Potential claimants are starting to call us attorneys and asking “Can I win a Social Security Disability claim for Covid 19?”
The short answer is maybe.
Winning a Disability Claim due to Covid 19 is a bit complex
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The first thing to remember is that by the time you file your claim, your actual Covid 19 infection is long gone. So filing while “infected” is not quite an option.
The reason one should not file for disability when diagnosed with Covid 19 is simple:
“For Social Security purposes your condition must last or is expected to last 12 months or more”
See my post on How to know if you qualify for disability for more on that.
How about if the claimant is still in the hospital and hooked up to ventilators for a few months still fighting for his or her life after Covid 19?
The answer is the same.
We still don’t know if the person will be sick for 12 months or more. We don’t know if the person may have a long recovery time. But until we are closer to the 12-month mark, it is too soon to file.
How about those cases where the person needed a heart or lung transplant after Covid 19?
Severity is an important factor in determining whether a claimant’s impairments may last “12-months or more”.
In the case of organ transplants due to serious Covid 19, it is important to get your doctor to indicate how long the recovery time will be. Or if you will ever be “normal” again.
It is possible that after a few months after a transplant you may go back to a more normal pace and activities. Science advances every day.
Imagine living in the times before heart transplants…
You may never go back to 100% as you were before. In those cases, one must analyze if you can do some “other job“.
Remember that for Social Security disability purposes, you must show that you cannot do “any” jobs at all.
If you can do some other kind of job even if not trained for it, and even if it doesn’t pay as much, Social Security will deny your claim.
So it is important to ask your doctor the estimated time he/she believes you will not be able to work. Or whether your working days are numbered due to Covid 19 sequelae.
I Had a Limb Amputated due to Covid 19. Can I file for disability?
Just like any other impairment, the question is if you are able to do “any” job with your limitations.
If you are able to sit in a wheelchair after a leg amputation and still work a “desk” job without any other limitations, you may not win your claim.
The same for an arm if not the dominant one. Or if you can get accommodations such as voice recognition software so you don’t have to type. Or any other accommodations available for your particular limitations.
The main question on amputations is if you are able to work at all.
It is also a question about pain. If the stump keeps getting infected, or a prosthesis is causing pain no matter how much they try to fix that, you may have a “better” claim.
I have extreme fatigue even after a year of my Covid 19 diagnosis. Can I file for Disability?
If your doctor’s note suggests that you cannot work due to extreme fatigue after a Covid 19 diagnosis, then, by all means, file.
However, your fatigue must be really well documented as it is a difficult thing to prove.
Most chronic fatigue cases are “self-reported” which means no one can tell from the outside how bad things are for you. Only you.
One thing is to look tired. We all can look tired here and there.
That’s why fatigue due to Covid 19 is so hard to prove.
The question will be how well your doctors are noting your fatigue in your file and their observations and treatment.
Of course, if you had a serious Covid 19 case, there will be treatment notes from the hospital documenting your journey through the illness. But remember that post-hospitalization treatment is equally important.
One can have a heart attack and still go back to work. So being in the hospital for Covid 19 is one thing. Another thing is establishing how bad things were and still are through continuous treatment in the present.
I don’t have any of the above-listed most common issues from Covid 19, Can I still file?
Just like with any Social Security disability claim, your inability to work due to an impairment or more is key.
Does your illness prevent you from working any jobs?
If you were a truck driver, can you sit at a desk? If you were a nurse, can you answer the phone for 8 hours? That is what they are looking for to deny a claim.
As mentioned many times in this post and other posts, you have to prove that your impairments prevent you from working at all to win your claim.
To learn more about how to file and how to prepare for it check out my Free Mini Course to start.
Also, be sure to join my Facebook Group for questions you may still have about the process and the developing news about Covid 19 and disability claims.
Be safe out there.
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Courses by Realtactics4disabilityclaims.com
You just learned that you should be careful about what you say to your doctors and judges. Also, you just learned that a lot of what you say to your doctors will be shown in your medical records. That’s why you should work to improve your medical records for a better chance at winning your claim (even if it takes longer than you expected) by learning how to read them to see if they are actually supporting your disability.
Learn how to read and how to improve your medical records like a pro with my new course “Medical Records Reading 101 for Disability Claimants”. Stop wasting time “hoping for the best” with your current records. The course also includes a Checklist and Worksheet so you can keep track of your treatment to make sure you don’t have any “gaps” that could jeopardize your claim. Take a quick “free sneak peek” before you purchase the course and learn the ins and outs of improving your medical records with actionable instructions from Yours Truly
If you were denied disability and you are looking to appeal with “better” evidence, I created a course about using a Residual Functional Capacity Report to add to your medical records.
This is a form you can take to your doctor to complete in support of your claim. The course includes forms for physical or mental impairments and instructions on how to ask your doctor to complete them. You can take a “free sneak peek” to see if this course is for you. Click on the image below and you will be directed to the course page:
Also, if you are looking to file for disability and don’t know where to start, I created a course called the “5 Day File your Disability Claim” Guide where I teach you every step you should take to file your claim.
Simply click on the image below and it will take you directly to the course page. Take a “free sneak peek” of the first lesson to see if this course is for you.
You know the blog, now you can take one step further and learn the process of preparing and filing your claim.