COVID Long-Haulers Seeking Social Security Disability Benefits
The coronavirus has hit this country hard, with 32 million cases in the United States since last year. Of those, 570,000 have died. The remainder have recovered or are still dealing with the effects of the virus.
While most people recover completely from the coronavirus, many do not. COVID-19 can ravage the body in many ways, and many are still suffering from the effects. This is called long COVID, which is characterized by persistent symptoms after initially contracting the virus. Many patients were supposed to return to work, only to have to continue to stay at home for various reasons. These COVID long-haulers are dealing with organ damage, constant coughing, dizziness, rashes, and other conditions brought on by the coronavirus. The National Institutes of Health is trying to identify the underlying causes and find treatments.
Because of this, many of those affected are looking for ways to replace their income, since they cannot return to work. Some have sought workers’ compensation and Social Security Disability benefits. However, workers’ compensation isn’t working because physicians are claiming that patients are able to return to work. When the patient doesn’t return to work, their benefits end.
So what about the Social Security Disability system? COVID patients are trying to use the system to at least receive short-term disability payments, but there are challenges involved. COVID long-haulers are finding it hard to prove their symptoms. Plus, the symptoms are vague, which means the COVID symptoms could be mistaken for something else. This is making the Social Security Disability system hard to navigate for people who were previously healthy and never had to apply for benefits in the past.
To qualify for disability payments through the Social Security Administration, a person must have a physical or mental impairment that is expected to last at least one year and keep them from gainful employment. This can be hard to do, since not much is known about long-term COVID and it is unknown if physicians can say for sure that a patient will have COVID symptoms for at least 12 months.
COVID-19 sufferers are a new status, and this presents challenges to disability systems. The symptoms are wide-ranging, so creating a profile is difficult. Also, it’s not easy for people to work while receiving benefits, so a lot of people with COVID are afraid to go back to work because it could be used against them. However, lawmakers have asked the Social Security Administration to evaluate the long-term impact of COVID-19 on employment, and the agency has agreed.
Learn More About Social Security Disability Benefits
Social Security Disability benefits are available for long-term and terminal diseases such as cancer, autoimmune disorders, and mobility issues such as paralysis. Should the rules be updated to include long-time COVID-19 sufferers?
The eligibility laws can be confusing, especially since it’s so hard to get approved for benefits. Where should you turn? White Plains Social Security disability lawyer Michael Lawrence Varon can determine if you qualify for benefits. Schedule a consultation today. Call 914-294-2145 or fill out the online form.