Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Long COVID
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Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Long COVID

Workers’ Compensation Benefits are available for those eligible workers who have been exposed to COVID at work and contracted the disease and remain ill from Long COVID. A recent study indicates of COVID patients indicates that two after coming down with COVID, over 50% of those patients still suffer from at least one virus-related condition.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Long Covid

Workers’ Compensation Benefits (Temporary, Medical, and Permanent) are available for those ill employees who have suffered illness from work-related COVID-19 exposure and disease.

1. Temporary Disability Benefits
When an injured worker is out of work and under authorized medical care for more than seven days (retroactive), the worker is entitled to receive temporary disability benefits.

2. Medical Benefits
The employer or its workers' compensation insurance carrier will pay for all authorized medical treatment.

3. Permanent Disability Benefits
The petitioner must prove that by demonstrable, objective medical evidence, there is a disability restricting the functions of the body or its members or organs. The disability appreciably impairs the ability to work or substantially interferes with other aspects of life.

Some long-term residuals have been named “Long COVID.” A recent study reported that “The sequelae after recovery from acute COVID-19 have been widely reported and have become an increasing concern. In our previous cohort study with a median follow-up time of 6 months after symptom onset, approximately three-quarters of COVID-19 survivors discharged from the hospital still had persisting symptoms, and patients who were critically ill during hospital stay had a higher risk of lung diffusion impairment and radiographic abnormality than did those who had lower disease severity.” “Long Covid” symptoms may appear even after mild or asymptomatic disease.

Symptoms

Symptoms of Long COVID [PASC - Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-Co-V-2 Infections]

  • Fatigue
  • Loss of sense of taste or smell
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Diarrhea
  • Ear pain
  • Sweats
  • Rash
  • Chills or shivering
  • Feeling feverish
  • Nausea
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Vision issues
  • Anxiety-Mental Health
  • Blood clots

It has been estimated that 30% of COVID-10 survivors will result in PASC. The number may even be higher.

Proving an Occupational Exposure Claim in a Pandemic World: “It’s Airborne”

Recently advanced research is refocusing on how the workplace dynamic needs to shift to prevent occupational exposures in a pandemic world. A new study suggests that the airborne transmission of respiratory viruses plays a significant role in spreading COVID-19. Understanding the mechanisms of airborne transmission provides insight into occupational exposure and its causal relationship to disease in the workplace.    

The study was published  in Science:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed critical knowledge gaps in our understanding and a need to update the traditional view of transmission pathways for respiratory viruses. The long-standing definitions of a droplet and airborne transmission do not account for how virus-laden respiratory droplets and aerosols travel through the air and lead to infection. In this Review, we discuss current evidence regarding the transmission of respiratory viruses by aerosols—how they are generated, transported, and deposited and the factors affecting the relative contributions of droplet-spray deposition versus aerosol inhalation modes of transmission.

Consult an Attorney-at-Law

If you have been exposed to COVID-19 in the workplace and are suffering from Long Covid symptoms, you should consult an attorney at law as soon as possible to determine whether a formal claim can be filed on your behalf. 

Recommended Citation: Jon L. Gelman,   Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Long COVID, Workers' Compensation Blog (May 17, 2022), https://workers-compensation.blogspot.com/2021/09/workers-compensation-benefits-for-long.html

Recognition of Post Acute Sequela of COVID

"The World Health Organization (WHO) created the ICD-10 code, U09.9, which is being proposed to be adopted into ICD-10-CM (the United States version of the classification system) without modification. WHO named it ‘Post COVID-19 condition, unspecified,’ and their instructional note says, “this optional code serves to allow the establishment of a link with COVID-19. This code is not to be used in cases that still present COVID-19.”

"There will be an instruction to “Code first the specific condition related to COVID-19, if known, such as chronic respiratory failure, J96.1-, loss of smell and taste, R43.8.” The expected implementation date is October 1, 2021." ICD10 Monitor 

Related Articles

Health outcomes in people 2 years after surviving hospitalization with COVID: a longitudinal study, L. Huang, et al., Lancet Respire Med 2022, https://doi.org/10.1016/ S2213-2600(22)00126-6, Many 11, 2022.

Scientists identify characteristics to better define long COVID, National Institutes of Health, May 16, 2022.

The Biden Administration Accelerates Whole-of-Government Effort to Prevent, Detect, and Treat Long COVID, The White House, April 5, 2022.

Presidential Memorandum on Addressing the Long-Term Effects of COVID-19, President Joseph Biden, April 5, 2022.

Recorded Webinar: Brown University School of Public Health’s Long COVID-19 Initiative, Dr.Francesca L. Beaudoin, WRCI, May 4, 2022.

Long COVID or Post-COVID Conditions, CDC, May 5, 2022.

…. 

Jon L. Gelman of Wayne NJ is the author of NJ Workers’ Compensation Law (Thomson-Reuters) and co-author of the national treatise, Modern Workers’ Compensation Law (Thomson-Reuters). For over 5 decades the Law Offices of Jon L Gelman  1.973.696.7900  jon@gelmans.com  have been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.

Updated: May 20, 2022

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The firm of Jon L. Gelman is a specialty law office concentrating its practice in the litigation of catastrophic and serious injuries resulting from work-related exposures and traumatic events. Our clients are located throughout the United States.

We are dedicated to utilizing our knowledge and skills in conjunction with the most modern technology to provide the best possible legal representation. Our practice is built on a strong foundation of in-depth knowledge of the subject matter which is reflected in the 3-volume treatise entitled Workers' Compensation Law , (Thomson-West), that we authored, and in the 3-volume national treatise, Modern Compensation Law, (Thomson-West), that we co-authored.

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