COVID-19 has drastically changed the way we live, and it will also drastically change the long-term disability claims landscape. As more Americans contract and recover from COVID-19, the CDC is learning more about the long-term effects of coronavirus. These exist even if a patient only had mild illness and did not require hospitalization. The CDC has documented these commonly reported long-term symptoms:
Other reported long-term symptoms include:
More serious but less commonly reported complications include:
The research is showing that COVID-19 can be more than just a respiratory disease: it can be a gastrointestinal disease that causes diarrhea and abdominal pain. In severe cases it can cause heart failure, kidney damage, headaches, seizures, brain inflammation, Guillain-Barre syndrome, and fainting spells. Because some people can experience no symptoms at all or have lingering effects months following infection, it is difficult to diagnose the disease progression.
While most people will be able to live productive lives with many of these long-term indicators, some of these symptoms, if severe, can be debilitating. If you experience long-haul symptoms such as fatigue and difficulty with concentration which cause you to be disabled from work activities, you may be entitled to disability benefits through your employer’s disability plan. Most employer disability plans are funded through group insurance policies, commonly provided by companies such as New York Life (which acquired Cigna or Life Insurance Company of North America), The Hartford, Standard, Principal Life Insurance Company, Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company, and Lincoln Life Assurance Company of Boston.
Until more is known about the long-term effects of coronavirus, insurance companies will view long-haul COVID claims skeptically. This skepticism may be fueled by treating doctors who may disbelieve or lack the information to make a proper diagnosis.
If you find yourself in this situation, it is important that you consult with an experienced ERISA long-term disability attorney to help you navigate this new terrain. A knowledgeable attorney will be able to:
Due to the complexities of ERISA, insurance policies, and long-haul COVID claims, you do not want to go at it alone. If you believe you cannot work due to the long-term effects of COVID and your long-term disability claim was denied, contact Roberts Disability Law, P.C. to schedule a consultation about your options.
I had submitted a disability claim on my own to UNUM that was denied originally. Two of my doctors indicated that based upon their past experience with patients who initiated disability claims that I might need to seek professional legal representation. A local friend who is an attorney (but who does not specialize in disability law) provided me with the name of Michelle Roberts. I originally spoke with Susan Foley and then forwarded all of my medical history to Michelle Roberts. She reviewed my history in depth and reported back that she felt that I had a strong case and…
Michelle Roberts is the consummate professional. She directed my case with such skill, perseverance and empathy. This is an exceptionally talented attorney. I did not have a large case, but she treated her objective of winning it(which she did!) as if it were. It can't be easy going up against an industry giant, but she succeeded in negotiating the best possible outcome for me. Michelle had a sense of urgency throughout and communicated every step of the way. I couldn't be happier or more impressed with Michelle and the entire team. Thank you!
I'm an attorney and needed representation in a difficult disability case. Several attorneys recommended Michelle and it was soon apparent why - she's amazing! Brilliant legal advice combined with her fighting spirit resulted in winning a difficult case against a large insurance company. 100% solid legal representation.
Michelle Roberts knows more about ERISA LTD matters than anyone else. Before my disabling injury, I was a litigator at a large law firm; I know the difference between the real experts and the rest of the attorneys. Disabled plaintiffs need an expert like Michelle because the insurance companies are playing hardball and don't care about doing what is right. It comes down to Michelle knowing the law, especially the most recent changes in the law. Also, she truly cares about people. If you get the chance for Michelle to represent you, you are fortunate.
Michelle not only won our case for me, but was totally professional, confidence inspiring, and reassuring. I felt I was in really good hands each step of the way. After it was all over and I was receiving disability benefits, my spouse and I looked back in retrospect and felt strongly that we could not have made a better choice in disability attorney for my case. Strongly recommended!
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