would cover your medical costs for treatment, you likely have grounds to pursue a workers’ compensation claim.
There are two very compelling reasons why you want to consider seeking workers’ compensation after a diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome.
The care you need will be expensive
Unless you have a very minor case of carpal tunnel syndrome that just requires rest and a slight change to your job duties, it could cost thousands of dollars to reduce your pain and improve your functionality.
Some people need weeks if not months of physical therapy to regain lost function, strength and range of motion. Others require surgery because the condition has progressed so far. Especially if your health insurance policy has a high deductible or coinsurance obligation, workers’ compensation health coverage may be a better form of protection. Workers’ compensation will typically pay for all of your necessary medical care, leaving nothing for you to pay out of pocket.
Workers’ compensation will give you time to rest
If all you do is use your own health insurance to cover treatment, you may lose out on weeks of wages. Once you exhaust your paid time off, you may be completely without income.
If you file a workers’ compensation claim, you may be able to receive up to two-thirds of your average weekly wage until you are able to return to work. Those disability benefits can help you continue paying your bills and can even augment your pay if you have to move on to a lower-compensated profession because of your injuries.
Understanding why workers’ compensation claims are important for those with carpal tunnel syndrome could help you limit the financial impact of your work-related medical condition.