Long COVID and Disability Insurance Claims
Part I

As more time passes in the pandemic, it is clear that people experience COVID differently.  While some may be clear of the virus within a few weeks, others who have been infected may go on to experience long COVID (also called long-haul COVID, post-COVID and post-acute COIVD).  Just like acute COVID, long COVID can cause a wide range of health issues that can last several weeks, months or even years.

According to the CDC[1], symptoms can vary person to person, but can include the following:

  • Feelings of tiredness or fatigue that interfere with daily life;
  • Post-exertional malaise
  • Fever
  • Respiratory and heart symptoms (chest pain, cough, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath)
  • Neurological symptoms (sleep problems, headache, dizziness, brain fog, depression or anxiety)
  • Digestive symptoms (diarrhea, stomach pain)
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Rash
  • Changes in menstrual cycles

According to the Mayo Clinic[2], risk factors for long COVID include:

  • Having severe illness with COVID-19 (especially if hospitalized or needed intensive care)
  • Having certain pre-existing medical conditions
  • Having a condition that affected organs or tissues while sick with COVID-19 or afterwards
  • Are an adult

While these are identified risk factors, anyone who has had COVID-19 can have long-term effects—even those with mild illness or no symptoms.

Because long COVID can last a significant period of time, those with it may need to file a long-term disability claim; however, we’ve seen insurers balk at paying such claims.  Our next post will look at filing a disability insurance claim for long COVID in more detail.  If you have been diagnosed with long COVID and are considering filing a disability insurance claim, please feel free to reach out to 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.

[1] Long COVID or Post-COVID Conditions, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, updated June 17, 2022

[2] COVID-19: Long-term effects, Mayo Clinic, June 28, 2022

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