We may be emerging from the latest wave of COVID infections, but the novel coronavirus continues to affect people who wind up sick and in the hospital. There are also people who are still suffering from long COVID symptoms.
If you or your loved one continues to experience COVID-related issues that keep you from working in a full capacity, there are a few important things you should know.
You may be eligible for disability benefits, but it is complicated
If you have an illness or injury that prevents you from working, you can be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits (SSDI). And many long-haul COVID sufferers do report ongoing severe symptoms, including:
- Decreased mobility
- Neurological issues
- Generalized anxiety
- Difficulty breathing
- Cardiovascular problems
These symptoms are not unique to COVID, but citing them in applications for SSDI raises some concerns.
Unfortunately, as this Washington Post article discusses, there is a lack of objective medical testing and information, which applicants can benefit from when pursuing SSDI. And long waiting lists to see doctors and get test results only make the situation that much more complicated.
That said, there are people with severe long COVID symptoms who are collecting SSDI benefits. If your condition is also severe, you may be among this group.
You are not alone
Millions of people with COVID continue to suffer from symptoms long after recovering. In fact, the World Health Organization estimates that 100 million people worldwide had or still have long-haul COVID symptoms. And the Brookings Institution estimates that 15 percent of the unfilled jobs in the U.S. are due to absences related to long COVID.
In other words, if you are still struggling with fatigue, respiratory issues and other symptoms, you are not alone. Further, you are not alone in your pursuit of benefits and financial relief if you cannot work.
Making your case
Pursuing SSDI benefits is notoriously challenging. In fact, the Social Security Administration denies most initial applications for benefits, COVID-related or not.
Therefore, whether you submit an initial application or appeal a denied claim, it can be wise to prepare as thoroughly as possible and seek legal guidance.