Can I File a Disability Claim Based on COVID-19?
The answer is–it depends. Disability policies typically have elimination periods that must pass before benefits are payable for a certain condition. Often, the elimination periods are several months and would outlast the typical duration of COVID-19. However, there may be claims where this might not be the case, such as claims involving long-term complications from COVID-19. Or claims involving increased health risks due to underlying conditions.
Can I File for Long-Term Complications?
While we are still in the early stages of knowing how COVID-19 may affect people long-term, initial information indicates both that some individuals will have long-lasting COVID-19 symptoms and some will go on to develop complications as a result of the infection. Studies have shown that some symptoms can linger for weeks and months, including:
- Racing heartbeat
- Shortness of breath, achy joints
- Foggy thinking
- Persistent loss of sense of smell
Others may recover but end up with long-term complications from COVID-19. Experts believe that COVID-19 can result in the following:
- Heart damage or disease
- Lung damage or long-lasting breathing problems
- Brain damage as a result of stroke or seizures, or an increased likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease
- Blood clotting that can lead to heart, lung, legs, liver, or kidney problems, or cause hypertension
- Widespread inflammation
- Problems with mood and fatigue, including chronic fatigue syndrome
Can I File a Claim for COVID-19 and My Underlying Conditions?
Certain underlying conditions have been associated with more severe COVID-19 symptoms, including:
- Chronic lung disease, such as COPD
- Serious heart conditions
- Type II diabetes
- Chronic kidney disease that requires dialysis
- Conditions that make a patient immunocompromised (including cancer treatment, immune deficiencies, and bone marrow or organ transplant).
Whether you can file a claim for COVID-19, a resulting complication, or a co-morbid condition depends on the terms of your policy and your unique circumstances. If you have questions about your particular situation, please feel free to contact one of our attorneys directly.
These posts are for informative purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for consultation with and diagnosis by a medical professional. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms described above and have yet to consult with a doctor, do not use this resource to self-diagnose. Please contact your doctor immediately and schedule an appointment to be evaluated for your symptoms.
Centers for Disease Control
University of Maryland
American Association for the Advancement of Science
John Hopkins Medicine