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Could Some COVID-19 Survivors Face the Possibility of Permanent Disability?

Many people who have required hospital care for COVID-19 face an uphill battle, even if they eventually go home. Those who need ventilation to keep them alive may remain on a ventilator for an extended period of time. Recovery can be very difficult, and though research on the illness in its very early stages, there are indications that people who survive coronavirus will be at a higher risk for serious medical problems down the road.  

Initial evidence from China, Europe and the United States shows that some COVID-19 survivors are left with significant lung damage. Inflammation that results from coronavirus can cause lasting harm to the heart, liver, brain and other organs, delaying or preventing patients from returning to work or even caring for themselves at home. Depending on the extent of these long-term effects, a victim who has “recovered” might seek Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits because of a permanent impairment. If you or a loved one is considering applying for SSDI based on a coronavirus-related condition or something else, there are things you should know about the relevant legal standards:

  • Long-term inability to work — Disabled workers need to show that their disability prevents them from working, or impairs their ability to perform certain job functions, for at least 12 months. You will need more than a doctor’s note to prove this, and the application process can be complicated.
  • Work history — In order to receive benefits, you must have accumulated enough work credits. For individuals at least 31 years of age, this usually means that he or she was employed and paying Social Security taxes for a total of at least five out of the previous 10 years. An experienced disability attorney can review your work history and advise on whether you qualify.
  • Monthly benefit — If your application is approved, you will receive a monthly SSDI check based on your previous earnings. The estimated average Social Security disability benefit amount is $1,258. Once you become disabled, there is a five-month waiting period before you start collecting payments.

Ask your disability attorney about SSDI or other programs that might help you to support yourself and your family if you are no longer able to work. As more information comes to light about the lasting effects of COVID-19, there could be many victims who will need to present a strong case to secure the benefits they deserve.

Contact a qualified disability benefits lawyer to discuss your situation   

Coyne, von Kühn, Brady & Fries, LLC advocates for clients who are seeking disability benefits. Please call 203.378.7100 or contact the firm online to speak with a qualified attorney. 


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