The novel coronavirus COVID-19 took the world by storm in only a few months, and hundreds of thousands of people have been diagnosed with the virus, with tens of thousands of people not surviving, and tens of thousands more in critical condition in the hospital. While the immediate goal, of course, is for patients to survive and recover from COVID-19, many people who are diagnosed might wonder about the possible long-term effects their illness will have on their health. Can COVID-19 cause long-term disabilities after recovery?
The Uncertain Future
Just like medical professionals do not know just how long our world will have to face this pandemic, they also are unsure of the long-term effects of the coronavirus on patients’ health. Since the virus has only been around for a few months, there are no study results regarding the health of people who recovered.
However, the cause of hospitalization for most people is pneumonia and other lung infections, so we can look at how such severe respiratory illnesses have impacted the lives of patients.
Possible Lasting Effects of Pneumonia
Severe pneumonia and lung infections can cause scarring on the lungs, especially if it is not treated promptly and properly. People with scarred lungs can experience chronic respiratory disorders, and they may even need assistance from a breathing machine. Having compromised lung capacity can keep you from performing many types of jobs, especially if you need constant breathing assistance.
If a child gets pneumonia arising from COVID-19, it can cause serious damage to still-developing lungs. Lung infections in children might result in lasting conditions, including:
- Restrictive and obstructive lung function deficits
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
These conditions can result in impairments that might last the child’s entire life, and some impairments might qualify as disabilities. While children seem to be less susceptible to COVID-19, the possible long-term effects can be much worse if they develop lung infections.
If you end up developing a disabling respiratory condition due to scarred lungs from COVID-19, you might qualify for disability benefits if you can no longer work. While this is unchartered territory thus far, disability lawyers in California will be ready to help people who experience long-term impairments from this coronavirus.
If You Already Have a Disability
People with existing disabilities have serious concerns about contracting COVID-19, as advocacy groups have predicted that such individuals might be denied the treatment they need if resources – such as ventilators and intensive care beds – become scarce. Health professionals have guidance to (when necessary) prioritize treatment based on a patient’s general health, so disabling medical conditions would likely play a role.
In addition, it is important to ensure that you receive the disability benefits you deserve under the law during this time. With the economy crashing, it is more important than ever to ensure that you get your disability checks. If you have a pending disability application, you should seek help from an experienced California Social Security disability attorney as soon as possible to prevent any delays or wrongful denials.