Covid-19 Long Haulers and Disability Benefits

“I contracted covid-19 at the beginning of the pandemic, but I still can’t work.  Am I eligible for disability benefits?”  This is one of the most common questions I get these days.  While many people who contract covid-19 recover and return to life as normal, emerging studies show that many otherwise healthy people are suffering from long-term health impacts as a result of contracting the novel coronavirus.  These people are called “long-haulers.”  Some of the most common symptoms are lack of concentration, memory loss, severe fatigue, headaches, brain fog, and shortness of breath.   There is no rhyme or reason to determining whether or not you will be one of the unlucky ones to suffer symptoms long after “recovering” from covid-19.  Even those who experienced a mild case of the virus have been struck by long-hauler syndrome.

If you are a covid-19 long hauler, you may be entitled to Social Security disability benefits.  The Social Security Administration may find you disabled if, due to a physical and/or mental impairment (or combination thereof), you are unable to work on a full-time basis for at least 12 months.  As long as your claim is substantiated by medical evidence, you could potentially be entitled to benefits.  Talk to your doctor about your symptoms and make sure to discuss your struggles if you believe that you cannot return to work.  Even if you think that you will eventually be able to recover and return to work, Social Security can award benefits if your disability has lasted or is expected to last at least 12 months.  Make sure that your doctor understands your struggles and ask if he/she would be willing to support your claim for benefits.  Supporting your claim does not mean that your physician would have to testify in court – taking detailed notes and completing simple forms for your attorney can make or break your case.  If you are a covid-19 long-hauler and can’t return to work, call my office today to discuss your eligibility for disability benefits!

Helpful Resources:

“Long haulers:  Why some people experience long-term coronavirus symptoms.”

“Medical community scrambles to understand Covid-19 ‘long haulers’”

“Many of the earliest Covid ‘long haulers’ still suffer; Seattle researchers are trying to figure out why”

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