Millions of people have been stricken by coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. Some people felt better after a few days. Others have been hospitalized for a time but expected to feel better after they were released. Medical professionals are noticing a new phenomenon called long-haul COVID. For some, the condition will be disabling. But will they qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits?
The initial symptoms of COVID-19 include:
- Coughing or difficulty breathing,
- Sore throat,
- Runny nose or nasal congestion,
- Extreme fatigue,
- Muscle and body aches,
- Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Most people fully recover from COVID-19 in two weeks. However, medical professionals are noticing a disturbing trend.
Long-Haul COVID Symptoms
Some COVID-19 appear to be suffering from chronic ailments long for months after they seem to have fully recovered. Patients with long-haul COVID symptoms might develop respiratory and mental disorders. Other major systems in the body also show signs of long-term effects.
Some people may experience such severe symptoms that they find it impossible to work. But does this qualify as a disability for the purposes of receiving SSDI benefits?
Understanding SSDI Requirements
Applicants for SSDI have to meet several tests. SSDI is not a means-tested program, so your income and resources don’t matter.
However, your work history does.
Assuming you have a medical condition that meets Social Security’s definition of disability, you must also have earned the correct number of work credits. Throughout your working life, you can earn up to four work credits per year. Social Security uses a sliding scale, partially based on age, to determine how many credits you need.
Applicants with disabling medical conditions and the correct number of work credits continue in the application process. At some point, people with disability claims must submit supporting information and documentation. Medical evidence is necessary to prove the severity of the illness.
Will Long-Haul COVID Lead to a Spike in SSDI Claims?
Is it possible that long-haul COVID meet the definition of disability that allows victims to receive disability benefits? At this time, we are not sure. However, if you have long-haul COVID symptoms, please get in touch with medical professionals first. Then call us to see if you should apply for SSDI benefits.
The application process can be long and frustrating, so you need someone on your side. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have more than 50 years’ experience. For a free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. Though our office is located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.