Information About COVID-19 Long Haulers (Long COVID)
What is Long COVID?
Long COVID is a term that refers to COVID-19 symptoms that linger for weeks or months beyond infection. Anyone regardless of age, race or sex can become what is known as a “COVID Long Hauler.” Studies show that Long COVID affects roughly 30% of individuals who catch the virus. Some people even live with Long COVID symptoms for more than a year. Recent studies suggest that middle-aged women face the greatest risk of becoming COVID-19 Long Haulers.
What are the symptoms of Long COVID?
Long Haulers can experience a dizzying array of physical and mental symptoms that linger weeks, months, and sometimes more than a year after their coronavirus infection. While this group of people no longer test positive for the coronavirus, they can suffer from debilitating COVID related health problems.
Common symptoms for Long COVID can include one or many of the following:
- Fatigue and tiredness
- Cough and shortness of breath
- Heart palpitations
- Chest pain, joint pain, muscle pain, and/or stomach pain
- Gastrointestinal issues
- “Brain Fog,” dizziness, and difficulty thinking or concentrating
- Ongoing loss of taste or smell
- Insomnia and sleep problems
- Changes in menstrual cycle
- Mood changes
- Mental trauma including depression, anxiety, and PTSD
Are Long Haulers eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits?
Lingering symptoms of COVID may be preventing you from working like you once could. If you are experiencing Long Hauler/ Long COVID symptoms, you may be eligible for Long-Term disability and/or Social Security Disability benefits.
How does the Social Security Administration find Long COVID cases eligible for disability?
Even though Long COVID is a new condition, it is not that different from any other disability claim. For a Long Hauler to receive Social Security Disability benefits, you must go through a five-step sequential evaluation. As part of this process, you have to prove that your impairments significantly interfere with your ability to do basic work activities, and that these impairments are expected to last at least 12 consecutive months.
Although Long COVID does not have its own unique listing with the Social Security Administration, its symptoms can still equal or meet many of SSA’s medical criteria. This push to recognize Long COVID as a serious disability has gained traction in recent months. For example, in July 2021, the Biden Administration released guidance stating that Long COVID can qualify as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act, entitling Long Haulers to protection from discrimination.
To determine if your Long COVID meets Social Security’s requirements, an individualized assessment is required. To best help you make this determination, it is best to speak with a trusted professional.
How Can a Lawyer Help?
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 newer, 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. Contact the experienced Social Security disability attorneys at Balin Law for a free consultation 866-49-BALIN (866-492-2546).