Disability insurance challenges face many long COVID patients

Disability Insurance - Claim Form

Employees are experiencing claims denials when applying for short- or long-term benefits in these cases.

Workers who are battling with long COVID have found that they are also struggling with their disability insurance, as many claims for short- and long-term benefits have been denied when they involve that condition.

Even short-term claims that are approved are often later denied for long-term benefits.

According to a recent CNBC report, experts have found that disability insurance policyholders who are approved for short-term benefits can still find it difficult to receive long-term benefits. When claims have bene denied, a policyholder’s only immediate option is to try to appeal the denial if they still want to try to obtain the benefits.

Disability Insurance - Long Covid

It’s estimated that about 43 percent of workers in private companies have access to short-term coverage through their employers, said data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Typically, these benefits will offer a replacement for between 60 percent and 100 percent of an employee’s typical income. Short-term coverage will usually last between three and six months, said the report.

Long-term coverage, on the other hand, is meant to begin when short-term benefits run out. It is available to about 35 percent of workers in private companies. It generally provides 50 percent to 70 percent of a worker’s full typical income. It will often provide benefits through until the individual reaches retirement age, depending on the details of the individual case.

It is more common for long COVID patients to be denied disability insurance benefits than approved.

Though the majority of patients who have been infected with COVID-19 will recover without complications, as many as 30 percent of American cases have been associated with the development of long COVID symptoms. This means that as many as 23 million people in the country are affected by these symptoms, says data from the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Long COVID symptoms typically appear once the original infection has cleared and the patient tests negative for the disease. Symptoms commonly include (but are not limited to) fatigue and brain fog, which are challenging to measure. That said, these symptoms are not only disabling, but it also makes it challenging for the policyholders to navigate stressful, complicated and lengthy disability claims processes.

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