Does Worker’s Compensation Cover Carpal Tunnel in North Carolina?
It can be difficult to determine whether your injury or condition meets the standards imposed by the laws governing worker's compensation. This is especially difficult in North Carolina, where not all injuries that occur in the workplace are covered by the law. The process can become so much more difficult and stressful when working with insurance professionals. Further complications may be introduced into the process if you are experiencing chronic pain due to a workplace injury, such as with carpal tunnel.
Many people have reported that, after working with insurance adjusters and investigators, they were misled to disclose information that worked against their claim for insurance in the long run.
Since employers are expected to work with their insurance carriers to determine employee's eligibility for worker's comp, it is not surprising that these same professionals may not be on your side. Knowing what qualifies for worker's compensation and what doesn't can give you a significant push forward in your case for receiving worker's compensation.
What Types of Injuries Can Be Covered by Worker's Compensation in North Carolina?
In the state of North Carolina, there are four primary standards to meet when considering your eligibility for worker's compensation:
- You must be an employee of an insured company/entity.
- Your injury had to have occurred on the job.
- The accident should have been a direct result of your work duties.
- The employer must be covered by the NC Workers' Compensation Act.
Please be aware that injuries that are caused only by a work-related accident can be legally compensated. According to the NC Industrial Commission (NCIC), the accident should have occurred apart from a typical work routine. Still, it can be quite unpredictable to know whether the event of your injury will be ruled as an official "accident."
Carpal Tunnel and Worker's Comp
Carpal tunnel is one of the many occupational diseases that could be covered by workers' compensation, but only according to further criteria:
- You face an increased risk of developing carpal tunnel compared to the general public due to your work.
- Your work conditions added to the severity of your condition.
If you are having trouble determining your eligibility for worker's compensation based on the NCIC standards alone, do some further research into Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). The Social Security Administration (SSA) considers individuals who live with carpal tunnel to be conditionally eligible for disability benefits. Lawyers that specialize in SSDI benefits may also be equipped to walk you through your eligibility for worker's compensation with the right documentation.
Carpal tunnel can severely hinder an individual's ability to hold, carry, and lift items. For some people, this is a significant negative impact on job requirements. If you can provide documentation of worsening symptoms due to repetitive motions required at work (a known cause of carpal tunnel), such as repeatedly lifting cargo or typing for long periods of time, you can create a strong case in your favor.
Because carpal tunnel is a condition that develops over an extended period, and cannot be pointed to one specific "accident," it can be difficult to build a proper case for worker's compensation benefits. Keep detailed documentation of work activities that may be contributing to your worsening condition for the best outcome when seeking benefits.