Does a Torn Rotator Cuff Qualify for Disability?


A torn rotator cuff is a common injury that can cause pain and disability. The shoulder joint can become injured when the rotator cuff muscles, which attach the shoulder blade to the upper arm bone, become stretched or torn. The most common cause of a torn rotator cuff is an accident. Injuries to the rotator cuff can also occur from overuse, such as carrying heavy objects for long periods.

A personal injury lawyer can help you determine whether your car wreck shoulder injury meets the legal definition of a disability. If it does, your lawyer may be able to help you receive benefits from your insurance company or other sources. You can learn more at

Where are these muscles located?

The rotator cuff muscles are located at the top of each shoulder. The rotator cuff muscles consist of four muscles: the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis. The supraspinatus and infraspinatus muscles are located on the back of the shoulder blade and are responsible for rotating the arm to the side. The teres minor muscle is located on the inside side of the upper arm bone (humerus) and is responsible for rotating the arm up and down (side-to-side).

How does rotator cuff injury happen in a car accident?

Rotator cuff injuries can happen in a car accident when the occupant’s shoulder is thrown violently into the air, which causes the rotator cuff muscles to stretch and tear. This can happen if the occupant wears a seatbelt and their shoulder is dragged across the vehicle’s roof or dashboard. The severity of the injury will depend on how forcefully the shoulder was thrown and whether any other organs or tissues were also injured.

What are the symptoms of a torn rotator cuff?

Rotator cuff tears are a common injury, and many symptoms can indicate that one has been injured. Some of the most common symptoms include pain when lifting the arm, difficulty rotating the shoulder, weakness in the arm, and redness or swelling around the shoulder. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible to determine if you have a rotator cuff tear and to begin treatment.

Average Rotator Cuff Settlement Compensation in 2024

In the United States, rotator cuff surgery is one of the most popular orthopaedic procedures. The American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) reports that more than 1 million Americans undergo rotator cuff surgery annually.

A rotator cuff is a large group of muscles that attach the shoulder blade to the upper arm. It is one of the most commonly injured muscles in the body. These muscles are used to rotate the arm, and when they are injured, they can cause pain and difficulty moving the arm. The average rotator cuff settlement compensation in 2024 will be $294,000. This is an increase from the 2017 settlement amount of $265,000.

Does a torn rotator cuff qualify for disability?

If a rotator cuff tear results in significant pain, decreased range of motion, and inability to lift the arm above the shoulder, it may qualify as a disability. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that a torn rotator cuff can lead to long-term problems, such as instability of the shoulder joint. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms and think a rotator cuff tear may be responsible, talk to your personal injury lawyer about whether you qualify for disability. Before you hire an attorney, be sure to check their qualifications.

People who have rotator cuff tears may be able to qualify for disability benefits based on their inability to work. Rotator cuff tears can severely limit a person’s range of motion, making it difficult to do their regular job. Disability benefits can help people with this type of injury get the financial support to live a normal life.

Therefore, you should always pay attention to collecting all data related to your treatment and medical reports so you can acquire benefits as a person with this type of disability. The statement shared by the experts who were responsible for your evaluation and treatment is crucial in this process since they will provide detailed analysis of your condition, what was the cause of that, and how serious are the effects that you will have to face in the future.

You have to know that it is not a rare case that people get rejected after trying to reach some benefits while having this condition. First of all, you have to keep in mind that the officials won’t try to reach your doctor. Instead of that, they will create their conclusion by using your documents and statements. In most cases simply having this type of disability won’t be enough since they will consider you as a person who is able to work on various positions.

Even if you have a statement from the doctor who said that you are disabled, there is a need to further prove the level of your disability and how it can prevent you from doing various jobs. In that matter, the best solution is to ask an expert to assist you in this case and create a detailed report where he will provide professional analysis of your condition and explain to the officials why your condition is serious enough to be considered as disability.

Pay attention to another common reason for denial as well, which is the part of the process where they will decide to simply read files related to your case, which means that you might not have a chance to present it in front of some commission responsible for providing certain benefits. Therefore, be sure to prepare properly for the hearing process and explain all details of your condition and how it can affect and prevent your working abilities.

Moreover, you have to prove that it is a long-term condition that will make you disabled for more than one year. The feature o treatment for this condition is that it can be effective from an early stage, and most patients will recover after 6 to 12 months.

That is one of the main reasons why officials rather choose to deny a proposal for disability benefits for people with this condition. However, if you are facing a more serious case of a rotator calf injury that might need years to treat, or there will be some long-term health issues, you should be able to get all the benefits available for people with disabilities.

Treatment for a torn rotator cuff

Treatment for a torn rotator cuff includes surgery and immobilization. Surgery is the most common treatment, but it can also be done with immobilization. Surgery repairs the torn rotator cuff and helps prevent a tear from recurring. Recovery is slower and more painful than that of an acute injury. Immobilization allows the injured muscle to heal while the shoulder is held in a fixed position.

Immobilization using a cast or sling can help reduce the pain and swelling in the shoulder. Surgery may still be required to fix the tear, but immobilization can help reduce the risk of further injury. Immobilization can be done in several ways, including using a sling and ice, wearing a shoulder brace, or a hinged arm cast.


A torn rotator cuff can cause significant pain and disability. However, it may not always qualify for disability benefits. Treatment options are available but often require surgery. If a rotator cuff tear is diagnosed during a physical examination or X-ray, temporary or full disability may be awarded. If the tear is detected after surgery to repair the rotator cuff, lessened but still significant disability may be awarded.

In the end, it is crucial to present the complexity of your injuries and condition if you want to reach some benefits. If you can treat your condition in less than a year, you probably won’t be able to qualify. On the other side, if you manage to prove that you are facing something more serious, and that there will be long-term side-effects active even after the treatment, you will qualify as a disabled person.