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Brain Injury Insider

Episode 75: Covid Disability

Long Covid refers to a constellation of symptoms that can plague individuals for months or even years following an infection.  These problems can impact an individual’s ability to work in their occupation or profession.

These persons are often called “long haulers”.  Often these disabilities are described as “brain fog” and impact an individual’s ability to function on a daily basis or return to work.

Since many individuals are covered by employer sponsored group short- or long-term disability insurance policies or have a private disability insurance policy, they may receive disability benefits when Covid-19 impacts their ability to work.

According to the Centers for Disease Control approximately 19 percent of individuals with Covid have long Covid.

Many symptoms associated with long Covid are like those found after a concussion or other type of brain injury. 

These persistent symptoms often described as “brain fog” include:

  • Disabling Fatigue
  • Excessive Sleeping or Inability to Get Out of Bed
  • Memory Problems
  • Cognitive Impairments
  • Chronic Headaches
  • Difficulty focusing, concentrating, or paying attention
  • Dizziness and other vestibular impairments
  • Shortness of Breath and Strength

These symptoms appear differently and at different times in everyone.

They can occur in individuals who suffered both mild and severe Covid infections and in individuals who were not hospitalized. 

Long Covid disability can affect individuals of any age, sex, or race.  Long Covid can occur even in individuals who were vaccinated.  

Unfortunately, disability insurance carriers have been reported to be denying many claims made for both short-term and long-term disability based upon Covid 19 related symptoms.

Often, the insurance carrier improperly claims there is no objective evidence of disability. 

Brain damage is an invisible injury and frequently brain injury survivors find it difficult to obtain objective proof of their signs and symptoms or disability.

It is important that Covid 19 long haulers carefully document their original diagnosis, their ongoing symptoms, and impairments by keeping a log, and carefully inform any health care provider they consult with of their problems and impact upon their lives.

It may be important to obtain a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment to document any cognitive impairments you may have including:

  • impairments in memory:
  • concentration, comprehension, word finding;
  • ability to multi-task often called executive functioning;
  • spatial problems, problem solving, organization, and auditory or visual comprehension. 

These professionals can also evaluate you for any emotional or behavioral issues you may experience.

If you are suffering from vestibular problems including dizziness, trained vestibular specialists can do testing and document these disabilities. 

If you are experiencing visual problems, a trained neuro-optometrist can do specialized testing to document these impairments.

As brain injury attorneys, our law firm understands how to document this invisible injury on behalf of our clients.  We do this assisted by trained medical providers familiar with brain injury and brain damage. 

It is important to file a disability claim without delay because of crucial time limits in many insurance policies. 

Seeking the assistance of a trained attorney in filling out claim forms and assembling all necessary documents supporting your claim is important.

If you have been denied disability benefits, seek legal advice without delay.  There are crucial time limits contained in these policies which may affect your ability to appeal or a bring legal action for an improper denial of disability benefits.

Retain all communications with your insurance company and do not speak or respond to any requests or inquiries without first consulting with a qualified attorney. 

Covid-19 is devastating people’s lives and livelihoods.  If you are suffering from the serious consequences of Covid-19, you may be entitled to disability benefits.  If you apply and are turned down by your insurance carrier, don’t take no for an answer.

Consult an attorney without delay.

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Brain Injury Insider

michael kaplen
Brain Injury Insider is a weekly video update by The Brain Injury Law Firm ®. We cover the latest news and developments in traumatic brain injury, concussion, and brain injury law.