Illnesses can have a very different impact from one patient to the next. Some illnesses are still not well understood by scientists and doctors around the world. There is still a lot we don’t know about the human body and its reaction to various pathogens. Doctors cannot perfectly predict if someone who tests positive for certain illnesses will experience relatively mild symptoms for a week or two or if they will end up in the hospital with their life in danger.
When the future effects of an illness are unclear
When the long-term effects of an illness are not yet clear, it can be difficult to make legal determinations about disability. Some people who go through an illness recover fully and return to perfect health. For others, their symptoms linger for months. Some long-term symptoms that can follow people for weeks, months, or longer include:
- Fatigue and weakness
- Joint pain
- Shortness of breath
If a virus or disease is new to the medical scene, we won’t know yet why it can hit some patients hard, but leave others relatively unscathed. Nor do we know if there will be patients whose symptoms will last for years.
Too sick to go back to work
What we do know is that some symptoms of illness have forced people in Charleston and across West Virginia to stop working until they recover. Some people will be left too sick to go back to their jobs for several years, possibly even the rest of their lives. Breathing problems and chronic pain could make it impossible to find comparable work that they could handle, as well.
People who have become disabled permanently or long-term due to an illness may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. As we discussed in this blog before, your strongest case may be to draw a connection between the illness and a chronic condition such as acute respiratory distress syndrome, that the Social Security Administration already knows about and understands.