SSDI And Long COVID?
Can you obtain disability benefits if you suffer from long COVID? This is a relatively new question that did not need to be addressed in any capacity prior to 2020. Yet as the pandemic goes on and COVID-19 mutates and continues to infect people, it can lead to long-term disabilities. The long-term disabilities associated with COVID-19 are frequently described as “long COVID,” meaning that symptoms of the virus persist for many months following infection. This is a question that is on the minds of many Americans, according to a recent CNBC report. What do you need to know about Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments and long COVID? Our national SSDI lawyers can discuss some of the key issues with you, and we can speak with you today if you need help seeking disability benefits.
Long COVID Can Be Disabling
According to the CNBC report, as of January 2023m about 44,000 disability claims received by the SSA have mentioned COVID-19 (about 1 percent of all applications received). Yet some estimates suggest that as many as 30 percent of people who contract COVID-19 “have developed long-haul symptoms, affecting as many as 23 million people.” Based on those numbers, anywhere from 2 million to 4 million people of working age have missed a number of days at work due to long COVID.
Yet experiencing long COVID, even for several months, is not likely enough to be eligible for SSDI benefits, although some people may be eligible for private long-term disability insurance benefits.
Eligibility for SSDI Benefits or SSI Benefits with Long COVID
What will you need to show in order to be eligible for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA)? The SSA handles both SSDI and Supplemental Security income (SSI) benefits, but it is important to know that these benefits have some similar and some very distinct requirements. Both SSDI and SSI require you to prove that you have a disability according to the definition used by the SSA. Then, the SSDI program requires you to show that you have enough work credits for eligibility (essentially that you worked long enough and recently enough), while the SSI program requires you to show that you have limited resources.
How do you prove the disability part? In short, you will need medical evidence that shows your long COVID prevents you from engaging in any substantial gainful activity (SGA), and that the symptoms of it are likely to persist for at least one year or to result in your death. The latter requirement can be complicated to prove since health care providers are just beginning to understand more about how long COVID works. Yet you should certainly discuss your eligibility with your doctor and with a disability benefits lawyer.
Contact Our National SSDI Lawyer for Assistance
Are you suffering from long COVID and wondering about your eligibility for disability benefits? You should not wait to speak with an attorney. One of the experienced national SSDI lawyers at the Law Offices of Stephen Barszcz can talk with you today to learn more about your circumstances and to discuss your eligibility for SSDI benefits. Do not hesitate to get in touch with us to find out more about how we can help you.