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Long-Term COVID Disability Lawyer in New York

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began two years ago, more than 968,000 COVID-19-related deaths have occurred in the United States. Millions more people became seriously ill and recovered. But as many as 30 percent of all those who contracted COVID-19 continue to experience persistent symptoms more than six months after clearing the virus from their system. These long-term sufferers are now called long haulers and their condition is referred to as Long COVID.

We Can Help You Get SSD Benefits

If you are a long hauler suffering from long COVID and you want to qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD or SSD) benefits because you are unable to work, contact attorney Daniel Berger’s disability law firm and nydisability.com today. As a long COVID sufferer, you deserve to be treated with respect and empathy rather than what you’ve faced for months, doubts and cold shoulders. Attorney Daniel Berger’s entire legal practice specializes in fighting for disability benefits for people unable to work and entitled to SSD and SSI benefit payments. Don’t wait another minute. Contact nydisability.com today.

Long Haulers Deserve Social Security Disability Benefits

Why do long haulers meet resistance when filing for disability benefits? Long COVID causes those afflicted with it to suffer illness that lingers and saps their energy, leading them to complain of some or all of these symptoms:

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Joint or muscle
  • Heart palpitations
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Confusion or difficulty concentrating (fogginess)
  • Tiredness or fatigue
  • Chest or stomach pain
  • Headaches (migraine)
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Dizziness (especially when standing up)
  • Exacerbated symptoms following physical or mental exertion
  • Tingling sensations (pins and needles)
  • Mood changes
  • Symptoms that get worse after physical or mental activities
  • Pins-and-needles feeling
  • Change in taste and smell
  • Dizziness or lightheaded when standing up
  • Mood changes

With this long list of physical and mental impairments, SSD benefits should be easily obtained. But the Social Security Administration (SSA) and other disability insurers have denied long COVID claims because they claim “long COVID” is not a recognized disability.

Why Long COVID Is A Disability

The Social Security Disability Insurance program defines a disability as “a medically determinable physical or mental impairment (or group of impairments) that have lasted or are expected to last 12 months, and which prevent the applicant from performing substantial gainful activities.” The 2022 measure of “substantial gainful activities” is the ability to earn more than $1,350 in a month.

Unfortunately, the initial reaction by the SSA to claims based on a long COVID impairment is similar to the reaction to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) claims. The frequent failure of doctors to identify the source of the CFS features resulted in SSD benefit denials until 1999 when a ruling confirmed that CFS is a “medically determinable impairment.”

The newness of long COVID claims and the preliminary study of long haulers is a real obstacle for someone with long COVID to win approval of SSD or SSI benefits unless they can demonstrate the genuine persistent debilitating effects of the illness.

The medical community’s inability to successfully treat an illness is wrongly interpreted as the patient suffering a “phantom” illness. The reality is that science simply hasn’t collected enough data and conducted enough research to fully understand the illness and develop effective treatments. It’s not the sufferer’s fault!

How Social Security Measures Severity Of Impairments

The Social Security Disability program focuses on a few central components of every SSD benefit application. Assuming the claimant has enough work credits to be eligible for benefits, the impairment or constellation of impairments needs to be severe enough to prevent the person from working regularly. The SSA places a great deal of emphasis on a “diagnosis.”

The SSA publishes a list clearly recognized impairments covering many physical and mental illnesses and conditions. The SSD program also accepts diagnoses relating to non-listed impairments. The key to each impairment constituting a disability is its severity.

For many listed impairments, the severity required to qualify for SSD benefit payment is described in detail; a certain score on an objective test or blood panel result, a particular degree of range-of-motion restriction, etc. Denying an SSD benefit application does not require the SSA to refute an impairment, only to conclude that the condition is not severe enough to totally disable the claimant.

How To Build A Persuasive Record For Long COVID Social Security Disability Benefits

To build a successful SSD claim, an applicant must maintain a steady, continuing record seeking medical treatment. You must have an established treatment record in which your ongoing pain, weakness, brain fog, depression, dizziness, and any other symptom you experience get recorded. If you give up because you are discouraged by failed treatments, you may damage your SSD claim.

Both the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have publicly acknowledged the existence and genuineness of long COVID. In July 2021, the HHS issued an extensive “Guidance on ‘Long COVID’ as a Disability Under the ADA, Section 504, and Section 1557” that declares how Long COVID can be a disability covered by multiple federal laws prohibiting discrimination against people with disabilities. (Titles II (state and local government) and III (public accommodations) of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), and Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Section 1557)).

In light of the groundswell of public support for a change in the way the Social Security Disability benefits are determined in long COVID cases, we believe approval of full SSD benefit payments is around the corner for long haulers.

Don’t wait to start your long COVID SSD application. If you have been living the torment of a post-infection long COVID experience, let attorney Daniel Berger and nydisability.com fight for your SSD or SSI benefits. No one so profoundly affected by contracting the coronavirus called COVID-19 should be denied the support they need from the Social Security Administration at a time they deserve the benefits they’ve earned.