Doctors knew little about the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) during the first year of the pandemic, except that it was highly contagious and had higher fatality rates than influenza. Today, we now understand that COVID-19 can cause many long-term, disabling health problems for people who’ve contracted the virus. However, this predicament has raised an important question many Covid survivors are asking: is qualifying for disability due to COVID-19 possible?
The answer is yes, but it’s a complicated affair. Long-term disability insurance was designed by the Department of Health to provide injured individuals who are unable to reliably work with financial coverage. This replacement income ensures they have a source of money they can use to live their daily lives, and given how severe and debilitating some of these COVID-19-related health effects are, many have chosen to pursue these long-term disability benefits.
While it is possible to receive long-term disability benefits for Covid-related health issues, not everyone is successful in obtaining them. What determines who qualifies and who doesn’t? It’s a complex process, so let’s review what is necessary to receive long-term disability for long haul Covid symptoms and potential setbacks one may encounter.
What Are Symptoms of a Long Hauler?
First, to understand whether or not someone qualifies for long-term benefits, it’s important to understand the definition of a long hauler. Individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 but still suffer a wide range of persistent symptoms are called long-haulers, and symptoms reported by them include:
- Joint pain/body aches
- Muscle weakness/general weakness
- Debilitating fatigue
- Shortness of breath/low blood oxygen levels/lung damage
- Sleep difficulties
- Loss of smell and taste
- Experiencing dizziness after standing up
- Early-onset of heart disease
- Heart palpitations
- Brain fog (inability to remember, concentrate, or think clearly)
- Anxiety or depression
- And many more impairments
Doctors aren’t sure but think the immune systems of long-haulers continue overreacting to the infection even though antibodies are in their bloodstream. However, one thing is for certain — the coronavirus can cause health issues that are disabling and possibly permanent.
Who Receives Long-Term Disability for Long Haul Covid Symptoms?
The primary reason why long-term disability for long haul Covid is possible is that the United States Department of Health and Human Services classifies the resulting symptoms as a disability. Their definition of a disability includes physical and mental impairments which significantly impair one or more life activities. These include actions such as walking, speaking, and other essential functions. Therefore, if the long haul symptoms fall within the parameters of that definition, then an individual has a solid chance to be successful in their long-term disability claims.
Who Doesn’t Receive Long-Term Disability for Long Haul Covid Symptoms?
Unfortunately, long-haul Covid symptoms are not always deemed a disability. To determine whether a person’s symptoms meet the disability criteria, they need to undergo a thorough evaluation. Should their symptoms not be considered significant enough to impair any of their activities, it won’t qualify as a disability, and, in turn, they won’t be able to receive benefits for it. Further, these impairments must be proven to originate from the individual’s contraction of Covid.
In some instances, individuals don’t qualify for long-term disability for long haul Covid because of insufficient evidence. While their symptoms may be severe and place them in poor working conditions, they may not be accepted as disabilities if they are self-reported. Long-haul ailments such as headaches and fatigue are among several of the symptoms that get in the way of work but aren’t always accepted as evidence. Even if a doctor claims their patient is suffering from long-haul Covid symptoms, it may not be enough to prove long-term disability.
It is worth noting that impairing one’s ability to work does not just pertain to an individual’s current job but other careers. Social security will check to see whether a person suffering from long-haul symptoms can pursue other careers if their condition prevents them from properly carrying out their current occupation. As a result, if an individual with symptoms is capable of working another job, they may not receive disability benefits.
What Evidence is Needed to Acquire Long-Term Disability Benefits for Covid?
Individuals seeking long-term disability for long haul Covid must provide ample evidence to their insurance provider to prove the condition is standing in the way of their ability to work. For example, to demonstrate that the long-haul effects of Covid are impacting their well-being, they must submit a medical test proving they contracted the virus. This can be difficult to satisfy for some, as many individuals did not receive proper testing and have no evidence of their diagnosis.
Further, qualifying for disability due to Covid is unlikely without adequate evidence of the long haul symptoms. These can include medical tests, records, doctor statements, and other documentation that proves an individual is suffering from the long-term effects of Covid.
Are You a COVID-19 Survivor Unable to Work Due to Disabling Health Complications?
Many insurance companies are skeptical of long-haul symptoms, especially if there isn’t enough evidence. Some of the ways they may try to deny your disability benefits are by claiming you’re exaggerating your impairments or using legal loopholes. However, being denied long-term disability for long haul Covid isn’t the end; there’s still a chance to receive the benefits you need. If you are a long-hauler and have had your disability benefits denied by your employer or insurance company, consider contacting Rosen Moss Snyder LLP for immediate assistance.
With the phenomenon of long-hauler Covid symptoms only recently emerging in clinical studies, many insurance companies won’t acknowledge the seriousness of these health issues. They may claim fatigue, cognitive problems, or that losing the ability to smell and taste shouldn’t prevent someone from working. Alternatively, some insurance companies may approve an employee for short-term disability benefits but abruptly cancel benefits if they think the employee is inflating or even faking their symptoms. In situations like these, a professional lawyer can help raise your chances of receiving disability benefits.
Schedule a Consultation About Disability Benefits for COVID-19 Today!
Are you a COVID-19 long-hauler who has been denied employer disability benefits? Reach out to our long-term disability claim lawyers in Philadelphia, PA, now! Our seasoned law firm has had many years of success fighting for the disability claims of our clients, and our team of attorneys can leverage their experience to help your case too.
When they need long or short-term disability lawyers, Philadelphia residents know they can depend on Rosen Moss Snyder LLP. Our lawyers will obtain relevant medical records detailing COVID-19 complications, physician reports, and other documents to help show the insurance company that you qualify for disability benefits due to long-term COVID-19 complications.