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.
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 email@example.com have represented injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.
Updated: January 25, 2023
© 2023 Jon L Gelman. All rights reserved.
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
Machine-learning models may detect patients at risk for long COVID-19Machine-learning models created by a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-supported research team can identify, with high accuracy, patients likely to have long COVID, according to a study yesterday in The Lancet Digital Health.
Pain, Breathing Difficulties and Hyperlipidemia among the Most Common Post-COVID Conditions across All AgesMany patients recover from COVID-19 within a few weeks, but some exhibit persistent or new symptoms more than four weeks after first being diagnosed.
66 hospitals, health systems that have launched post-COVID-19 clinics 2/9/2022Many hospitals and health systems have created COVID-19 recovery programs, or post-COVID clinics, to support patients who experience lingering symptoms weeks or months after being cleared of the illness — a population now widely known as COVID-19 long-haulers.
How Long Covid Exhausts the BodyMillions of people continue to suffer from exhaustion, cognitive problems and other long-lasting symptoms after a coronavirus infection. The exact causes of the illness, known as long Covid, are not known. But new research offers clues, describing the toll the illness takes on the body and why it can be so debilitating.
Is the workers' compensation system ready for the COVID-19 [coronavirus] virus? Live UpdatesThe enormity of a COVID-19 [coronavirus] virus pandemic presents a new and novel challenge to the system and one that must be considered by both Federal and State planners. Workers’ Compensation programs have adapted to emergencies before, including natural disasters and terrorist attacks. The urgency of the situation requires that the system be prepared now.
US Government Accounting Office Report on Long COVIDPeople with long COVID might leave the workforce, causing them to lose wages and employer-based health insurance. This could affect the broader U.S. economy through decreased labor participation and an increased need for use of SSDI or other publicly subsidized insurance.
Over 75 Percent of Long Covid Patients Were Not Hospitalized for Initial Illness, Study FindsMore than three-quarters of Americans diagnosed with long Covid were not sick enough to be hospitalized for their initial infection, a new analysis of tens of thousands of private insurance claims reported.
COVID‐19 as an occupational diseaseThe health implications of COVID‐19 for the global workforce are multifaceted and complex, warranting careful reflection and consideration to mitigate the adverse effects on workers worldwide.
COVID Boosters: What Employees and Employers Need to KnowMany employers and state governments are mandating that employees be vaccinated against COVID. Confusion remains over the rapidly changing landscape of booster doses as reports of waning or compromised immunity even though a worker is considered “fully vaccinated” when the original series of doses are completed.
Reduced Exercise Capacity, Chronotropic Incompetence, Inflammation and Symptoms in Post-Acute COVID-19 5/19/2022Reduced exercise capacity and reduced heart rate response to exercise, and hsCRP are associated with persistent cardiopulmonary symptoms more than 1 year following COVID-19. Chronic inflammation and autonomic dysfunction may underlie cardiopulmonary PASC.
RECOVER: Researching COVID to Enhance RecoveryLong-term effects of COVID may be different for everyone and they can affect many different parts of the body, such as the brain, heart, and lungs. And people who have PASC, including Long COVID, can have different kinds of effects. These effects may come and go, and they may last for a few weeks, a few months, or longer.
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.
A glimpse into long COVID and symptomsA shift to remote work may exacerbate long COVID symptoms.
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
The effects of contracting Covid‐19 on cognitive failures at work: implications for task performance and turnover intentionsIndividuals who contract Covid‐19 often experience problems with memory, attention, and concentration, even after recovering from the initial illness. In the current manuscript, we argue that these symptoms are likely to manifest as cognitive failures in the workplace.
Longitudinal evaluation of neurologic-post acute sequelae SARS-CoV-2 infection symptomsA new study offers scientific evidence supporting permanent neurological disability flowing from an occupational COVID-19 condition. Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine are conducting a longitudinal study to track neurological symptoms in COVID-19 “long-haulers.”
How to get treated for long COVID in NY and NJLong haulers, like many people with chronic disease, will likely face the challenge at some point during their care of proving their “medical necessity.”
World Health Organization definition of Long CovidMost people who develop COVID-19 fully recover, but current evidence suggests approximately 10%-20% of people experience a variety of mid- and long-term effects after they recover from their initial illness. These mid- and long-term effects are collectively known as post COVID-19 condition or “long COVID.”
Persistent circulating SARS-CoV-2 spike is associated with post-acute COVID-19 sequelaePossible blood bio-marker identified for Long COVID
Symptoms and risk factors for long COVID in non-hospitalized adultsSARS-CoV-2 infection is associated with a plethora of symptoms, including hair loss and sexual dysfunction, that are associated with a range of sociodemographic and clinical risk factors.
Smell and taste dysfunction after covid-19 7/27/2022The covid-19 pandemic has put both smell and taste disturbances in the spotlight because of the functional impact and severe distress caused by the loss of these senses, their fundamental diagnostic value,2 and, more recently, the high rate of long term dysfunction.
Long-COVID treatments: why the world is still waiting After a slow start, researchers are beginning to test ways to combat the lasting symptoms of the disease. Nature 8/9/2022Until results from trials such as these are in, physicians and people with long COVID will continue to experiment with combinations of pharmaceuticals and rehabilitation therapies.
Neurological and psychiatric risk trajectories after SARS-CoV-2 infection: an analysis of 2-year retrospective cohort studies including 1 284 437 patients Lancet Psychiatric 08/17/2022Adults 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.
We’re starting to understand long COVID. Next we can fight itToo many people are indeed living with chronic COVID, detracting from their daily lives. As we eventually emerge from this pandemic, long COVID will be the enduring, major public health complication that we failed to address in a timely and aggressive manner. It’s not too late to invest in understanding and combating it.
Long-term cardiac pathology in individuals with mild initial COVID-19 illness (Nature) 9/5/2022Cardiac symptoms are increasingly recognized as late complications of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in previously well individuals with mild initial illness.
Distinguishing features of Long COVID identified through immune profiling. Analysis of circulating immune mediators and various hormones also revealed pronounced differences, with levels of cortisol being uniformly lower among participants with Long COVID relative to matched control groups. Integration of immune phenotyping data into unbiased machine learning models identified significant distinguishing features critical in accurate classification of Long COVID, with decreased levels of cortisol being the most significant individual predictor. These findings will help
Is Workers' Compensation Ready for Infectious Disease? Pandemic Preparedness will be an enormous factor in workers' compensation going forward.
Increased levels of inflammatory molecules in blood of Long COVID patients point to thrombotic endotheliiti"We conclude that presence of microclotting, together with relatively high levels of six inflammatory molecules known to be key drivers of endothelial and clotting pathology, points to thrombotic endotheliitis as a key pathological process in Long COVID."
Long COVID or Post-COVID ConditionsSome people who have been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 can experience long-term effects from their infection, known as post-COVID conditions (PCC) or long COVID.
New data shows long Covid is keeping as many as 4 million people out of workIn January 2022, Brookings Metro published a report that assessed the impact of long Covid on the labor market. Data on the condition’s prevalence was limited, so the report used various studies to make a conservative estimate: 1.6 million full-time equivalent workers could be out of work due to long Covid. With 10.6 million unfilled jobs at the time, long Covid potentially accounted for 15% of the labor shortage.
US HHS Guidance on “Long COVID” as a Disability Under the ADA, Section 504, and Section 1557This guidance explains that long COVID can be a disability under Titles II (state and local government) and III (public accommodations) of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA),3 Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504),4 and Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Section 1557).5 Each of these federal laws protects people with disabilities from discrimination.6 This guidance also provides resources for additional information and best practice
US Office of Disability Employment Policy Coronavirus Resourceshe U.S. Department of Labor is committed to ensuring equitable access to the health and safety of America's workers and providing resources to respond to and recover from the Coronavirus pandemic.
SARS-CoV-2 promotes microglial synapse elimination in human brain organoids 10/5/2022Our results reveal that brain organoids infected with SARS-CoV-2 display disruption in circuit integrity via microglia-mediated synapse elimination and identifies a potential novel mechanism contributing to cognitive impairments in patients recovering from COVID-19.
"What now?": Long COVID as a potential disability and its effects on workers 12/07/2022The impacts of long COVID are not limited to the personal lives and health of affected individuals, who often work reduced hours or are unable to work due to their condition.
Cardiology: The risks of POTS after COVID-19 vaccination and SARS-CoV-2 infection: it’s worth a shot 12/12/2022Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) can follow COVID-19 as part of the post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection, but it can also develop after COVID-19 vaccination. A new study shows that the rate of new-onset POTS diagnoses is slightly increased after COVID-19 vaccination, but is five times lower than the rate of POTS diagnoses after SARS-CoV-2 infection.
How Long Covid Exhausts the Body-NYTimesMillions of people continue to suffer from exhaustion, cognitive problems and other long-lasting symptoms after a coronavirus infection. The exact causes of the illness, known as long Covid, are not known. But new research offers clues, describing the toll the illness takes on the body and why it can be so debilitating.
Is the workers' compensation system ready for the COVID-19 [coronavirus] virus? Live UpdatesIt seems that every decade a new pandemic emerges on the world scene, and complacency continues to exist in the workers’ compensation arena to meet the emerging challenges of infectious disease.
Study: Long COVID kept people out of work for months 1/25/23People experiencing long COVID were more likely to be unable to return to work for weeks because of their symptoms or continued to receive medical treatment for their infection after they returned to work, according to a study published on Tuesday by the state’s largest workers’ compensation insurer.