OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – A report by the Kaiser Family Foundation showed that more than half of people with long-term COVID are out of work or working fewer hours. And you can get disability benefits for that.
Theresa Jeffers went from climbing mountains and saving lives to losing her breath while walking her dog. It’s a COVID long haul.
“Breathlessness makes it difficult to even climb stairs or try to walk,” Jeffers said.
In December 2020, she caught COVID and has not recovered since. Now she is unemployed. But she could be compensated like any other disability.
Early last year, she applied for disability benefits with her employer. And she was approved.
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, he must limit one or more major life activities.
As an airway specialist, Jeffers must be able to perform CPR. But with her shortness of breath, she can’t.
“You must be able to continue to do your job, to save lives. It was my job.
Long COVID is still a relatively new phenomenon, but 6 News sat down with doctors at Jeffers to explain the problems COVID is causing in these long-distance patients.
“There’s just not a lot of evidence per se that there’s true pathology, but they’re still very symptomatic,” said Dr. Daniel Van Kalsbeek of Nebraska Medicine.
Her allergy specialist explained, “Because you’re not moving oxygen as well as you should, an activity that you could do without symptoms causes shortness of breath,” Dr Sara May said.
They say it’s important to see a doctor if you think you have long COVID and need long-term disability benefits.
“If you have a primary care specialist, like Theresa with me as an asthma specialist, I could tell her breathing has changed dramatically with COVID.”
Since there isn’t a single test to see if you have long COVID, the Department of Health and Human Services says, “individualized assessment is needed.”
His doctors wrote on his behalf, attesting to a change in his ability to work and perform daily tasks. She also documents her own symptoms.
“I document my vital signs and have labeled them as post-COVID chronicles.”
With the help of her doctors and documentation, she was able to receive a year of disability benefits. She is currently in the process of renewing those benefits and also applying for Social Security disability insurance.
The long COVID clinic is at UNMC and doctors say it’s a good place to start if you have persistent symptoms 12 weeks post COVID.
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