COVID-19 has been devastating to our society in several ways, and the bad news is, we’re not done yet. What most people don’t know is that in addition to causing serious illnesses, coronaviruses have long-term effects for a significant number of sufferers. These illnesses are manifested in myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), a condition that can prevent individuals from returning to work after they’ve “recovered” from COVID-19.
We already know COVID-19 can cause permanent damage to lungs, kidneys, and hearts as a result of the severe inflammation that occurs. Now, there are reports of patients experiencing crushing fatigue, muscle pain, cognitive problems, and other symptoms of ME/CFS.
Currently, between 800,000 and 2.5 million Americans live with ME/CFS. About three-quarters of these individuals had either viral or bacterial infections that triggered their disease. Several health organizations are beginning to study coronavirus survivors to follow the long-term effects of the infection. Researchers suspect the current virus—SARS-CoV-2—will produce the same condition. Since epidemiologists believe that eventually, 50 to 70 percent of the U.S. population will contract COVID-19, we’re likely to have millions of survivors with chronic illness, which translates into millions of workers turning to SSD for income and healthcare. (SSD recipients qualify for Medicare prior to retirement age.)
This could have a huge effect on our Social Security system and on claimants’ representatives. It’s not a simple matter to provide sufficient evidence of ME/CFS to Social Security to prove a claimant has a valid case. Most applicants must engage a qualified attorney to help them receive benefits.
If you have had COVID-19 and are experiencing the symptoms of ME/CFS such as fatigue, muscle pain, cognitive issues, weakness or headaches and have not been able to return to your normal job, you should give us a call. The earlier in your condition you apply for benefits, the better.
If you or someone you know is facing an uncertain future because physical or mental health issues (including symptoms from COVID-19) may prevent them from working, call Jeffrey Freedman Attorneys at 716-856-7091, 800-343-8537, or visit www.jeffreyfreedman.com.