Visitor Question

Workers Comp Questions about a Pre-Existing Condition…

Submitted By: Debbie (Maine)

I have a few workers comp questions that I hope you can help me with. I work on computer keyboards for 8 hours everyday, non-stop. The pay is based on occupancy rate. Anyway, I started to lose strength in my hand, then numbness set in, then tingling in my pinkie and ring finger. After that those 2 fingers froze in a claw position.

I had tried to work through all this with a palsy brace. The condition worsened and I ended up having ulnar nerve entrapment, thus surgery. The surgery was not successful so I have to undergo a second one, this time at my wrist. The first one was at my elbow.

Just writing this I have to keep stopping and check what I’ve written, I have no strength or feeling in my fingers.

Anyway, I filed for disability at work, as my supervisor told me to do. The insurance company denied the claim, stating it was workmans comp. My doctor re-faxed them the notes to appeal, 2 weeks have gone by and the claim manager has not contacted me, and will not return my calls.

I have been out of work since 12/16/10 and have no idea if I’ll ever recover 100 percent to go back. Meanwhile, the time frame for a claim for workers comp is ticking away. I did contact the state board, explained I never filled out a report as there was not an exact day. I was told to have my doctor submit a letter stating the injury was aggravated by the job.

Is this workers compensation? Or should I keep pursuing the disability claim? I am disabled regardless of the route I have to go. Long and short, I need compensation. Hope you can advise me.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Debbie,

There are so many people who don’t understand the pain and disability which often arises for those using a keyboard for so many hours a day. The first thing you must do is continue to be vigilant of the “Limitations” date for filing the Workers Compensation Claim. Failing to file by that date may result in a loss of your benefits.

In the State of Maine you can receive both Social Security benefits and Workers Compensations benefits at the same time. It is possible to be eligible for benefits under both the Workers Compensation Act and the Social Security Disability Act, although there is a limit on the benefits you can receive from both programs at the same time.

If you are awarded Social Security Disability benefits, the Social Security Administration will take an offset for the amount of workers compensation benefits you are receiving. You may still be eligible to receive some Social Security Disability benefits depending upon how high your earnings were during the last several years you worked prior to the beginning of your disability.

In the State of Maine you do not have to be permanently disabled to obtain social security benefits. You can qualify for benefits if you:

(1) You have been disabled for at least a year; or

(2) You are expected to be disabled for at least a year; or

(3) have a condition which is expected to result in death within a year.

Learn more here: Workers’ Comp & Pre-existing Conditions

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.

Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


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