As the Coronavirus pandemic had the US citizens confined to their homes, the disease had impacted nearly every industry. Also, since many businesses started losing out of cash flow, many of the employers laid-off workers due to inability to meet the worker's expenses in terms of salary and health benefits. However, there are some good and bad news associated with this situation.
The good news is, among the many American workers that had been furloughed due to the pandemic, a few will be hired again, eventually. The bad news is, not all companies will be able to stand tall again and hence, not every furloughed worker will get to get hired by their respective companies again.
In what was expected and has happened so far to be true, many workers are finding it hard to get hired back because of physical or mental disabilities making it even more difficult to find suitable work/jobs that they can take up by working 'around' their disabilities. Workers thus are having a hard time finding jobs due to a lack of job skills or due to impairments.
Fortunately, some of these workers will apply for disability for the next few months while some are going to apply immediately, typically as soon as their unemployment benefits run out (this waiting period is needed since SSA requires a person to be unable to do any work under SGA to be able to win SSDI benefits). One particular question that most people are skeptical about is how can laid off workers be unable to work? This article discusses the changing dynamics such as these in the job environment due to the pandemic.
How can laid off workers be unable to work/disabled?
A few most asked question about the disability application process is how people who were previously able to work can be disabled suddenly after being laid-off?
So, this is a complicated process that has its chains lying in the already deteriorating health of older people. These are mostly workers who often had either limited job skills or physically challenging jobs seem to have ignored ailments/disorders/impairments while going to work due to various reasons –such as not getting the time or energy to get themselves diagnosed, orjust continuing to work paycheck to paycheck because they needed the money to run the household. However, after being laid-off due to the pandemic, the whole dynamics of the job environment changed resulting in reduced health care benefits and medical treatment after a job loss due to which these workers are now unable to find the same jobs with the same levels of health checks required.
So, while these workers were laid off from their jobs due to economic situation, the rehiring process will stay the same with all of the boxes required to be checked by the employers. However, due to the very reasons such as deteriorating health and reduced medical benefits, etc, the older workers now find it harder to find jobs they were previously working on due to a fierce market and high competition.
This is the reason that people who got laid-off are considered as 'marginally disabled' by the Social Security Administration. Yet, some of them might have difficulty in getting benefits since being 'marginally disabled' means the SSA can still think there is some work they can do. However, the disability/impairments/disorders combined with medical records, poor access to medical health, inability to work previous jobs, old age, uneven work history, disabled dependents, etc, may increase their chances of winning disability.
What Medical Conditions for Laid-Off workers might qualify for SSDI?
According to a report by the SSA, disability applicants who apply for SSDI benefits in times of unemployment are more likely to be suffering from mental impairments such as PTSD, ADHD, depression and anxiety. It is less likely that laid-off workers be suffering from very acute physical ailments. However, for these workers it can be difficult to have backing evidence to prove that their disabilities actually prevent them from working full-time jobs that they were previously working on.
Moreover, it can get really difficult for older workers to convince the disability examiners (DEs) that their mentally disability is indeed severe enough to prevent them from working. Also, often times the reasons of denial may not lie in the eligibility of a person's disability but how they have represented their case to the SSA. You can read more about reasons for a denial of your SSDI case here. Also yet, it might be difficult to prove that they are indeed unable to work under SGA without medical records from physicians or doctors or psychiatrists going back many years, hence the claims get harder to be approved.
Similarly, younger workers who got laid off will less likely have severe problems like congestive heart disease or PTSD/depression. These younger workers often have complaints of herniated disks, degenerative disk disease, etc, which they find very difficult to get approved for disability – this is because it is difficult to prove how severely these conditions affect a person's daily life functioning.
So, for laid-off workers who were either consciously ignoring their symptoms, or suddenly had acute impairments affecting their daily life functioning or work capabilities, not have enough medical records, testimonies of doctors or supportive doctors who can document their medical limitations can severely impact their chances of getting approved for disability.
Hence, if you or your loved one is a claimant going to file for disability due to these various reasons immediately after being laid-off or if you want to file an appeals process, you need to find a trustable social security attorney to handle your social security disability claim.