Covid is sadly not over. Earlier this summer it felt like everyone I knew either had it or was getting over it or had a family member dealing with it.
Most people think of Covid in terms of death numbers. And while those cases are staggering, Covid isn’t like the flu in that you always get better after feeling like garbage. Long haul Covid is a real issue and estimates are that it’s affecting 23 million Americans right now. Many of those people are of course in Illinois and a lot of them got sick from the job.
This is creating a new world for them and their employers. Just like an employer has to accommodate your restrictions if you have a back injury from work, they have to do the same if your long haul problems are work related. Sometimes that means flex time. Other times that means giving frequent breaks or working from home. For some they need assistance to get their job done.
For Long COVID, there are more than 200 symptoms that people have been dealing with. The most common are fatigue, loss of taste/smell, brain fog, erectile dysfunction, memory issues and a severe cough. The issue is that unlike a back or leg injury where you can see an injury via diagnostic tests like a MRI, long haul symptoms are for the most part subjective. That means that insurance companies in Illinois work comp claims are likely not to believe you or will try to fight your case. They will assume that everyone who says they have this is a faker. That’s just how insurance companies tend to operate.
The good news is that insurance companies aren’t Judges and don’t get to make unilateral decisions. If your doctor believes that it’s more likely than not that you got Covid from work and you’ve documented your ongoing problems with them, you should receive workers’ compensation benefits in Illinois. This means that if your doctor feels you need to work at home, your employer will either have to allow that or pay you benefits to not work while you recover. It also means that they will have to pay for 100% of your ongoing care.
These long term problems are very common in people who have been hospitalized after getting Coronavirus, but it also happens frequently to people who were dealing with a really bad case for a couple of weeks. It’s possible that these problems will go away and it’s possible you will have to deal with it forever. It’s affecting around 7% of our population which is a staggering number. That brings me hope that there will be research in to dealing with this and hopefully strong treatments.
These aren’t easy cases, but they are certainly worth investigating. If you’d like to talk to a lawyer for free about your possible claim, you can call us for free any time at 312-346-5578.