While the federal government struggles with indecision in addressing whether COVID-19 “long-haulers” qualify for Social Security disability (SSD) benefits, the physical and emotional struggles persist among the people who have reluctantly fallen into this group.
It seems to be a waiting game for what some disability rights advocates describe as the world’s largest disabling event since polio. One medical official suggested that 20 to 30% of COVID-19 patients suffer such long-term effects. And while the waiting continues, long-haulers like you must take action in advocating for themselves.
Patience, research and support
Weeks and months after contracting COVID-19, certain patients continue to feel ill and experience symptoms such as brain fog, shortness of breath, depression, fatigue and muscle aches. It is not fair, but it has happened.
While waiting for Social Security Administration (SSA) to take action, here are some tips for you and things to do:
- Be patient. This represents new territory for everyone involved from long-haulers to the SSA. Indecision on the part of the government only hurts long-haulers.
- Take care of yourself. Rest and continue to have medical check-ups.
- Do your research. Learn as much as possible about your health issues. You will find out new things.
- Consider finding support groups to help you cope with the frustrations and difficulties. Find commonalities among people with similar symptoms. In the time of COVID-19, such support groups are often on social media
- Contact the SSA to make sure they are aware of people like you who suffer from continuing health problems. In a way, you are now your own personal lobbyist, advocating for victims like yourself.
You feel as if you are in purgatory waiting for answers as to whether you qualify for SSD benefits. As a long-hauler, you are unable to work. Those benefits would help. And while you wait for the SSA to adjust, you must stand up for yourself.