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Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Long COVID

Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Long COVID

Occupational Exposure

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 of COVID patients indicates that after coming down with COVID, over 50% of those patients still suffer from at least one virus-related condition. Fifteen percent of surveyed report COVID symptoms lasting more than three months. Long COVID-Related illness has been reported to be a significant cause of death in America.

Nearly one in five American adults who have had COVID-19 still have "Long COVID." 

Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Long Covid

Workers’ Compensation Benefits (Temporary, Medical, and Permanent) are available for those ill employees who have suffered 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 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. Adults who contracted COVID-19 suffered increased risks of ischaemic stroke, epilepsy or seizures, cognitive deficit (known as brain fog), insomnia, and anxiety disorders were observed, compounded by an increased death rate. It has been reported that symptoms can persist for at least three years following infections.

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

It has been estimated that 30% of COVID-10 survivors will result in PASC. The number may even be higher. It has been reported that 71% of workers' compensation claimants with long COVID need medical treatment or were unable to return to work for six months or more.

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

Recently advanced research has been refocusing on how the workplace dynamic needs to shift to prevent occupational exposure 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, (August 20, 2022),’-Compensation-Benefits-for-Long-COVID.aspx

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.”

The ICD U09.0 was officially adopted on October 1, 2021, as the International Code of Diseases for insurance billing purposes.

Related Articles

Health outcomes in people 2 years after surviving hospitalization with COVID: a longitudinal study, L. Huang, et al., Lancet Respire Med 2022, S2213-2600(22)00126-6, Many 11, 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 five decades, the Law Offices of Jon L Gelman  1.973.696.7900  have represented injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.

Updated: May 1, 2024

Recommended Citation: Gelman, Jon L.,  Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Long COVID, (2024),

© 2001-2024 Jon L Gelman. All rights reserved.

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