Many people who've had the coronavirus and “recovered” continue to suffer from an array of debilitating symptoms that can make working difficult, if not outright impossible. Sound familiar? If so, you may be wondering whether you can collect Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits for COVID-19 complications. Here's what you should know about long-term coronavirus symptoms, the Social Security Administration's (SSA) definition of disability, the best way to apply for benefits, and how our skilled New York disability attorneys can help.
Not all COVID-19 patients develop long-term complications, but for those who do, the experience can be devastating. Doctors have found coronavirus-related permanent damage to the lungs, heart, brain, kidney, and other organs. Additionally, patients who spent a long time on ventilators report symptoms such as:
- Memory problems
- Difficulty concentrating
- Problems with speech and communication
- Poor decision-making
- Shortness of breath
- Trouble walking or moving the body
- Muscle weakness
- Joint pain
- Chest pain
- Loss of taste and smell
- Fatigue and insomnia
- Depression and anxiety
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
There's no question that the coronavirus complications can leave long haulers miserable, but are they disabilities? According to the SSA, a disability is an injury or illness that prevents substantial gainful employment and has lasted—or is expected to last—for at least 12 months or result in death. In some cases, COVID-19 complications may meet this definition.
How you'll apply for SSDI benefits depends on the nature of your complications. You may be able to match Blue Book listings for respiratory illnesses, heart conditions, and other disabilities. Otherwise, you can undergo a residual functional capacity (RFC) evaluation to determine how your long-term coronavirus symptoms affect your ability to perform tasks related to work and daily self-care. If the effects of your symptoms are considered disabling, you could be approved for benefits.
Get Help With Your SSDI Claim
The coronavirus pandemic is a rapid-evolving situation. If you're unable to work due to COVID-19 complications, you need a skilled Social Security disability attorney to fight for your interests. That's just what we do here at O'Connor Law PLLC. Contact us today to schedule a complimentary initial consultation.