The rollout of vaccines that protect against the most severe cases of SARS-CoV-2 has given us a light at the end of a tunnel. But as things return to normal for most of us in the New York City region, there are still a significant number of people struggling to heal from their bout with COVID-19.
COVID long-haulers are those who are stuck dealing with symptoms of the disease for months on end. At the Seelig Law Group, we are advocating for disability benefits for long-haulers in Manhattan who can no longer work.
One Of COVID’s Many Mysteries
It remains unclear why some people are sent to the hospital after contracting COVID while others show no symptoms. Equally puzzling is the way symptoms vary from person to person. Another mystery is why some people suffer from COVID compilations long after they test negative for the disease.
These so-called COVID long-haulers are dealing with crushing fatigue, muscle pain, cognitive problems, and other hard to pinpoint symptoms that are difficult to treat and may come and go unpredictably. Some long-haulers are able to return to work, but many are not.
Is Long-Haul COVID A Disability?
Typically, people who are unable to work for long periods of time because of a disability or disease are able to collect Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). SSDI is the federal disability fund that most workers contribute to through a payroll tax. When workers become too ill to work, they can apply to SSDI for support. However, the criteria for the program are strict, and most applicants are denied.
As of today, COVID-19 has not been listed in the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) “Blue Book.” The Blue Book is a guide that SSA claims administrators reference when someone applies for disability benefits. It lists various injuries and illnesses that automatically qualify for benefits, and criteria for judging the severity of an injury or illness. Since SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 is not specifically listed as a recognized disability, those suffering from long-haul COVID will have to prove their symptoms are so severe they are the equivalent of a disability.
While COVID-19 is a new disease, the Seelig Law team has years of experience helping Manhattan residents suffering from serious illnesses and injuries seek SSDI benefits. We are using our in-depth knowledge of how the SSDI system works for people with other injuries and illnesses not specifically listed in the Blue Book to apply for disability benefits for COVID long-haulers.
When Winning Matters Most
Some researchers estimate as many as 10% of COVID-19 survivors will have persistent symptoms. Since more than 25 million Americans have gotten the virus, this means a substantial portion of our population is at risk of needing help dealing with long-haul COVID.
Seelig Law Offices is ready to help anyone whose struggle with long-haul COVID is preventing them from working. We know what sort of specific documentation SSA officials want to see in order to deem you disabled. We can help you get your paperwork in order so you have a fighting chance of being approved on your initial application for SSDI benefits. We can also help appeal an initial denial. Don’t hesitate to reach out if we can be of service.