Marasco&Nesselbush personal injury lawyers

Long COVID is Now a Disability Under the ADA, Section 504, and Section 1557

A doctor holding up a digital screen in their hands For those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, most are finding that their symptoms are resolving after a few weeks. However, for a select group who have tested positive for COVID-19, significant symptoms have lingered and not resolved. This condition is known as “long Covid.” The American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation estimates that anywhere from 3 million to 10 million Americans are experiencing “long Covid.” 

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), those suffering from long Covid are experiencing a range of new or ongoing symptoms that are lasting for weeks or months after first becoming infected with Covid-19. Under the American Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504, and Section 1557, long Covid is determined to be a physical or mental impairment if it substantially limits one or more major life activities according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,

To qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, applicants must demonstrate a disability that substantially limits their ability to work and has lasted, or will last, for at least a year. Typically, the Social Security Administration uses medical assessments or health records to determine whether someone qualifies.

Some people with long Covid symptoms have had success obtaining benefits, even without a positive coronavirus test, if they can demonstrate a substantial downturn in their health and ability to work even though getting approved for benefits can be rather difficult. 

An individualized assessment is necessary to determine whether a person’s long COVID condition or any of its symptoms substantially limits a major life activity. The CDC and health experts are working to better understand long COVID. 

“We are pleased to see that long Covid is being recognized as a disability and sufferers are having success obtaining benefits,” said Marasco & Nesselbush partner, Donna Nesselbush. 

Sources: New York Times article,; Centers for Disease Control,; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,

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