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 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.
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.
Symptoms of Long COVID [PASC - Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-Co-V-2 Infections]
- Loss of sense of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Ear pain
- Chills or shivering
- Feeling feverish
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Joint or muscle pain
- Difficulty concentrating
- Vision issues
- Anxiety-Mental Health
- Blood clots
- Tachycardia syndrome
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, gelmans.com (August 20, 2022), https://www.gelmans.com/ReadingRoom/TabId/65/ArtMID/1482/ArticleID/1087/Workers’-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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org have represented injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.
Updated: May 12, 2023
Recommended Citation: Gelman, Jon L., Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Long COVID, www.gelmans.com (2023), https://www.gelmans.com/ReadingRoom/tabid/65/ArtMID/1482/ArticleID/1087/preview/true/Default.aspx
© 2001-2023 Jon L Gelman. All rights reserved.
Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.
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Post–COVID Conditions Among Adult COVID-19 SurvivorsCOVID-19 survivors have twice the risk for developing pulmonary embolism or respiratory conditions; one in five COVID-19 survivors aged 18–64 years and one in four survivors aged ≥65 years experienced at least one incident condition that might be attributable to the previous COVID-19.
A Longitudinal Study of COVID-19 Sequelae and Immunity: Baseline FindingsIncreased risk for PASC was noted in women and those with a history of anxiety disorder.
Can long Covid lead to death? A new analysis suggests it couldThe review at the CDC, the details of which POLITICO obtained, is the first of its kind and indicates that long Covid and the health complications associated with it could lead to death. NCHS is set to publish preliminary data from its analysis in the coming days.
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Long COVID ICD-10 Diagnostic Code UpdateICD-10-CM Codes › U00-U85 Codes for special purposes › U00-U49 Provisional assignment of new diseases of uncertain etiology or emergency use › U09- Post COVID-19 condition › 2022 ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Code U09.9
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