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Carpal tunnel syndrome: Is it covered under workers' compensation?

Your hands and wrists have started to ache more and more. What started as something that occurred once or twice a week now happens every day. It is starting to affect your work and home life.

Your doctor suggests further testing to determine if you have carpal tunnel syndrome. If you wind up with a positive diagnosis, will your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance cover your treatment? The answer to that depends on a few factors.

Does your job require repetitive use of your hands?

Few jobs do not require the use of your hands in some way or another. What defines repetitive use? When a job demands that you use your fingers, hands and wrists to perform quick and repeating movements, the injury may qualify under the repetitive use benchmark. Carpal tunnel syndrome can develop in positions that require:

  • Heavy use of a keyboard and/or mouse in an office
  • Assembling intricate parts on an assembly line
  • Sewing by hand or by machine
  • Stirring, mixing or piping icing in a bakery

If your job meets these or other criteria, you may qualify for workers’ compensation coverage.

The workers’ compensation process for carpal tunnel syndrome

The first step is getting a proper doctor diagnosis. Once that occurs, you should report the injury to your employer. Submit the doctor’s report as proof of your condition. The workers’ compensation insurer will most likely interview you and investigate your injury and the conditions that may have caused it. In the meantime, you may start receiving approval for treatment through your provider or one assigned by the insurer. It is essential that you keep to the plan the doctor sets out.

You may wonder if the tingling and pain will ever ease, but by following a solid course of treatment for your carpal tunnel, you may find yourself feeling better than ever. Filing a workers’ compensation claim may prove most beneficial in this situation.

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