For those who caught COVID, there was quite a range of reactions. Some people showed almost no effects at all, while the illnesses crippled others. Many people found themselves falling somewhere in the middle, with symptoms that seemed like a bad flu: coughing, fatigue, fever, shortness of breath, aches, and the like.
Unfortunately, this period of sickness was not the only possible symptom. There are quite a few cases where the COVID virus stops being active, yet debilitating symptoms continue. We’ve taken to calling this long COVID because of the lingering effects. This disruption in normal functioning may allow sufferers of long COVID to seek Social Security Disability benefits.
Can You Get SSD Benefits for Long COVID?
Social Security Disability benefits are meant to help individuals afford to live when faced with an illness or disability that has lasted or been projected to last at least twelve months or longer. For those who are suffering from long COVID, this could mean that SSD benefits are an option.
Unfortunately, the big issue here is with the time frame. If you caught COVID near the beginning of the pandemic and have been dealing with long COVID since you almost certainly have a case for eligibility. But many people who are suffering from long COVID have not had symptoms long enough to qualify. However, the illness itself can qualify so in that case you would have to wait until the time frame was appropriate.
With many illnesses, you are able to predict that they will last longer than twelve months and so you can apply based on that prediction. However, long COVID is new enough that we still don’t have a lot of research into it. This makes it hard to make predictions about it and so approval is not very likely for predictions about long COVID.
One issue that may be encountered is a lack of evidence. There have already been cases of people trying to fake long COVID in order to get benefits, so it is important to document your symptoms and create a record. This can be done easily enough. Use a notebook or application to keep track of the symptoms you are experiencing. Record their length, severity, and the like. In addition, make sure you check in with your doctor regularly as this can help to back up your own notes.
What Other Factors Are Important for Long COVID and SSD?
It is always better to apply as early as possible when seeking benefits. This is because the process already takes a lot of time. Getting approval can take between three to twelve months or more. It is very easy to run out of money during this period. In fact, a government survey found that roughly 2.5% of people either die or declare bankruptcy while waiting for benefits.
If you are suffering from long COVID then it likely means that your income has been vastly reduced due to being incapable of working. Running out of money while waiting for enough time to have passed to seek benefits is a real possibility. It is important to take steps early on such as planning and budgeting.
Can an Attorney Help?
The issues discussed above are only a few of the many that come up when looking into getting SSD benefits. The system is rather confusing. There are limits on how much you can earn, how long you can receive benefits, what symptoms are eligible, and the like. Trying to sort them all out by yourself can feel impossible, but an experienced attorney can ensure you’re on the right path and help you each step of the way.