Can I Get Disability for Heart Issues After Having COVID?
Simply getting COVID-19 in the first place is bad enough. But for an estimated 30% of coronavirus sufferers, long-term side effects continue to linger long after the last positive test. In some cases, these side effects of COVID-19 have proven to be complex and can lead to potentially deadly health issues, including cardiovascular disease.
Post-COVID heart issues like palpitations, dizziness, and chest pains can keep sufferers from working and reduce their overall quality of life. These victims should not have to suffer without help, but proving disability can be difficult without the right experience.
That is why it is important to get the assistance you need early—so you can avoid missing out on the benefits you deserve. By hiring an experienced disability attorney, you can increase your chances of success while decreasing the hardship on you and your loved ones.
At Bryant Legal Group, we fight hard for even the most complicated disability claims, because we believe you deserve help in your time of need. In this article, we will cover how COVID-19 is a risk for heart disease and when you may qualify for disability benefits.
How COVID-19 Became a Risk Factor for Heart Disease
As the world learns more about COVID-19, it has become more and more apparent that its side effects can lead to serious health issues down the road. Because the acute phase of COVID-19 causes severe illness and inflammation, the body can develop several long-term issues even after the virus has run its course.
Although the full effects of COVID-19 are still not fully understood, recent research from the team at the Veterans Affairs St. Louis Health Care System shows COVID-19 can lead to heart disease. From relatively mild disease to more complicated issues like blood clots, chronic kidney disease, or even heart attacks, it is clear that COVID can have a direct impact on heart health.
Cardiologists have also discovered there is an increased incidence of postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) in those who experienced long COVID. POTS is a neurological disease that affects blood flow and heart rate, which can lead to issues such as brain fog, chest pain, fatigue, and other cardiovascular complications. This is just one of the ways that COVID-19 can lead to heart disease and further issues, even after it is gone.
COVID-19 Can Seriously Damage Blood Vessels
The way that COVID-19 enters cells is by attaching to ACE-2 receptors, which are heavily present in the heart. As the body attempts to fight off the virus, its immune response causes inflammation throughout the body, including heart muscle inflammation. This inflammation places an extra burden on the heart muscle, restricting blood vessels and leading to a higher risk of heart disease and failure.
Even after COVID-19 symptoms have ended, the long-term effects of this reduced heart function and fatigue remain. This can lead to otherwise healthy patients to eventually develop severe or even fatal heart problems. This risk causes many to re-evaluate their daily lives and abandon careers or make major lifestyle changes.
Heart Failure Risk Factors and COVID-19
Although heart failure from COVID-19 is rare, there is still an increased risk of heart attack and severe disease among COVID-19 patients. COVID-19 can lead to complications of ischemic heart disease, also known as acute coronary disease or coronary artery disease (CAD). CAD is caused by narrowed blood vessels—a side effect of COVID-19—and can lead to heart attack, abnormal heart rhythms, and increased risk of heart failure.
Inflamed heart and blood vessels and restricted blood flow can put anyone at risk of severe complications, but the situation is especially dangerous for those who work strenuous jobs. It may become unsafe to continue working, creating financial stress and worry.
In these cases, workers may qualify for long-term disability benefits, depending on the severity of their cardiovascular complication and the definition of disability in their insurance policy.
When Should I Apply for Disability Benefits for My Heart Damage From COVID-19?
If you had COVID-19 and are experiencing new heart issues, they may be connected, and you may qualify for disability benefits. If these complications prevent you from working, then you deserve to get compensation. However, not everyone will qualify for disability for heart disease from COVID-19.
The success of many long-term disability claims depends in part on your policy’s definition of disability. There are two different definitions of disability that are commonly used:
- Own occupation: This definition only requires claimants to prove they can not perform their current job due to their disability.
- Any occupation: This definition is much stricter. Any occupation disability requires claimants to prove that their disability prevents them from performing any job, regardless of difficulty or industry. This can be especially difficult for specialized workers to prove.
When you begin to experience symptoms of heart disease, be sure to seek a diagnosis from a medical professional as soon as possible. If your doctor connects your cardiovascular disease to long COVID or side effects from COVID-19, you may be able to seek compensation for your disability.
It is important to get help early on for heart disease disability claims, as they can often be complicated and difficult to prove. Insurance companies will look for any loopholes, missing evidence, or other weaknesses in your claim they can use to keep from paying you what you deserve. Bryant Legal Group has experience navigating heart disease disability claims and are ready to use their expertise to help you avoid mistakes and pitfalls.
The Challenges of Proving Disability for Sedentary Work
Proving that a condition prevents someone from performing the essential functions of their occupation can be especially difficult for people who work sedentary jobs.
For heart conditions, the damage or risk must be very high for even an experienced attorney to prove a disability. Many insurance companies won’t easily accept that sedentary jobs can be stressful enough to qualify for disability benefits, even though stress is known to have a direct effect on heart health.
It is important to communicate your symptoms accurately and not underplay your condition while filing a claim, as doing so could risk your claim’s success. If your heart disease or heart failure is serious enough to affect your ability to work, you are entitled to benefits and should file a claim with the help of an experienced disability attorney.
Looking for Personalized Advice From an Insurance Lawyer?
Bryant Legal Group: Chicago’s Premier Disability Attorneys Fighting for Victim’s Rights
The team at Bryant Legal Group has years of experience fighting back against unfair disability claim denials and are here to help you navigate the claims process. We are ready to use our knowledge of the disability insurance industry to help you file a claim, gather evidence of your disability, and communicate with the insurance company so you don’t have to.
If you or a loved one is experiencing heart issues due to COVID-19 and are unsure if you qualify for disability benefits, call Bryant Legal Group at (312) 561-3010 or contact us today to schedule your free consultation.
Nisha, G., Wendy, P. (2022, April 22). Heart Problems after COVID-19. Johns Hopkins Medicine. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/heart-problems-after-covid19
Xie, Y., Xu, E., Bowe, B. et al. Long-term cardiovascular outcomes of COVID-19. Nat Med 28, 583–590 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-022-01689-3
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.