COVID-19 “LONG HAULERS” SHOULD EXPECT DELAYS AND DENIALS FROM LONG TERM DISABILITY INSURANCE PROVIDERS
El SEGUNDO, CA, April 8, 2021: There is no doubt that, just as the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted every aspect of everyday life, the pandemic has also upended disability insurance claims. People purchase disability insurance with the hope they will never have to use it, but rather, for the comfort of knowing it is there. Unfortunately, every day, hundreds of individuals find themselves unable to work due to an illness, sickness, or accident and in need of the disability benefits promised by their insurance company.
While the majority of people who test positive for COVID-19 can resume working shortly after their symptoms subside, for an unfortunate few – known as “long haulers” – the symptoms associated with a positive COVID test persist for months, if not over a year, for some. Many of these symptoms, which can include devastating fatigue, cognitive problems, shortness of breath, joint pain, headaches, chest pain, and cough, are so debilitating that the person cannot return to work.
So, what differentiates these symptoms from more well-known and documented illnesses? These symptoms are all subjective. For that reason, insurance companies tend not to believe their insureds who claim their disability is caused by subjective symptoms as opposed to objective ones. For example, insurers generally understand that someone who is diagnosed with cancer will be unable to work while undergoing chemotherapy or that someone who is on dialysis may only be able to work part-time. However, when an insured party tells their insurance company’s disability claims handler that they are fatigued, have “brain fog” or that lingering pain prevents them from returning to work, their claims tend to be denied.
Further, given how new COVID long-haul claims are to the insurance industry, it is expected that they will be viewed skeptically and denied due to insurers denying most claims because of an alleged lack of objective evidence to support the claim.
Of course, disability insurers will rarely state they are denying a claim because the insured’s subjective symptoms are not supported by objective evidence. Instead, they will attempt to minimize the insured’s subjective complaints and assert that the medical records do not support the insured’s claim for benefits.
When insurance companies deny the claims of clearly sick and disabled individuals, those denied need the assistance of an experienced long-term disability insurance attorney, like those of Donahue & Horrow LLP. Michael Horrow and his team of attorneys have helped hundreds of clients collect disability benefits that the insurance companies did not want to pay, even if the insured’s disabling symptoms are subjective in nature, like those of COVID long haulers. Donahue & Horrow LLP has experience in obtaining the disability benefits that were paid for and relied upon. For those having a problem collecting the disability insurance benefits they are owed, we offer free consultations to discuss your options and will provide a clear path toward recovery. We are here to help.