COVID-19 wreaked havoc on the world, with countless deaths and long-term effects still being felt. Part of the aftermath saw people struggling to recover, many for months and years. This segment created a new category of those experiencing symptoms appropriately.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention refers to it as long covid. The definition is broad and refers to a wide range of ongoing health issues lasting weeks, months, or even years. In addition to being unable to work, one of the more severe symptoms is a continuing loss of smell measured in months and, for some, years.
Long-awaited disability recognition
Ongoing coronavirus systems prevent countless U.S. citizens from working. The Department of Health and Human Services formally recognized it as a disability in July of 2021. The Social Security Administration has already identified approximately 40,000 disability benefits claims that indicate contracting covid “at some point.” More than one million claims are waiting to be processed.
Add to that a baffling lack of guidance combined with a medical system lacking the most basic uniform processes to diagnose this sinister form of COVID-19. Substantial medical evidence is lacking at best. The Brookings Institution claims that between two to four million people cannot work due to long covid. The National Bureau of Economic Research cites 500,000.
While they wait for approval, long covid victims are seeing their medical bills piling up faster and faster. Debt collectors will soon become calling, as will landlords and mortgage companies. Advocates recommend that those suffering from long covid should start applying for SSDI benefits sooner rather than later.