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Receiving Workers’ Compensation for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Posted on in Workers' Compensation

Receiving Workers’ Compensation for Carpal Tunnel SyndromeCarpal tunnel syndrome is a condition in the hand and arm that is often characterized by pain, tingling, or numbness. The cause is pressure applied to the median nerve, which runs down the arm, through the carpal tunnel in the wrist and into the hand. The carpal tunnel can narrow over time, or the nearby flexor tendons may swell – either of which can apply pressure to the nerve. If not caught early, carpal tunnel syndrome may cause you to lose function in your hand or require surgery to relieve pressure. You may be able to receive workers’ compensation benefits if you can show that your work caused your condition.


It is possible for a single incident to cause carpal tunnel syndrome, such as your wrist or hand being crushed in an accident. However, carpal tunnel syndrome is most often a repetitive trauma injury caused by:

  • Repetitive hand or wrist motions; or
  • Flexing the hand or wrist in a position that puts pressure on it.

Heredity may also play a role if you were born with a smaller carpal tunnel or develop conditions such as arthritis or diabetes.

Relation to Work

It can be difficult to prove that your work caused your carpal tunnel syndrome because it can take years to develop and there are other potential causes. It is important to get a professional opinion from an orthopedic doctor. During your appointment, you should give a detailed description of your work, including:

  • What activities you perform;
  • How many years you have been working that job;
  • Whether you notice the pressure being applied to your hands or wrists; and
  • Whether the pain continues after your work day is done.


You may qualify for permanent disability benefits if the pain or numbness in your hands prevents you from continuing to perform your work. You may receive Permanent Partial Disability if you are able to return to your job in some capacity. Illinois’ Workers’ Compensation Act sets the scheduled injury benefits for carpal tunnel syndrome as 60 percent of your average weekly wage for 28.5 weeks. It can be extended to 57 weeks if you can show that your hand is significantly disabled. You may qualify for Permanent Total Disability if you are unable to return to your job. Benefits are two-thirds of your average weekly salary for the rest of your life if you are unable to work again. You could receive wage differential benefits if you are able to work a lesser-paying job.

Contact a Crystal Lake Workers’ Compensation Attorney

You should be prepared for a legal battle when filing a workers’ compensation claim for carpal tunnel syndrome. A McHenry County workers’ compensation lawyer at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can prove that your condition arose from repetitive work trauma. To schedule a free consultation, call 815-338-3838.




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