If you can’t use your hands, it doesn’t matter how long you can sit at a desk or workstation. Most jobs require you to do *something* while you’re there.

One of the areas that Social Security often misses, especially early on in the application process, is limitations of the hands.  Social Security staffers and adjudicators are used to measuring a person’s ability to sit, stand, walk, lift and carry, but the use of the hands is often overlooked, especially if the cause is not immediately obvious.

There are a lot of diseases that can impact the ability to use the hands.  Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is probably the most well-known, but there are plenty of other impairments that have a direct bearing.  Cervical disc disease, for example, can cause a condition known as radiculopathy, where a vertebral disc presses against the nerves that run into the arms and hands.  This can result in weakness, burning pain, and loss of sensation in the hands.  Similarly, the side-effects of medications may cause hand shaking, or tremor.  Continue reading

Completing endless paperwork for Social Security may be the last thing you want to do.
Completing endless paperwork for Social Security may be the last thing you want to do.

If you’re researching this issue you’ve probably read any number of opinions on whether you should hire a lawyer from the beginning of your case or wait until you’re denied.  Most of these opinions are probably from other attorneys who would very much like the answer to be “yes.”  In reality though, the answer as to whether you need an attorney before you file your application really “depends.”  We posted a similar answer in 2012, but some important factors have changed since then; namely, the increased number of denials, even in very strong cases.  Check out both articles for a complete picture.  Continue reading