Workers’ Compensation
And Social Security Disability
Help From Experienced Attorneys

Long COVID is still a problem and there are few answers

An estimated 200 million people worldwide suffer from long COVID, according to some experts.

It’s not clear why, but some people who get COVID-19 are left with lingering symptoms. They can range from mild to severe and include things like exhaustion, memory problems, difficulty with executive functioning and mental health issues. Some people can’t work because of long COVID.

In a recent discussion on NPR news, an expert likened the effect of long COVID on some people as similar to that of a brain injury. That’s important because there is some effective rehabilitation available in those cases.

The point is, long COVID is real, it is debilitating for some people, and there are no clear answers. However, there may be financial help available, depending on the situation.

Workers’ compensation in Illinois

If you think you got COVID at work, you may have a workers’ compensation claim. This would include medical care and wage replacement while you can’t work.

If you work as a first responder or front-line worker, the law assumes you got COVID at work. Your insurer can contest that assumption, if they have reason to believe you did not get COVID at work, but they have to persuade a judge that you did not.

Under the law, a “first responder or front-line worker” is any first responder, all healthcare workers, corrections officers, and people who work in “essential businesses and operations.” A lawyer can help you determine if you are included in this group.

Short- and long-term disability insurance

Many people have this insurance through work or through their own policies. If you do, these can be valuable benefits.

Social Security Disability

The Social Security Administration hasn’t officially taken a position on whether long COVID qualifies for Social Security Disability. This is in part because enough time has not passed for any but the very first cases to be heard.

In order to qualify for Social Security Disability, your disability has to last for at least a year or be terminal. We don’t have enough data on how long an illness long COVID may be. We don’t know if the symptoms will be disabling for an entire year, except in early cases. We also don’t know when they might get better.

That said, the government has recognized COVID-19 and long COVID as disabling conditions for the purpose of another law, the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Therefore, it is likely that the Social Security Administration will authorize benefits when long COVID will clearly last, or has already lasted, for a year and is keeping the person from working at all.

A lawyer will be an invaluable resource in a long-COVID-related Social Security Disability claim.

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