In a subject that is quite new to disability law and to insurance benefits, there is a lot of discussion around individuals who have long COVID. The governments in Canada have limited COVID-19 PCR testing. For some people, this may be an issue.
What is the problem accessing disability benefits for long COVID patients?
Some individuals who had COVID-29 relied on home rapid antigen tests (RATs) for diagnosis and were told to stay home and isolate. Others, who were sick simply never got any tests. For others, they missed the time frame for accurate testing. PCR tests are considered the definitive diagnostic tool for COVID and they must be administered within a week of developing symptoms.
For many patients who had COVID-19 at the beginning of the pandemic, there was simply no test available.
As some of them have gone on to suffer from long COVID they’ve applied for LTD (long term disability) and in some cases, insurers are now requesting they show proof they had COVID. They are stuck. Some long COVID patients have suffered from shortness of breath, irregular or racing heartbeats, malaise, hair loss, lingering coughs and other symptoms which prevent them from returning to work. They are disabled and being denied benefits. Some have had to leave work and now face economic hardships and the desperate recourse of launching lawsuits against their insurers.
Is a PCR test required to file a claim?
A positive PCR test should not be required in order to access long and short-term disability benefits. Access to LTD and STD benefits should be based on an individual’s ability to work. It’s an objective decision based on your condition. The positive OCR test result should not be the barrier to overcome in order to access the benefits.
How is the disability established?
In order to access your sick leave and disability benefits the first step is to establish with the help of medical professionals that your present condition is disabling enough that you cannot perform the normal duties of your occupation. Once that is confirmed by the medical professionals the claim should proceed.
What should you do if you have Long COVID and can’t work?
Firstly, you should have your condition documented and confirmed by your doctors. Then you should apply for benefits. If you are denied long-term disability benefits then you should contact an experienced disability benefits legal team like Deutschmann Personal Injury and Disability Law for a free consultation on your case. Don’t face your situation alone. Call us today 1.866.414.4878