As we’re going into the third year of the pandemic, the physical and mental health of Canadians continues to be significantly impacted by it. 

There are many people suffering from the long-term effects of COVID-19, who are still not able to return to work, and have exhausted their short-term disability benefits. Others are flat out denied by their insurer when they try to claim long-term disability benefits because of COVID-19 symptoms. 

The medical community is continually studying the evolving virus, and insurers are trying to gain more information about the virus to determine which of their clients qualify for benefits. Although insurance companies can try to delay or deny claims for all sorts of reasons, the DWA LAW team works tirelessly to ensure that you receive the insurance benefits you are entitled to. 

Have you been unable to return to work because of long-term symptoms from COVID-19? Claim your disability benefits with the help of a long-term disability lawyer at DWA LAW.

medical researchers in lab

What is “Long-Haul COVID”?

Long-Haul COVID is also called Long COVID, Long-term COVID, and Post-COVID Syndrome. It’s the state known as post-acute sequelae SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC), in which people with COVID-19 continue to suffer from its effects months after the acute phase of the virus. 

Possible Symptoms in Post-COVID Conditions

With the current data, Long COVID can last for about 16 weeks after acute COVID. Long-Haul COVID symptoms often appear in clusters.

COVID-19 attacks various areas of the body, including the lungs, heart, and nervous system. Persistent symptoms in a long-hauler include:

  • Tiredness or fatigue
  • Difficulty thinking or concentrating (i.e., brain fog)
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Heart palpitations
  • Dizziness when standing
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Chest pain or stomach pain
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Change in smell or taste
  • Myocarditis (heart muscle inflammation)

Additionally, people can suffer from mental health problems, including depression and anxiety, caused by grief, unresolved fatigue and pain, as well as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after treatment in the intensive care unit (ICU). While some long-hauler symptoms may be minor, other individuals may need continuing care or be readmitted to the hospital for treatment.

What Causes Post-COVID Syndrome?

People with certain risk factors, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, are more likely to experience stronger COVID-19 symptoms, however, there is no evidence linking the risk factors to long-term symptoms. What’s more, Long-Haul COVID can occur in people who initially had mild COVID symptoms. 

At this time, the medical community is speculating that the stubborn health problems persist in certain individuals because of organ damage, a persistent inflammatory or autoimmune response, and other reasons, but these questions remain unanswered.

Consequently, long-haulers are still in a difficult position with their insurance companies. 

Problems with Insurance Companies and Disability Benefits

With people suffering from COVID symptoms long after the initial infection, returning to work is not feasible. Many have discovered that their short-term disability benefits no longer cover them and they no longer qualify for federal programs, including the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). Additionally, people with long-term disability benefits are experiencing delays and denials from their insurance companies because the virus is novel and evolving. It’s making it hard to define, particularly in contracts and other documentation. 

When insurance companies finally do collect the information they require, don’t expect claims to be any easier than they have been pre-COVID. It’s highly likely that insurers will demand proof that you had a COVID-19 infection and want medical documentation of your symptoms. Here lies murky waters since some people may not have received a COVID-19 test because they were asymptomatic or experienced mild symptoms. Moreover, restrictions on in-person visits and closures due to the pandemic will have prevented many people from getting a COVID test or having documentation filled out by a doctor.

person hands beside text “When is the end? #COVID19”

Helping Canadians With COVID-19 Disability Benefit Claims

Dealing with insurance companies is harder than ever before due to the uncertainties of COVID-19. People who require their short and long-term disability benefits need someone to fight for them. As soon as you have legal representation, insurance companies are more willing to listen and negotiate a settlement. The DWA LAW team understands the subtleties of disability insurance claims and has a long track record of success at helping clients achieve fair resolutions in their dealings with insurance providers. 

DWA LAW will continue to provide updates on how COVID-19 continues to affect areas of the law. For representation, contact us today!

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