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The New Wave of Disability: COVID-19 Long Haulers

August 2, 2021

covid-19 long hauler symptoms

With over 34.4 million Americans infected with the coronavirus, a new wave is now sweeping the United States: long term COVID-19 disability. As Balin Law posted in March, we are proud to help people across the United States who live with long term COVID get Long-Term Disability and/or Social Security Disability Benefits.

Although COVID-19 is often mild and lasts about two weeks, a significant number of people live with health problems months after infection. This group—who no longer test positive for the coronavirus, but can suffer from debilitating COVID related health problems—are known as COVID-19 Long Haulers. And while many Long Haulers can improve with treatment and return to their old jobs, many, unfortunately, cannot.

Who is a COVID-19 Long Hauler?

Anyone can be a COVID-19 Long Hauler, regardless of age, race, or sex. Although medical professionals originally believed that only 10% of COVID-19 patients experienced prolonged health issues, more recent studies show that up to 33% of patients become COVID-19 Long Haulers. And Long Hauler status can happen even if a person originally had mild symptoms—or no symptoms!—when they were first infected. Health issues that put a person at risk for severe COVID-19, such as diabetes, obesity, or other underlying conditions, often have no direct link to a person living with long term COVID. Recent studies suggest, however, that middle-aged women face the greatest risk of becoming COVID-19 Long Haulers.

What are COVID-19 Long Hauler Symptoms?

COVID-19 Long Haulers can experience a dizzying array of physical and mental symptoms months after their coronavirus infection.

Common issues for COVID-19 Long Haulers include:

  • Fatigue
  • Cough and shortness of breath
  • Chest pain, joint pain, muscle pain, and headaches
  • “Brain Fog,” dizziness, and difficulty thinking or concentrating
  • Ongoing loss of taste or smell
  • Insomnia

This list is not exclusive, and COVID-19 Long Haulers can experience any number or combination of symptoms. Because COVID-19 can impact multiple organs, including the heart, lungs, and kidneys, damage across the body can occur. COVID-19 Long Haulers often suffer from heart inflammation, which can result in rapid heartbeat, heart palpitations, and shortness of breath. Also, although scientists are still figuring out the connection, evidence suggests that COVID-19 can trigger diabetes in Long Haulers.

Mental Trauma from COVID-19

The mental impact of COVID-19 is just as important as its physical effects. COVID-19 Long Haulers often have depression and anxiety because their physical symptoms interfere with daily life. This is in addition to the stressors that come from the social isolation, job loss, and financial strain so many experienced during the pandemic. Long Haulers who had severe COVID-19 infections may also live with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Post-Intensive Care Syndrome due to their initial treatment. Trauma and mental disabilities are just as real as physical conditions and should always be taken seriously.

Balin Law Can Help COVID Long Haulers

If you are experiencing Long Hauler symptoms, you may be eligible for disability benefits. At Balin Law, we are proud to help COVID-19 Long Haulers get the Long-Term Disability and/or Social Security Disability Benefits they deserve. We represent people across the United States, and have advocated for those with disabilities for over 40 years. Given that long term COVID-19 is so new, it is important for Long Haulers to be represented by those with real experience winning Long-Term Disability and Social Security Disability cases.

It is also important to start exploring your Social Security Disability or Long-Term Disability options as soon as you have concerns. Although doctors are learning more about COVID-19 Long Haulers every day, this condition, unfortunately, will prevent many people from returning to work. You should not wait until things are difficult to get the help and benefits you deserve.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below or call us for a free consultation at 866-49-BALIN (866-492-2546). We look forward to hearing from you.


  1. Dworken & Bernstein Co., L.P.A on August 19, 2021 at 3:23 am

    It’s good to see the COVID-19 “Long Haul” issues being addressed. It’s been a topic in the UK for several months but not in the US till now. The more I talk with people the more I hear them say that they had COVID-19 in early 2020 and still suffer from extreme fatigue and have trouble returning to work.

    • Balin Law on August 30, 2021 at 1:43 pm

      Yes, we started handling Long Hauler disability cases many months ago. Long COVID can be incredibly disabling and we invite anyone who is experiencing Long Hauler symptoms to call us to explore their options and what one may be eligible for. 866-49-BALIN (866-492-2546). Also, we handle Long Hauler disability cases in any U.S. state. -EP

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