Long-Haul COVID Claims
What is long COVID?
Long COVID (also known as long-haul COVID or post-COVID-19 syndrome) is a post-infection chronic disease syndrome, similar to fibromyalgia, and other chronic conditions. Initial studies show that approximately 10% – 30% of COVID-19 patients will continue to suffer symptoms for months.
Even though the science around COVID-19 is continually evolving, many assume that COVID-19 symptoms are only temporary, but that’s not always the case. There is now growing medical evidence of long-term after-effects still suffered by people called long-haulers.
Long COVID symptoms
According to the Mayo Clinic, long COVID’s symptoms may include:
- shortness of breath;
- joint pain;
- chest pain;
- memory and concentration problems;
- sleep issues;
- muscle pain;
- rapid heartbeat;
- loss of smell and taste;
- fever and flu symptoms; and,
- dizziness and worsening symptoms after physical and mental activity.
In addition, the British Medical Journal adds that long COVID’s symptoms may include:
- neurocognitive difficulties;
- gastrointestinal upset;
- metabolic disruption (such as poor control of diabetes);
- thromboembolic conditions; and,
- other mental health conditions.
The long COVID numbers are staggering
To date, approximately 1.4 million Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19, which means, if researchers are correct, there may be upwards of 140,000 long-haulers still suffering from the disease in Canada. That number could be much higher since it only includes Canadians who tested positive for the coronavirus; many others may have caught a mild case of COVID-19 but were not tested.
While many people may have seemingly recovered, they could still be suffering from long-term effects, and because long COVID symptoms are so poorly defined, they may not realize that they are long-haulers.
Has your long-term disability claim for long COVID been denied?
Most Canadians who have been dealing with health issues caused by the coronavirus disease have been able to rely on emergency government funding. But what happens when government benefits such as employment insurance (EI) run out? Most long-term disability (LTD) insurance policies have a four- to six-month waiting period before you can even apply, however, most of these claims are being denied.
Hurdles you may face
No test results
Insurance companies expect claimants to document the history of their claims, which is one of the problems with the coronavirus disease: an insurer will ask for a positive COVID-19 test, but not everyone who caught the virus got one.
No paper trail
Insurers can also ask that you establish your case using a paper trail with your family physician. But many family physicians haven’t seen patients since before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. While you may have long COVID, it may be difficult to prove that without a good paper trail, and the insurance company will use that against you.
No clinical definition
Another hurdle is a lack of a clinical definition for long COVID. The underlying problem is that many long COVID symptoms do not show up on diagnostic testing. While there are people who are suffering and struggling to get through the day, insufficient medical evidence will be the excuse insurers offer. There are no chemical markers or specific tests to measure long COVID, and insurers can and will lean on that lack of objective evidence.
What Can You Do?
As a long-term solution, a clinical definition of long COVID must be developed and communicated to family physicians and the wider medical community so that they can start diagnosing long COVID. For now, it is essential to reach out to an experienced disability lawyer for help. At Rastin Gluckstein, we are very experienced at representing people with disability claims and skilled at managing chronic pain and invisible disabilities cases.
Rastin Gluckstein Lawyers will fight for your rights
Many long-haulers who have been trying to get benefits for several months are seeking legal advice because their insurance companies refuse to look at their claims. This is growing into a massive battleground as more Canadians fight for their rights.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a windfall for insurance companies: there have been fewer car accidents, slip-and-falls, and other catastrophic injuries. Even physiotherapy or chiropractic offices have been closed for long period of time, meaning that even if you had an insurance claim, you could not spend your insurance money.
Now, insurance companies need to fill their obligation to society.
You buy insurance to save yourself from exactly the type of stress brought on by long COVID. You have been paying into your policy religiously so that you get the peace of mind knowing that your family is not going to be financially ruined should the worst happens.
Insurance companies have a responsibility to the long-haulers they insure.
Contact us today for a free consultation.
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