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‘The National Academies’ Recommends Updated Government Definition of Long COVID

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (The National Academies) recently released a report on Long COVID, how it is caused, and how life-changing its symptoms can be. Based on its findings, The National Academies has recommended that the government at all levels – federal, state, and municipal or local – update its definition of Long COVID to better reflect the potential severity of the chronic condition.

According to The National Academies, Long COVID would be better defined as “an infection-associated chronic condition that occurs after COVID-19 infection and is present for at least three months as a continuous, relapsing and remitting, or progressive disease state that affects one or more organ systems.” The updated definition also stresses that Long COVID is possible after infection with any COVID strain, including among patients who were asymptomatic while infected with COVID.

Why Should the Definition of Long COVID Get an Update?

It is an understatement to say that Long COVID is a medical condition that is as serious as it is perplexing. COVID is a vascular disease that can impact virtually any bodily organ or body part, so Long COVID has the same potential to be damaging in as many different ways. For this reason, defining and identifying Long COVID has been difficult in the global medical community, which has fueled skepticism in the public and healthcare insurance groups about its existence.

Researchers of The National Academies are hopeful that updating the definition of Long COVID at a government level would be an important first step in removing skepticism and confusion about the chronic health condition. Medical providers treating someone with Long COVID would have an easier time pointing to the definition and assigning treatments based on it without worry of pushback from healthcare groups, insurance providers, and so on.

The National Academies think updating the Long COVID would make it easier for a patient to be eligible for:

  • Certain forms of clinical care
  • Advanced or specialized diagnostic testing
  • Healthcare insurance coverage
  • Disability benefits
  • School or education accommodations
  • Workplace accommodations
  • Social services
  • Much more

How Common is Long COVID in America?

A recent Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), revealed that growing medical evidence shows the startling prevalence of Long COVID across the country. Based on the data, at least 7% of Americans (or nearly 18,000,000 people) currently have Long COVID. This number is presumably lower than the actual number of Americans with Long COVID because many would not recognize the need to report their symptoms to their doctor to receive a diagnosis. Furthermore, other medical studies have suggested that the risk of getting Long COVID after contracting a strain of COVID-19 could be as high as 85%.

LTD Benefits & Long COVID

A focus of The National Academies research into the definition of Long COVID was to make it simpler for people with the health condition to qualify for disability insurance benefits, either long-term disability or short-term disability. With the current broad and hazy definition of Long COVID, medical providers struggle to diagnose patients with it. In turn, Long COVID patients will face more difficulty when filing for disability benefits because the insurance company will have an easier time refuting their diagnosis. If the definition is updated and solidified, though, the entire process of filing for disability insurance benefits will become immediately friendlier for Long COVID patients.

Common Long COVID symptoms that can interfere with gainful employment include the following and more:

Working with even one of these common Long COVID symptoms is understandably untenable for most and outright dangerous for many. It is only right for someone with Long COVID to see if they can get disability benefits to help them stay financially afloat while they try to recover.

At Dabdoub Law Firm, we proudly offer our legal counsel to anyone who needs long-term disability benefits for any reason, including after receiving a Long COVID diagnosis. Federal ERISA law applies to most LTD benefit cases, which means our attorneys can likely help with your case, regardless of which state you call home. Dial (800) 969-0488 now to schedule a free initial consultation with our attorneys.