Robert Benjamin Savary of New Jersey is a registered financial representative aiding clients in the purchase of life, long term care, and disability insurances. In the following article, Robert Savary explains disability insurance as it relates to Long COVID, as well as the benefits of having disability insurance for those that suffer with the diagnosis.
Even after suffering from COVID-19 and experiencing initial recovery, the battle isn’t over for many victims. Instead, re-emerging, or continuing health issues can prompt the question: what kinds of disability insurance policies are offered for those experiencing Long COVID?
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Long COVID can be considered a disability under Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 1157 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
Long COVID Explained
Robert Benjamin Savary of NJ explains that Long COVID is described by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as the long-term effects that people who have been infected with the COVID-19 virus may experience even after recovery.
People with this condition, also known as “long-haulers,” can experience a variety of symptoms that affect daily life. These symptoms include:
- Brain fog, or the inability to concentrate
- Fatigue and tiredness
- Shortness of Breath
- General difficulty breathing
- Dizziness when standing
- Headaches or migraines
- Chest pains
- Joint pains
- Lack of ability to taste or smell
- Heart Palpitations
- Organ Damage
Though this list does detail some of the physical afflictions those suffering from Long COVID may experience, it doesn’t account for the emotional and mental damage that a long period of health problems can cause. These include anxiety and depression according to Robert Benjamin Savary of New Jersey.
Because this condition can afflict former COVID-19 sufferers so persistently, it gets in the way of daily activities. With this in mind, Long COVID can qualify for some disability insurance benefits.
Long COVID Deemed a Disability
Long COVID can specifically be treated as a disability under the stipulations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 and Section 1557, because it limits more than one major life activity according to Robert Benjamin Savary.
The laws specifically define a disabled person as someone who has something physical or mental getting in the way of their major life activities, or someone who has record of this health obstacle.
Robert Savary of NJ explains that some people with Long COVID have heart, lung, kidney, and neurological damage as well as possibly experiencing emotional and mental illness, they may not be able to perform major life activities.
A major life activity can cover a wide range of what a human usually does during the day. Some of these activities include things we don’t even think about, but participate in constantly: sitting down, standing up, thinking, writing, breathing, and talking to others.
For example, if someone experiences shortness of breath due to Long COVID, they may not be able to breathe properly or speak with others with any sort of ease. Therefore, they count as a disabled person under the ADA’s stipulations says Robert Benjamin Savary of New Jersey.
Long COVID and Disability Insurance
Robert Benjamin Savary explains that the ADA works to provide protection for those with disabilities, keeping them from being discriminated against or kept from civic and commercial life events.
Therefore, some rules on the state level can be changed so that those with Long COVID can reasonably enjoy certain aspects of society in light of their health problems.
For example, if someone has Long COVID, they may be allowed to take longer on a test than students who do not have Long COVID and therefore do not suffer from brain fog symptoms says Robert Benjamin Savary of New Jersey.
Another example is local businesses, such as grocery stores or shopping centers, allowing a service animal to enter the establishment so that someone with Long COVID can be assisted in standing despite dizziness symptoms.
Long COVID Disability Outside of the United States
Though the United States does provide some insurance help for those disabled by Long COVID symptoms, other nations are not always helped in the same way reports Robert Benjamin Savary of New Jersey.
The Guardian reports that some UK healthcare staff are not being given PIP (A benefit system aiding those who must pay for extra living amenities due to disabilities) benefits despite being affected by Long COVID symptoms.
The Guardian also reported that the process to qualify for these benefits is flawed and the outcome of trying to qualify is considered unfair by many in the United Kingdom.
COVID-19 affected the world and lingers on by affecting those with Long COVID through health impairments. These impairments can be considered a disability if they affect major life events. The broad spectrum of symptoms experienced by those with Long COVID means that, at least in the United States, their condition does affect their life and is, therefore considered a disability reports Robert Benjamin Savary of NJ.
The insurance policies laid out by the ADA provide support for those disabled by Long COVID, but in other countries, support is still needed to aid those left reeling from contracting the worldwide virus.