People With 'Long COVID' Fight for Disability Benefits
According to the Los Angeles Times:
“Hundreds of thousands of people around the world are experiencing what is being called ‘long COVID’ — a pattern of prolonged symptoms following an acute bout of the disease.”
For many of these individuals, these symptoms are so severe they cannot return to work. Although short-term and long-term disability benefits are designed for sudden onslaughts of illness just like long COVID symptoms, insurance companies are not playing fair. Sadly, the majority of people with long COVID are simply too tired to fight back.
Filing for disability benefits – and appealing a denial – requires careful focus and deep thought, tasks that many COVID “long-haulers” struggle with. For people with long COVID, the most common complaint is “brain fog,” a symptom that keeps people from creating thorough records of their disabilities and navigating the bureaucratic hurdles of insurance claims. Worse still, insurance companies are denying even the most meticulously crafted claims due to a “lack of objective evidence.”
While this may seem reasonable at first glance, COVID tests were notoriously difficult to acquire at certain points of the pandemic, and symptoms like fatigue and cognitive impairment are not new. In fact, both insurance companies and the Social Security Administration (SSA) have guidelines for navigating these so-called “subjective” claims, and some COVID long-haulers have even been diagnosed with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), a pre-recognized debilitating condition that can be triggered by viral infections.
In many cases, the patients who recover the disability benefits they need are the ones who recruit attorneys. Disability lawyers can connect long COVID to better-documented conditions like ME/CFS, help clients strengthen their cases with neuropsychological testing, investigations of lung function, and other specialist assessments, and even gather evidence in the form of affidavits from friends, family members, and coworkers.
Even if insurance companies deny your claim, recruiting an attorney will help you create a strong record of your disability, which can come in handy during lawsuits filed under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).
Insurance companies have every incentive to deny claims, but when they act against your best interests, you have the right to take legal action.
Further, there’s never any shame in asking for help and admitting you cannot do something on your own, especially when you are dealing with debilitating symptoms and fighting against major insurance companies.
Can the COVID-19 Vaccine Help Long COVID Victims?
As more people in the United States get vaccinated, medical professionals and the public have started to notice a curious benefit for so-called long COVID patients: their symptoms are going away or fully resolving.
While it is still too early to know how many people with long COVID feel better after being vaccinated, it is promising. Scientists have many theories as to why this is, including the fact that the vaccine may be able to clear up leftover virus or fragments, interrupting a damaging autoimmune response, or resetting the immune system in some other way. Brain fog and gastrointestinal problems are some of the most common symptoms that appear to be resolved post-vaccination.
With over 77 million people fully vaccinated in the United States, it is not feasible currently to determine exactly how many with long COVID have improved, but there is hope that this will continue. Further research and data are needed at this time to measure these patients' recoveries.
Disability Insurance Companies Have Lawyers. Shouldn’t You?
If you need help filing for benefits or are facing a long-term disability claim denial, you should consult an experienced disability lawyer. Our lawyers specialize in disability claims with insurance companies.
Why Dabdoub Law Firm?
- Our firm has expertise in disability insurance claims.
- Our practice was built to fight for people who were wrongly denied long-term disability benefits.
- We have fought every major disability insurance company and recovered millions of dollars in disability benefits for our clients.
- We have a proven track record of success in major disability lawsuits that have set important legal precedents.
Because federal law applies to most disability insurance claims, we do not have to be located in your state to help.
All our lawyers commit every day to helping people get disability benefits from insurance companies. Contact Dabdoub Law Firm to get help with:
- Submitting a disability insurance claim,
- Appealing a long-term disability denial,
- Negotiating a lump-sum settlement, or
- Filing a lawsuit against your disability insurance company.
Call us at (800) 969-0488 today for a free consultation with a disability attorney.