Is Tendonitis a Qualifying Condition for Disability Benefits?
Tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendons, which connects the muscle to bone, and can be caused by repetitive movement over a long period of time. While tendonitis can occur in any tendon, it is most common not only in the shoulders, elbows and knees, but also in the wrists.
If you suffer from chronic pain due to tendonitis and are unable to work, you may be able eligible to receive disability. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will need to evaluate your medical records and work history before considering whether your condition qualifies you for benefits.
Below, we discuss tendonitis in detail, including how the SSA evaluates this condition when a disability claim is filed. The claims process can get complicated, but at Dayes Law Firm, we are ready to help. There is no cost for an initial consultation and no upfront costs while we work to obtain the disability benefits you need.
What is Tendonitis?
Tendonitis or tendinitis, is a condition in which the tendons in the joint become inflamed and irritated. This inflammation can cause pain and limited range of motion, especially with certain wrist movements.
The joints in the body are the connecting force that allows the ability to move without discomfort. However when you suffer from tendonitis, the joints are unable to properly function. This can lead to chronic pain at the site of the tendon and stiffness or swelling of the joint.
Ways Tendonitis Impacts Ability to Work
If you perform repetitive movements as part of your job, tendonitis can significantly impact your ability to work. Since this condition can affect the wrists, you may have difficulty doing fine motor activities, such as writing, typing or other computer tasks for an extended period of time. Even if you take time to rest and heal, your symptoms may become present again if you resume these activities.
Certain jobs can contribute to tendonitis by requiring repetitive tasks. Other risk factors for tendonitis include, but are not limited to:
- Autoimmune disorders, which can increase inflammation
- Poor joints, either from arthritis or an injury
- Overwork or doing a physical activity without adequate conditioning
Qualifying for Disability Benefits With Tendonitis
To qualify for disability benefits, you must show the SSA that your tendonitis is severe enough to last for at least a year and prevents you from working. This means that your condition must be backed by medical evidence that includes objective symptoms and lab tests, X-rays and/or results from a physical exam. It is simply not enough to tell the SSA that you have disabling chronic pain.
You will need a recent diagnosis of tendinitis from your doctor, a description of the events at work that led to tendonitis and a letter from your doctor that confirms your tendonitis was caused by your job.
Although tendonitis is a condition that causes chronic pain, it is not a listed impairment in the SSA’s Blue Book. You may be able to qualify under Listing 1.02: Major dysfunction of a joint if you can prove that your condition has affected the joints in the wrists enough to be unable to perform gross and fine movements. Generally, this will involve undergoing a residual function capacity or RFC assessment.
How Medical Treatment Affects Your Credibility
Receiving continuous medical treatment after being diagnosed with tendonitis is also important in order to establish your credibility. The SSA may question that you are in severe pain if you have not sought treatment for your condition on a ongoing basis.
Treatment may include taking certain medications to reduce pain and inflammation and getting corticosteroid injections in the affected area to bring relief. Physical therapy may also help to improve the surrounding muscles to avoid further injury. Surgery may be needed to remove tendon scar tissue.
Physical therapy can strengthen the surrounding muscles and prevent further injury. In extreme cases untreated tendinitis can cause the tendon to rupture, requiring surgery. Surgery is also used in severe cases of tendinitis to remove scar tissue to help with pain, inflammation and range of motion.
If you have been unable to afford to see a doctor, your previous medical treatment may be able to show the seriousness of your condition and that you cannot work. Evidence of previous doctor visits could help support your claim for disability benefits. A lawyer could help you gather all of this information.
Have Questions About Your Disability Claim?
Our Social Security Disability lawyers in Phoenix are available to answer any questions you may have about the claims process 24 hours a day, seven days a week. During a free consultation, you can learn whether you have a viable case without any obligation to move forward with our services. If you have received a denial notice, we are prepared to file an appeal on your behalf at no upfront cost to you.
Dayes Law Firm. Decades of Experience. Ph: 1-800-503-2000