Long Covid May Qualify
for Disability Protections

On Monday, July 26, 2021, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Health and Human Services (HHS) commemorated the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by announcing joint guidance on how “long COVID” may qualify for disability protections under federal law.  This guidance can be found on the HHS and DOJ websites, and the Biden administration similarly shared their support for this initiative with links to resources for individuals suffering from long Covid.

“Some individuals recover quickly from COVID, but others experience debilitating long-term impairments that substantially limit major life activities.”  To that end, it can be recognized as a disability under the ADA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act if the mental or physiological impairment it causes “substantially limits one or more major life activities.”  This could result in an employer offering reasonable accommodations and ensuring their health plan provides disability accommodations.

IMA will continue to monitor regulator guidance and offer meaningful, practical, timely information.

This material should not be considered as a substitute for legal, tax and/or actuarial advice. Contact the appropriate professional counsel for such matters. These materials are not exhaustive and are subject to possible changes in applicable laws, rules, and regulations and their interpretations.