Long COVID pushes Americans out of work, but govt help hard to reach
Long COVID patients in the US have fallen through the cracks of a system that was time-consuming and difficult to navigate even before the COVID-19 pandemic, reported US News and World Report this week.
“People are facing years-long wait times, insufficient legal support and a lack of clear guidance on how to prove they are disabled, compounded by the challenges of a medical system that does not have a uniform process for diagnosing long COVID,” the report cited health experts and disability attorneys as saying.
A recent research from the Brookings Institution estimates that 2 to 4 million Americans are out of work because of long COVID. A study published in September by the National Bureau of Economic Research points to a number closer to 500,000.
The Biden administration promised support to people with long COVID, but patient advocates say many are struggling to get government help, said the report.
The long waits for disability assistance often end in denial, in part because long COVID patients don’t have the substantial medical evidence that federal officials require.
There is no standard process for diagnosing long COVID. Similarly, Social Security has yet to give specific guidance on how to evaluate COVID claims for the government officials who review applications, it added.