Can Dupuytren's contracture lead to disability?
Effects of Dupuytren’s Contracture
Dupuytren’s contracture is a condition that impacts the fingers. It mainly affects the index, ring, and pinky fingers.
For many people, this disease will develop in both hands and can affect more than one finger. However, those who have developed Dupuytren’s Contracture in both hands may notice that it has a more significant effect on one hand compared to the other.
The tissues in the palm become thick and ‘tangled,’ causing fingers to curl in an inward position.
Can Dupuytren’s Contracture Lead to a Disability?
Dupuytren’s is a disease that cannot be fully cured. We only have a few treatment options, and most are expensive.
The treatments available can only slow the progression of this disease. Without the use of proper medication, Dupuytren’s can often develop into a more aggressive form known as ‘Dupuytren’s Diathesis’.
In the more aggressive form of Dupuytren’s the disease progresses much faster and has a higher chance of recurring, despite the use of treatments including creams.
Despite its slow progression, patients affected by Dupuytren’s should seek medical help. What starts as a slight pull on the fingers can slowly cause a permanent disability.
This occurs when the fingers become severely bent towards the palm, thus leading to an inability to perform day-to-day activities. We must mention that such extreme conditions are rare, but they do exist.
Disability Benefits for Those Affected by Dupuytren's Contracture
People affected by Dupuytren’s are often unable to perform the simplest of jobs. This puts a stop to their means of earning a living. Thankfully, people affected by Dupuytren’s can earn disability benefits based on the severity of the condition.
Requirements for Earning Disability Benefits
If someone wishes to claim their disability benefits, there are specific rules or criteria they must meet. These include:
- Anyone who wishes to collect their disability benefit should not earn what is called a ‘substantial amount’. Only those who earn less than $1,260 are eligible for benefits.
- People wanting to apply for disability benefits must be unable to perform any sort of work for at least 12 months.
- The next step will involve proving your inability to work because of Dupuytren’s Contracture. To do this, an RFC report will be needed. This report measures the amount of work you are able to do on a daily basis. It also assesses your medical records to take note of how severe the disability is.
- If you prove to be disabled, it will be labeled as a non-exertional impairment. This includes the inability to perform basic activities such as shaking hands, postural positions, etc.
The effects of this disease can be severe. Seek help before things get out of hand.