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The COVID-19 disability-linked saga: just beginning

| Jul 19, 2021 | Long Term Disability Claim Denial

The numbers alone tell the story.

And what they indicate regarding long-term ramifications for many individuals across the United States who have contracted the COVID-19 virus is magnified by a dire projection.

“Estimates suggest,” notes a respected journal, “that millions of Americans may enter the ranks of the permanently disabled.”

That sobering viewpoint expressed in a recent Scientific American article is based on far more than mere conjecture. The magazine points out that at least 34 million people have contracted the virus (“and probably many more”) and that myriad evidence sources reveal long-term health downsides for high numbers of them.

Candidly, underscores the magazine, at least a quarter of all COVID patients suffer debilitating symptoms for extended periods following a hospital discharge. Those problems can be of a “bewildering variety” and “render some affected individuals unable to resume their usual activities.

We have spotlighted COVID’s enduring and sometimes debilitating effects on many who have suffered during the unprecedented health pandemic. Collectively, those who are unable to shake free from viral repercussions and continue to suffer from disabling challenges have been termed “long haulers.” A May 17 ERISA Law Center blog post cites the stark insurance-tied challenges many of them face.

The high denial rates by disability insurers owes to many factors. Claims are contested for lack of a uniform diagnosis and when subjective symptoms (e.g., pain and fatigue) are cited. We note that in many cases “disability insurers are seizing upon uncertainty to deny or delay claims.”

That will have to be addressed and dealt with, notes Scientific American, because “a tsunami of disability is coming” tied to legions of individuals’ prolonged COVID challenges.