COVID-19 “long-haulers” not only seem to be in limbo health-wise, but also benefits-wise. Long-haulers are the unfortunate people who contracted the virus but continue to have serious health effects weeks and months after their initial diagnosis. Suffering from several ailments such as headaches, shortness of breath, brain fog, fatigue and body aches, long-haulers find themselves in difficult predicaments.
Often, they have challenges performing routine daily activities as well as the inability to work. But since uncertainties remain as to whether they qualify for disability benefits, long-haulers must be pro-active. They must dig down deep and advocate for themselves to make sure they and their situations are not forgotten.
Regular doctor visits, persevere
As you seek to recover your health and gain some answers, here are some steps to consider:
- Make regular in-person visits to your doctor. Discuss with him or her your ailments and symptoms and how they affect your ability to function. Make sure your physician thoroughly records these details.
- Keep careful records of your medical visits and illness along with a daily journal with details describing how it has affected you. Assembling evidence is crucial. You will be prepared once the government makes its decision as to whether long-haulers qualify for disability benefits.
- Thoroughly understand your long-term disability policy offered through your employer. Typically, employers pay 50% of a worker’s salary through a long-term disability policy. You want to make sure that you have some financial cushion to help you. However, be prepared to advocate for yourself even more if your employer’s insurance company tries to deny you claim.
- Look at other alternatives, too, such as pursuing benefits through the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
- Working with a disability attorney is crucial. An attorney will understand your legal options and offer potential solutions.
- Never give up. Granted, you face some health and government red-tape challenges, but you must advocate for yourself as you seek answers.
Although your energy and spirit may be down as you wonder when you will recover, remember that signs of hope and resolution are not far away.