The COVID-19 pandemic has dominated the news lately, causing many people to newly consider their own health and mortality. Although many individuals recover from the coronavirus with no lasting effects, others develop long-term complications that can impair them permanently.
Some healthcare institutions have documented patients in which coronavirus has caused significant long-term damage to patients’ lungs. These patients have decreased lung capacity, and while physical therapy and rehabilitation may help improve lung capacity over time, the novel nature of the virus makes it unclear whether these efforts will truly be effective. For survivors of other similar viruses, such as SARS and MERS, the lung damage is extremely long-term or permanent.
Doctors now believe that the virus can substantially damage other internal organs, as well, including the heart, kidneys, liver, and brain. For instance, some COVID-19 survivors develop heart problems, which can lead to heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiac-related problems. Due to a lack of data, it is unclear whether this damage is long-term or permanent.
Some coronavirus patients develop post-intensive care syndrome (PICS) after their recovery. Lengthy ventilator usage while in the ICU makes it much more likely that the patients will experience PICS, and some coronavirus patients must stay on a ventilator for two weeks or more. Some studies estimate that anywhere from 25% to 75% of patients who have been treated in the ICU develop this condition. PICS can lead to depression, fatigue, insomnia, and poor concentration, among other symptoms.
COVID-19 patients likely will qualify for short-term disability benefits while they are being treated for the virus. However, if these patients experience more severe symptoms that last beyond the period of their initial illness and those symptoms make them unable to work, they should apply for long-term disability benefits. Based on a lack of evidence about the long-term effects of the virus, however, insurance companies may inappropriately deny or terminate benefits.
Long-term disability claims are complex matters that require intensive knowledge of ERISA laws and regulations. As a result, you will need experienced legal representation and advice to pursue an ERISA-governed disability claim. Bonnici Law Group is a law firm focusing on ERISA long-term disability benefits and bicycle injury cases in San Diego, CA. When you need effective legal representation, contact Bonnici Law Group at 619-259-5199 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.