“Long COVID” and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are notoriously difficult to get, with about 2/3rds of all SSDI applications being initially denied by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Further, as a result of imposed cost efficiency mandates, the wait time to obtain a claim determination from the SSA is normally long and getting longer. Enter a new pandemic-related medical diagnosis known as “long COVID” which may result in an inability to work, thus creating an influx of new SSDI claims which exacerbate those long wait times. Part of the problem is that Social Security has a very strict definition for a disability severe enough to warrant SSDI benefits, and the duration of a “long COVID” diagnosis is impossible to quantify (to get SSDI, a disability must be medically predicted to last at least one year). As a result, long-COVID disability claims are taking the SSA longer to evaluate, thus contributing further to general delays faced by those applying for SSDI benefits. This GoBankingRates article by Andrew Lisa describes this SSDI conundrum, and suggests that the real culprit is Congressional cuts to Social Security’s operating budget. Click here to read more.