As we continue to negotiate our way through the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, doctors and research are starting to see that some people who contract the virus can continue to experience a wide rage of symptoms long after their initial recovery. These long-lasting symptoms can occur in people who had mild illness or severe illness with their initial infection. These lingering symptoms can include:
- Shortness of breath, chest pain or difficulty breathing
- Joint and muscle pain
- Memory, concentration or sleep problems
- Loss of taste or smell
Other long-term effects of a COVID-19 infection can also include organ damage, multisystem inflammatory syndrome, blood clots and blood vessel problems. Those who have had severe symptoms of COVID-19 and required hospitalization, ICU treatment and/or ventilation may develop mood issues (like depression and anxiety) and even post-traumatic stress syndrome as a result of their traumatic experiences with the illness.
It is not yet clear how insurers will handle claims for disability benefits based on “long COVID”, particularly in cases where a person did not receive a definitive positive test for COVID-19 as a result of lack of access to testing, or otherwise. What is clear is that, in most cases, the “diagnosis” or “cause” of a person’s disability is less important in the context of an application for disability benefits than the question of whether or not they are capable of working. We have helped many clients whose diagnoses has been uncertain, or whose doctors have been unable to say why they are experiencing the symptoms that they are by helping them demonstrate that regardless of the cause of their symptoms, they simply are not able to engage in gainful employment.
If you are experiencing long COVID symptoms (with or without a diagnosis) that prevent you from working and your insurer is questioning your right to receive disability benefits, consider contacting us for a free and confidential consultation. We can review your claim with you and determine what options might be available to you for pursuing those benefits.