Long COVID 19, the Link to ME/CFS, & How This Impacts Long Term Disability Claims

We’re just past the two-year anniversary from the first COVID 19 lockdowns and as more people continue to suffer with long COVID 19, researchers are discovering that up to 50% of COVID long-haulers could be suffering with what most people still refer to as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, but which is now recognized in the medical community as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME/CFS).

A recent article in the Montreal Gazette describes the research and some of those suffering with these symptoms.

While ME/CFS is often referred to as the mystery illness of the 21st century, its debilitating effects on people and in particular their ability to sustain gainful employment has been the basis of long term disability claims for many years. The symptoms of both long COVID 19 and ME/CFS have some startling similarities: extreme fatigue, brain fog, and sensory disturbances. ME/CFS sufferers have faced skepticism and a lack of understanding within the Canadian healthcare system, largely because there has been a lack of understanding of the illness.

It is feared that as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic the number of ME/CFS sufferers in Canada will double, putting more pressure on the healthcare community to take ME/CFS more seriously and to put more efforts into understanding the illness and searching for better treatment options.

For Canadians battling both ME/CFS and insurance companies for their disability benefits, the possible link between ME/CFS and long COVID 19 provides some helpful information in legitimizing long COVID 19 in the coming legal battles for recovery of disability benefits.

A lot of disputed disability claims involved so-called invisible disabilities such as depression, anxiety, and certainly ME/CFS. Patients feel scorn from family and friends who don’t understand the illness as people don’t look sick but even a simple task like going to the corner store to get a few groceries can leave long COVID 19 and ME/CFS patients severely fatigued.

For patients, the possibility of receiving a diagnosis and furthermore receiving confirmation that it isn’t all in their head, while upsetting, can at least provide some hope that treatments can be found.

As for disability claims, having medical proof and/or the support of healthcare providers that this is a debilitating illness that medical providers have been struggling to find solutions for, can provide much-needed objective evidence to help establish entitlement to short term and long term disability benefits. As recognition and greater understanding for what people are suffering with hopefully occurs, an insurance denial based on “insufficient medical evidence” can be successfully challenged.

If you have had your claim for long term disability denied, contact the long term disability insurance lawyers at Share Lawyers. Our experienced team of long term disability (LTD) lawyers can help. Toronto is home to the Share Lawyers office, but we have helped people all across Canada. We have recently settled cases against Canada Life, Desjardins, Manulife, RBC Insurance, Sun Life, and many more. We offer free consultations and there are no fees unless we win your case. Find out if you have a disability case.

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