Can You Obtain Disability Benefits for Long COVID?

long covid on line of blocksAnyone who has had COVID-19 could potentially be diagnosed with Long COVID, regardless of the severity of your bout with the virus. Long COVID is a broad term for symptoms that continue long after the initial COVID-19 infection.

However, not all people diagnosed with Long COVID or post-COVID syndrome may be eligible for Social Security Disability. The symptoms you are experiencing must be serious enough to have substantially impacted your life and have limited your ability to work.

Below, we discuss some of the criteria for obtaining disability benefits for Long COVID. Our lawyers are well-versed in the SSA’s eligibility requirements and know what it takes to get a disability claim approved. If you have already received a denial notice, we are prepared to help file an appeal on your behalf. The initial consultation we offer is free of charge, so there is no risk to you.

Call (920) 268-0419 for Trusted Legal Help.

What is Long COVID and What Symptoms Does it Cause?

Long COVID is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a condition that caused people to continue to experience COVID-19 symptoms for longer than usual after contracting the virus.

Symptoms of Long COVID can range from mild to severe, and there may be new or worsening symptoms lasting for weeks or months. These symptoms can happen whether one’s illness was serious or not.

Common symptoms of Long COVID include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Tiredness or fatigue
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Coughing
  • Dizziness on standing
  • Chest and stomach pain
  • Headache
  • Racing heart
  • High blood pressure
  • Joint and muscle pain

Other reported physical symptoms include a pins-and-needles feeling under the skin, fever, rash and a continued loss of taste or smell. People diagnosed with Long COVID may also experience damage to multiple organs, such as the heart, lungs, kidneys, skin and brain.

Long COVID has been reported to cause mental symptoms, such as unexplained mood changes, difficulty thinking or concentrating and memory issues. The extent and duration of Long COVID are still unknown.

Is Long COVID Being Treated as a Disability?

Since some people with Long COVID face debilitating symptoms, Long COVID can be considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as long as certain conditions are met. For instance, your symptoms must substantially limit you from performing one or more major life activities. These activities may include being able to walk, dress, speak, eat, or sleep.

If you have been diagnosed with Long COVID and cannot work because of the severity of your symptoms and limitations, you may be able to obtain disability benefits. The SSA has issued information on how disability claims that allege COVID-19 as a medical condition are being processed and handled.

Before the SSA will consider Long COVID as a disability, it must be established as a medically determinable impairment.

For instance, the SSA will require one of the following:

  • A positive viral test for COVID (antibody tests not accepted)
  • A diagnostic test consistent with COVID, such as a chest X-ray
  • A COVID diagnosis with symptoms, such as a fever or cough

The impairment must also have lasted 12 months or is expected to last for no less than 12 months.

Blue Book Listing for Post-COVID Syndrome

After the SSA has confirmed that you are unable to work and have a medically determinable impairment, they will examine if your condition is serious enough to fit a Blue Book listing.

Currently, there is no listing for Long COVID or post-COVID syndrome. The SSA will need to compare your symptoms and limitations against the criteria of a listed impairment in the Blue Book. This means that the limitations you have been experienced must match the criteria under a listing.

For instance, say COVID-19 caused damage and scarring to your lungs, which resulted in you getting pulmonary fibrosis. However, the breathing tests you did do not fit the criteria for a respiratory disorder in the Blue Book. The SSA may still find that your condition equals the listing.

If you do not meet or equal any listing, the SSA will consider whether you have functional limitations – both physical and mental – due to COVID or from an impairment that has been made worse by COVID.

Obtaining Disability Benefits for Long COVID

Your treating doctor can help you figure out the tests you need or refer you to a specialist – such as a pulmonologist – to get lung function tests done.

Your treating doctor can also provide medical evidence for your disability claim. By talking to your doctor in-depth about your symptoms and limitations, he or she can get a better idea of how Long COVID has prevented you from working and completing work-related tasks.

Contact Us for Help with Your Disability Claim

If you have been diagnosed with Long COVID and are experiencing severe symptoms and limitations, you may be eligible for disability. Our Oshkosh-based Social Security Disability lawyers are ready to offer assistance whether you need help filing a disability claim for the first time or appealing a denial notice.

Our initial consultations cost nothing and come with no obligation to hire our firm. If you have a viable claim, we charge zero upfront fees for services and only receive payment if we help you get benefits.

Licensed. Local. Lawyers. (920) 268-0419.