With the COVID-19 pandemic far into its second year, countries across the world are starting to see its lasting health effects. In March, a UK collaborative group found that 1 in 5 hospitalized COVID-19 patients developed a new disability upon discharge. An extensive US study targeting hospitalized and non-hospitalized individuals found similar effects.

Hospitals have been forced to introduce treatment services for the long-term COVID-19 effects. Finding an appropriate way to deal with long-term disease-related disabilities requires a deeper understanding of the true cost of COVID-19.

COVID-19 Burdens

Ill Health

The broad range of COVID-19 outcomes can result in distinctly different profiles. An otherwise healthy person who gets infected with a mild form of the virus may develop post-COVID-19 syndrome or long COVID – a dramatic decline in overall health that takes months or even a year to resolve. Some COVID-19 patients suffer lung damage, stroke, or become diabetic.

Costly Testing and Treatments

A serious illness caused by COVID-19 might force patients to seek testing and treatment, despite the out-of-pocket expenses. COVID-19 patients who must pay expensive medical bills to cover testing or treatment could suffer long-term effects to their financial lives, such as reduced liquid assets to offset current or future drops in income.

Job Loss and Inability to Work

The pandemic has rendered many people jobless. Getting diagnosed with COVID-19 or developing long COVID has forced many people to take sickness absence. Others have lost their jobs because their ill health couldn’t allow them to resume work. Those suffering from long COVID are trying to accept the new reality and probably navigate the disability system.

Applying for Disability Benefits

Covid-19 survivors are the latest group to request disability coverage from the federal government. Applicants must meet the following conditions to qualify for disability benefits:

  • Have enough Social Security work credits for SSDI or a low enough income to qualify for SSI
  • Have a medical condition that meets Social Security’s definition of disability
  • The disability must last for at least 12 months or be terminal

COVID-19 victims may qualify for long-term disability benefits due to the multiple long-term effects that the disease may cause. A person who has developed a disabling condition due to a COVID-19 infection can increase the chances of qualifying for long-term disability benefits by collecting enough evidence to support his or her application. Disability lawyers can guide such a person on the documentation he or she needs to prove a disability case.