Covid-19 may impact many different body parts. Neurological or cognitive issues are some of the more concerning and lasting effects of the coronavirus that may result in long-term or potentially life-long disabilities.
Neurological Problems From Covid-19
According to Harvard Medical School researchers, approximately 40% of people with Covid-19 show neurological manifestations when they first become sick. Additionally, research is beginning to show that many people continue to suffer long-term neurological conditions whether or not they had neurological symptoms while being treated for an active coronavirus infection.
So far, researchers and medical professionals have identified the following neurological issues from Covid-19 infections:
- Encephalitis. A viral infection, such as coronavirus, may cause brain inflammation or encephalitis. Some people who survive Covid-19 and encephalitis may experience long-term or permanent complications, including fatigue, weakness, personality changes, paralysis, memory issues, hearing problems, vision defects, or speech impairments.
- Strokes. Strokes seem to be significantly more likely among people with Covid-19 than people with seasonal flu. Research indicates that people who have had Covid infections may be seven times more likely to suffer strokes than people with influenza viruses. Strokes are a leading cause of long-term disability. Adults who suffer strokes may experience seizures, weakness, paralysis, vision complications, language difficulties, pain, incontinence, fatigue, memory problems, dementia, depression, and other emotional disturbances.
- Lack of oxygen to the brain. Covid-19 may cause brain hypoxia or less than normal oxygen flow to the brain. Brain damage may occur when brain cells receive too little oxygen. The specific effects of brain damage depend on how long the brain was deprived of oxygen and the part of the brain that was hurt.
- Cognitive impairment. After the acute illness is over, people with Covid-19 may continue to experience brain fog or cognitive impairment. Some of the lasting issues may include memory problems, attention difficulties, executive functioning issues, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Any of these issues can make it difficult to carry on conversations, understand written material, attend to daily tasks, stay organized, and hold down a job.
Do You Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?
Many things are different today than they were before March 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic became widespread in the United States. However, some things remain the same. Whether you suffer neurological issues because of Covid-19, or for any other reason, you must prove your eligibility for Social Security disability benefits before you can receive them.
Generally, you need to establish two things before the Social Security Administration will begin paying your disability benefits:
- First, you must prove that you are disabled. You can do this by proving that your disability meets the standards in one of the Blue Book Listing of Impairment’s sections. Your condition may be included in Section 11 (neurological disorders), Section 12 (mental disorders), or another Blue Book section. Alternatively, you can prove that your condition is equal in severity to any listing or that you are unable to perform basic work-related activities for at least 12 months.
- Additionally, you must prove that you have worked long enough to be eligible for Social Security disability benefits. The number of work credits that you must have to receive benefits depends on your age.
Even if you qualify for benefits, you must submit a complete and compelling application to receive the benefits you’ve earned.
Take Action Today If You Can’t Work Because of a Covid-19 Neurological Complication
Many of Covid-19’s long-term effects are still being evaluated, and our Social Security disability law firm continues to stay up to date on all Covid-19 developments. However, we urge you not to wait any longer to contact us if you are unable to work because of coronavirus complications. Our experienced Boston-area Social Security disability lawyers are here to advise you and, if appropriate, fight for your Social Security disability benefits.
If you can’t work because of your disability, please contact us any time for a free case evaluation. We regularly help clients throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire, and we would be happy to assist you during this difficult time.