Woman with a mask due to the coronavirus pandemic

The Coronavirus and the Disabled Community

Q: How is the global pandemic harder on disabled people?

Disability attorneys of California know that their disabled clients are likely more anxious than those without disabilities during the global coronavirus pandemic. And it isn’t paranoia that’s driving those emotions.

The coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has necessitated drastic government directives aimed at social distancing and other isolating measures to “flatten the curve” before the rapidly-skyrocketing number of COVID-19 cases threatens to overtake the available resources of the nation’s healthcare systems. In states like California and New York where the disease has sickened and killed vast numbers of people, fear runs high as governments direct many to stay home and nonessential businesses to close. 

How does COVID-19 impact the disabled community?

The COVID-19 virus reportedly disproportionately affects the elderly (who are more likely to be disabled) as well as those suffering from underlying health conditions which again are more common in those who are disabled.

Disabled people often rely on others to provide services and care, like cooking and cleaning, transportation and other services that they cannot perform themselves. Social distancing directives may jeopardize their ability to seek medical care, obtain and prepare food, manage their medications, and more.

Disabled people who are able to work in some capacity during non-pandemic circumstances, may not be able to adapt to telecommuting or remote work as readily as those without disabilities have been doing during the lockdown or shelter in place restrictions.

The elderly and/or sick people in nursing homes, as well as the intellectually or developmentally disabled people in group homes, are living in particularly dangerous circumstances due to potentially increased susceptibility to COVID-19.  There is near constant exposure to a revolving door of healthcare workers, therapists, aides and other direct support staff who may transmit the virus to them. Non-disabled peers who do not need the support of others for daily care are more likely to be able to weather the pandemic with more limited opportunities for exposure, in a private home or apartment, with only the support of their immediate family members.

If you or a loved one needs assistance applying for Social Security disability benefits or appealing the denial of benefits, the disability attorneys of California at Roeschke Law can help you. Contact us today for a free consultation.

From our offices in Los Angeles, we represent disabled people and their families throughout California in all aspects of Social Security disability law.