Is Surgery for Carpal Tunnel Covered by Workers Compensation?

by Dawn
(Kelseyville, California)

I've been a nursing assistant for 8 years. In my job I turn, lift, balance and do many other physical duties for my patients. Back in January I woke up in the middle of the night with extreme stabbing pains and tingling sensations going down both arms to the tips of my fingers. I couldn't hold on to anything so I had to call in sick from work.

I've been through physical therapy and occupational therapy. I also had a nerve conduction test done. The results say that I've developed carpal tunnel syndrome. I'm scheduled to have surgery in October of this year. I've lost work over the treatment period and I'm going to lose more work in the future because of this.

What are my rights? Since I think this was caused by my work duties am I eligible for workers comp benefits? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Is Surgery for Carpal Tunnel Covered by Workers Compensation?":

Dawn (Kelseyville, California):

Workers Compensation is available to those employees who suffer on the job injuries. Contact your supervisor and report your injury. Explain how you believe the injury occurred and your need for surgery.

You will be put in contact with your employer’s insurance company’s representative, referred to as a Claims Adjuster. You will probably be sent to one of their approved doctors. The doctor will make a diagnosis of your injuries and confirm the need for surgery.

If she doesn’t agree with your doctor’s diagnosis, you have a right to ask to see another of their approved doctors. Hopefully the company’s doctors will agree with your doctor’s diagnosis. If all goes well you should have a relatively easy time of getting through this.

In addition to compensation for your medical bills, you should be eligible to receive a majority of your normal wages while you are treating. The problem is, if your employer decides they need to have someone replace you, they do have the right to terminate your employment and hire someone else.

If for any reason the company’s doctors do not agree with your doctor’s diagnosis, and as a result fail to agree to authorize payment for your surgery, you may have to contact a Workers's Compensation Attorney. These Attorneys should not charge you any fee for an initial consultation. Consulting with the Attorney is the best way to understand your legal rights.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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