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Long COVID and Workers’ Comp
June 20, 2023
Long COVID is now classed as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and employers must accommodate workers suffering from the disease. Still, legal and clinical questions remain concerning Workers Comp eligibility. One issue is whether the disease was contracted on the job. Workers’ compensation providers are monitoring how clinical changes and statistics may impact compensability. The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California has released data showing that in 2020 and 21, claims involving treatment for long COVID symptoms were four times more likely to result in permanent disability benefits than other COVID-19 claims. It also indicated that over a one-year, post-acute care period, 13 percent of COVID-19 claims with medical payments included treatment for long COVID symptoms. According to a medical officer quoted in the above-referenced article, chronic fatigue syndrome and Lyme Disease presented many of the same issues but were relatively rare. Post-infection symptoms with COVID-19 raise questions surrounding compensability for workers because of the number of people infected. One suggestion is to let affected people work remotely if possible.
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