Proving Long Covid & LTD Claims: New Study May Assist in Providing Evidence to Support Long COVID as a Disabling Condition

Make no mistake about it. There are and will be a significant number of disability insurance claims arising from people claiming to suffer from long COVID. The defense of these claims will centre on a number of things, including LTD denials based on insufficient medical evidence to substantiate disability as well as argument regarding failure to mitigate for those sufferers who did not get vaccinated.

In the coming battles, the science continues to evolve as the science and medical communities continue to study all aspects of COVID 19.

A recent study by a team of researchers who followed more than 200 patients for 2-3 months after they were diagnosed with COVID has identified some underlying biological factors that may explain or predict why some people are more prone to suffer with long COVID (“post-acute sequelae of COVID 19, or PASC” is the medical name for long COVID)

The study was published by the journal Cell.

Four factors were identified early in a person’s COVID infection that suggest an increased risk of having lasting symptoms:

  1. Level of COVID RNA in the blood early in the infection, which indicates viral load.
  2. Presence of autoantibodies. Autoantibodies are antibodies that attack tissues in the body, similar to lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
  3. Reactivation of Epstein-Barr virus.
  4. Having Type 2 diabetes.

What may be lacking in the current Canadian public health environment is the ability to properly measure these factors. Also, in Canada, many COVID infections aren’t being captured by the system during the Omicron wave as testing has been curtailed due to lack of sufficient testing capacity given the explosion in the number of cases.

There are about 20 symptoms that have been identified with long COVID, including fatigue, brain fog and shortness of breath. Thirty-seven percent of the patients in the study had three or more symptoms of long COVID 2-3 months after infection. Twenty-four percent at 1 or 2 symptoms and 39% had no symptoms. Those having 3 or more symptoms had one of the four biological factors identified above.

Studies like these may offer pathways to effective treatment but as so much is still unknown, the world will be dealing with long COVID and other impacts of the pandemic for years to come. There is hope that where these biological factors can be identified more treatment options can be developed to try and curtail patients from developing long COVID.

While proof in an individual case may continue to be difficult to establish, studies like this one provide further evidence long COVID is a real issue for many that may suffer with long lasting symptoms that can interfere with their ability to work and also perform their usual activities of daily living.

or further details on the study, see the link to study above as well as the article written by Pam Belluck of the New York Times on January 25, 2022.

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. 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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