Does the SSA Qualify Long Covid as a Disability?
For individuals struggling with prolonged COVID-19 symptoms, disability benefits may be available to provide financial security and support – however this depends on the severity of their ongoing struggles. The duration and degree of difficulty caused by long haulers’ unique experience will determine eligibility for these essential programs. To recognize long COVID as a disabling impairment, Social Security needs medical proof of its existence. This means the individual must have either tested positive for SAR-CoV-2 virus or received an appropriate diagnosis accompanied by physical symptoms like fever and cough. In cases where there is evidence of a false negative viral test result, this won’t be taken into consideration when evaluating disability claims related to long COVID.
The Social Security Administration understands that the effects of COVID-19 can have lasting impacts on a person’s health. A claimant may be eligible for benefits if they are unable to work because of their condition and it is expected that this duration will last at least 12 months. Examples include impairments newly caused by or worsened due to COVID, such as kidney disease or COPD, which could qualify them for disability payments over an extended period of time. If the length in which long term symptoms persist remains uncertain – deferring claims may become necessary while complete resolution gets assessed further down the line.*
How Do I Get Approved for Benefits with Long Covid?
Social Security uses a rigorous process to determine if your medically determinable impairment is severe enough to be considered at “listing level” severity. Even without an explicit listing for post-COVID syndrome, the agency may find that its symptoms match closely those in existing medical listings and render you as disabled or severely impaired as someone who meets such criteria.