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Is Long Covid an eligible condition for disability?

On Behalf of | Jun 15, 2023 | Physical Impairments And SSD

For many people who have been infected with Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic in 2020, the road to recovery has been anything but simple. A number of people who have recovered from the initial infection have continued to suffer symptoms of the disease; a condition known as Long Covid.

What is Long Covid?

Long Covid impacts people in many different ways, from headaches, fatigue, brain fog, chronic pain, coughing, muscle or joint pain. The symptoms are unique to each person, and in many cases, they can be debilitating. Unfortunately, the Social Security Administration has not yet caught up on the situation, and many people are struggling to get approved for disability for Long Covid.

Social Security Disability since 2020

Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the SSA has struggled to continue processing the applications it receives, and with staffing levels at their lowest point in three decades, it is likely that the lengthy delays in cases will continue. However, the more critical concern is the failure of the SSA to adapt to the reality of Long Covid.

While many diseases and medical conditions are recognized as disabling by the SSA, Long Covid is not a condition which qualifies as such. In order for someone with Long Covid to qualify for Social Security Disability, they must prove that their symptoms from the condition substantially limit one or more major life activities.

This often leads many applicants to provide substantial amounts of medical support for their claim and still face the overwhelming likelihood of their application being denied. Most applicants who do not have an attorney to help them navigate the SSD process can struggle to get their application approved.

What can you do if you have Long Covid and cannot work?

If you have been suffering from Long Covid and have been unable to work or provide for your family, then you might still be able to qualify for SSD. So long as your condition is severe enough and you have the support of your doctors, you can try to file for SSD. However, the risks of filing by yourself and being denied are exceedingly high, so you should not be discouraged if you are at first denied.

The best thing to do if you have been denied is to consider hiring an attorney to help you with your case. Appeals to denials have strict deadlines that must be followed. If your application was denied, then you should speak with an attorney quickly so that they will have time to prepare your appeal.

Although Long Covid is a new condition, it can still be grounds for disability so long as your specific symptoms are severe enough to support such a finding.