Long haul for complicated workers comp COVID-19 claims

Long-term health issues following a COVID-19 diagnosis will likely affect the workers compensation industry indefinitely now it is considered a disability by the federal government, experts say.

The Office for Civil Rights of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice in July provided joint guidance on what is referred to as “long COVID,” which it describes as a list of symptoms that are known to exist among COVID-19 patients who have overcome the initial infection. Such symptoms include fatigue, chest pain, shortness of breath, joint or muscle pain, and difficulty concentrating.

“We’re in the long haul,” said Beth BurryJackson Richmond, Virginia-based senior vice president of case management for Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc., of the complicated scenario of managing COVID-19 claims with long-term symptoms.

Symptoms are diverse, require care from different kinds of practitioners and much coordination is

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