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COVID-19, Long-Term Health and Social Security Disability

May 6, 2020

There is growing concern in the medical community about the long-term effects of COVID-19 on the body. Some experts say the lungs, heart, kidneys, nervous system, and brain in particular may suffer serious, life-altering and permanent consequences well after the infection itself has passed. In the coming months and years, some recovered COVID patients could find themselves unable to work due to the physical aftermath coronavirus has on their overall health. Applying for Social Security Disability benefits may be necessary to survive and maintain a reasonable quality of life.

COVID-19 Social Security Disability Lawyers 

If you have recovered from COVID-19 but are unable to work or maintain employment due to coronavirus-related lung, heart, kidney, nervous system, or brain function, the experienced Social Security Disability lawyers at Watson & Carroll, P.C., L.L.O. are here to help secure the benefits you need and deserve. Call 402-991-2100 or fill out our confidential intake form. We are taking Social Security Disability clients living in Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota. We can help you, too. 

COVID-19 Update 

Life has been in upheaval since mid-March, when the United States announced the pandemic had created a national emergency. People everywhere have been instructed to stay home, wear masks when they are out, and keep a distance of at least 6 feet from other people. 

Despite the precautions and mandated safety measures, COVID-19 coronavirus had affected more than 1.2 million people in the United States and killed more than 72,000 as of May 6. Globally, there have been nearly 3.7 million cases and at least 258,000 deaths. Even though quarantine restrictions are being slowly lifted in most places, the death toll has already surpassed that of the (SARS) epidemic that occurred in 2002 and 2003.

Nebraska has seen more than 6,000 cases of COVID-19 to date. Of those, 78 people have died.  In Iowa, just over 9,700 people have been diagnosed; 188 have died. And in South Dakota, more than 2,600 have been diagnosed with coronavirus. There had been 21 deaths at the time of this blog post. 

Possible COVID-19 Effects on Long-Term Health 

COVID-19 is a concern for people who get the disease in its most serious form; especially those who have to be hospitalized and placed on a ventilator. The biggest concern has been for the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions that have already compromised their immune systems. The effects of COVID-19 on their bodies once they recover could make already challenging health conditions even worse. 

That being said, healthy men and women under age 50 who recover from the coronavirus could also experience permanent health issues and be forced to spend the rest of their lives relying on inhalers or medication. Doctors believe many younger, healthier people likely waited too long to seek medical attention, so the virus had a more severe impact on their bodies than had they been treated once symptoms first arose. Here is an overview of the potential problems COVID-19 could cause down the road: 


Patients who developed the life-threatening acute respiratory distress syndrome and required intensive care treatment are likely to experience scarring in their lungs, which may be permanent. That can lead to diminished lung function and difficulty in breathing. 


The American College of Cardiology has warned that COVID-19 can lead to heart damage, with some patients developing arrhythmia and even heart failure, heart attacks, and cardiac arrest. Severe coronavirus cases also can lead to myocarditis, which happens when the heart muscle is inflamed. What’s more, heart and lung problems often go hand-in-hand. 


Some COVID-19 patients have experienced kidney abnormalities, including more protein and red blood cells in their urine. About 15% of them also develop a decline in filtration function. The long-term effects on survivors are not yet known. 

Nervous System 

Negative effects on the body’s neurologic symptoms were seen in 36% of 214 COVID-19 patients in China. Ailments included dizziness, headache and taste and smell impairment, although it’s not certain how long symptoms lasted. 


The longer COVID-19 patients are sedated and in intensive care, or ICU, the more likely they are to come out with long-term cognitive and emotional effects of being sedated. Doctors call it “post-intensive care syndrome” or post-ICU delirium, and describe it as a type of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. One doctor told NBC that she estimates about two-thirds of ventilated patients could be affected after not receiving enough oxygen to the brain or because of the effects of medications used to sedate them as they recovered. 

Will Long-Term Effects of COVID-19 Impact Your Ability to Work? 

Even if you’ve recovered from COVID-19, your body may have permanent damage. Any of the ailments described above can make it difficult if not impossible to work as you try to live a normal life in the months and years to come after the pandemic ends. Our Omaha Social Security Disability law firm can help you secure compensation so you can focus on healing and moving on with your life. Our founder is an attorney and a former combat nurse, and we understand medical complications on all fronts. We’re here for you, whether you live in Nebraska, Iowa, or South Dakota. 

About Watson & Carroll 

Watson & Carroll, P.C., L.L.O., is not a high-volume law firm that only speaks with clients when it is absolutely necessary. For us, it’s personal. 

Our team is based in three convenient locations. We work closely with our clients and their loved ones– not only so that we understand their challenges and concerns, but so we can tailor our approach to address those factors, aggressively pursue results, and secure peace of mind. Whether it is a Social Security Disability claim, a personal injury claim, or fighting for workers compensation benefits, we fight to protect our clients and make sure their rights are upheld. 

Our firm can help you, especially during this critical, uncertain time. Call 402-991-2100 or email contact@watsoncarroll.com. You also can fill out our confidential form here. Let’s get started. 

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