Disability Due to Post-COVID Conditions
Most people who become sick with COVID-19 recover quickly. However, there are a growing number of people (estimated to be 1 in 10) who experience post-COVID conditions.
Post-COVID conditions are also known as long COVID, long-haul COVID, post-acute COVID-19, long-term effects of COVID, or chronic COVID. They can affect even those people who had mild or asymptomatic COVID infections.
What are Post-COVID Conditions?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), post-COVID conditions are a wide range of new, returning, or ongoing physical and mental health problems people experience four or more weeks after first being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. These conditions can present as different types and combinations of health problems for different lengths of time.
Post-COVID conditions can affect many body systems, including heart, lung, kidney, skin, and brain functions and also cause Autoimmune conditions causing inflammation (swelling) or tissue damage in the affected parts of the body.
Symptoms of Post-COVID Conditions
People commonly report experiencing different combinations of the following symptoms for weeks and months following COVID infection:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Tiredness or fatigue
- Symptoms that get worse after physical or mental activities (also known as post-exertional malaise)
- Difficulty thinking or concentrating (sometimes referred to as “brain fog”)
- Chest or stomach pain
- Headache and migraine
- Fast-beating or pounding heart (also known as heart palpitations)
- Joint or muscle pain
- Pins-and-needles feeling
- Sleep problems
- Dizziness on standing (lightheadedness)
- Mood changes
- Anxiety and depression
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Memory problems
- Difficulty concentrating (brain fog)
- Change in smell or taste
- Changes in menstrual period cycles
According to the Canadian Government, there have been reports of more than 100 symptoms or difficulties with everyday activities. About 80% of adults reported 1 or more symptoms in the short term (4 to 12 weeks after their initial COVID-19 infection). About 60% reported 1 or more symptoms in the long term (more than 12 weeks after their initial COVID-19 infection). 10% said that they were also unable to return to work in the long term.
Post-COVID Disability Claims are Difficult to Prove
If you are not able to work due to Post-COVID conditions, it is important that you apply for LTD benefits as soon as possible. Post-COVID disability insurance claims are difficult to prove and it may take some time and effort to demonstrate to your insurance company that you are disabled from work.
Post-COVID conditions are mostly “invisible” to the extent that there may be no test results or objective findings to confirm the nature and severity of the conditions. The CDC advises doctors that objective laboratory or imaging findings should not be used as the only measure or assessment of a patient’s well-being; lack of laboratory or imaging abnormalities does not invalidate the existence, severity, or importance of a patient’s symptoms or conditions.
Disability insurance companies continue to struggle to assess and approve claims where there is no objective medical evidence of disability and where the claim is based mainly on a person’s subjective complaints. Unfortunately, disability claims for Post-COVID conditions and other types of “invisible conditions” are often denied.
We Know How to Prove LTD Claims for Invisible Conditions like Post-COVID Conditions
COVID might be a new disease, but we have been representing disabled clients with the same Post-COVID “invisible conditions” for nearly six decades between us. We understand the struggles our clients face in their daily lives as well as in their ongoing quest for diagnoses and effective treatment.
If you are struggling with Post-Covid conditions and your insurance company has denied your LTD claim, we encourage you to contact us. Our goal is to take over your fight to prove your disability to the insurance company, allowing you the time and energy to focus on your treatment and recovery
MK Disability Lawyers partner Leanne Goldstein was honoured to be featured in an article recently by Legal Matters about the importance of not giving up after a disability
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