Long COVID Symptoms Are Having a Drastic Impact on American Workers

Long COVID Symptoms Are Having a Drastic Impact on American Workers

Nearly two and half years since the beginning of the pandemic, which we now know as COVID, its significant and far reaching effects are only now being uncovered.  A recent NPR article provided insight into the extent and seriousness of COVID’s impact on America’s workers.  https://www.npr.org/2022/07/31/1114375163/long-covid-longhaulers-disability-labor-ada

Based upon research, it is estimated that 2.4% of the working population is out of work due to the symptoms of Long COVID. Long COVID symptoms can include everything from brain fog to fatigue to cardiac issues and breathing problems. While the Biden Administration has issued guidance that Long COVID may cause a disability and relevant laws apply, it is going to take more than a guidance statement from the White House to ensure workers with Long COVID get the federal benefits they deserve. https://www.ada.gov/long_covid_joint_guidance.pdf

When it comes to recognizing disabilities under federal programs, like Social Security Disability, the track record is not good.  Fibromyalgia is a perfect example of how the Social Security Administration can fail to adapt quickly to new illnesses and diseases, in spite of medical evidence.  In 1990, the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) developed criteria for the Classification of Fibromyalgia.  This criteria was developed to provide specific guidance to medical professionals to use in their testing and diagnosis of fibromyalgia.  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2306288/#:~:text=The%20newly%20proposed%20criteria%20for,concomitant%20radiographic%20or%20laboratory%20abnormalities. Twenty years later in 2010, the ACR published Preliminary Diagnostic Criteria to aid in the measurement of the severity of a patient’s Fibromyalgia symptoms. https://www.rheumatology.org/portals/0/files/2010_preliminary_diagnostic_criteria.pdf

However, it wasn’t until 22 years after the ACR first issued its criteria for the classification of the disease that the Social Security Administration issued guidance on how to evaluate and establish that a disability claimant had a severe impairment due to Fibromyalgia. https://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/rulings/di/01/SSR2012-02-di-01.html. It is interesting to note that the Social Security guidance issued in 2012, used the ACR 1990 criteria for evaluation.

Hopefully, Long COVID patients will not have to wait 22 years for SSA to recognize and issue guidance to disability decision makers on how to evaluate the symptoms of Long COVID.  In the meantime, even without guidance from the SSA, it is possible to be awarded disability benefits due to Long COVID symptoms.  If are unable to work due to Long COVID symptoms, you need an experienced social security disability attorney in order to the best chance at getting approved. An experienced Social Security Disability Attorney is familiar with the types of symptoms which come from Long COVID and it is the knowledge of these symptoms and how SSA evaluates them in other disability cases which will give you an advantage.  If you or someone you know is out of work due to Long COVID, please check out my website for other helpful information and resources. https://thedisabilitylawfirm.net/?utm_source=local&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=dadecitygmb

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