Can I Get Social Security Disability for Coronavirus (Covid-19)?
Social Security disability insurance benefits are only available to workers who have paid enough Social Security taxes on their earnings over time. Social Security disability insurance benefits are paid to disabled workers, and to their dependents, when the employee can no longer work due to a disability.
So, the question becomes, if a worker has enough Social Security credits paid into the system, can they collect Social Security Disability, if they are unable to work due to illness from the coronavirus (Covid-19).
In most cases, illness due to coronavirus (Covid-19) will not qualify a disabled person to Social Security Benefits. But we will explore some cases where there may be exceptions.
Social Security Disability Does Not Provide Temporary Benefits
The eligibility rules for collecting Social Security Disability are different from private insurance plans. The biggest difference is that Social Security does not provide temporary or partial disability benefits, like workers’ compensation or veterans’ benefits do.
To receive disability benefits, the disable worker must meet the very strict definition of “disability” that is established in the Social Security Act. To be considered “disabled” by Social Security the applicant must be unable to work due to a severe medical condition that has lasted, or is expected to last, at least one year or result in death.
And, the person’s medical condition(s) must be such that it prevents them from doing the type of work that they did in the past, and it must prevent them from adjusting to any other work.
Social Security Disability for Coronavirus (Covid-19)
Let’s break down these eligibility criteria in terms of Coronavrus (Covid-19).
In the vast majority of Coronavrus (Covid-19) cases – according the World Health Organization – the median time from onset to clinical recovery for mild coronavirus cases is approximately 2 weeks. And for patients with severe or critical Covid-19 the recovery period is 3-6 weeks. Since these “typical” cases do not last a year, these ill individuals would not qualify for Social Security Disability.
Social Security Disability for Coronavirus (Covid-19) Complications
However, we are all seeing the horrifying “worst case scenario” cases in the news – where patients have been on ventilators for months. In other tragic situations coronavirus patients have experienced “complications” or secondary problems – such as blood clots or acute respiratory failure.
In fact, about 1 in 6 people who contract coronavirus will incur serious complications. Some long-term complications of Covid-19 are the result of underlying medical conditions, including diabetes, asthma or heart disease. Many other serious complications are caused by a condition known as cytokine release syndrome. This occurs when the Covid-19 infection triggers the immune system to flood the bloodstream with inflammatory proteins called cytokines – that can damage organs, including the lungs, heart, and kidneys.
If a Coronavirus (Covid-19) patient develops complications that disable them from working for a year or longer, then they would be eligible to collect Social Security Disability (if they have paid enough in taxes into the system).
Acute Liver Injury, secondary infections such as strep and staph that result in amputation, and acute cardiac injury that lasts after recovery are all secondary complications of coronavirus that potential could leave a Covid-19 patient disabled for a year or more.
Social Security Disability for Death from Coronavirus (Covid-19)
Because the coronavirus is so new, statistics vary wildly. But experts – using a range of methods – estimate that roughly 5 to 10 people will die for every 1,000 people infected with coronavirus. (About 0.5 to 1%).
In cases where the someone with sufficient Social Security Disability work credits dies of Covid-19 (or anything else), their spouse or dependents may qualify for two types of social Security Survivor benefits: a one time lump sum payment; or, monthly survivor disability benefits.
CLICK HERE to learn how Social Security Survivor benefits work for death from coronavirus (Covid19).
Coronavirus (Covid-19) – Social Security Disability Attorneys
If you or a family member suffered from coronavirus and have recovered or is on the road to recovery you or they will not qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits. However, other benefits such as Workers Compensation may be available to them.
But, if you or a loved one has experienced secondary, long-term complications from Covid-19 that will prevent you for working for a year or more, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits. And, if you have tragically lost a spouse or parent to this pandemic (or another disease) you may qualify for Social Security Survivor benefits.
Our experienced and caring Social Security attorneys are here to answer your questions, and help you collect the maximum benefits for which you qualify during this difficult time. Call our attorneys for a telephone consultation today to discuss your eligibility for Social Security Disability benefits due to Covid-19 or any other disability.
Social Security Disability Attorney Consultation: 800-964-8047