Covid Long-Haulers Get Disability Civil Rights Protections

By Shira Stein: For Entire Post, Click Here…

Covid-19 survivors with lingering symptoms, who call themselves long haulers, can be protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to guidance put out Monday by the Justice Department and the Department of Health and Human Services.

People with long Covid can have symptoms such as fatigue, difficulty breathing, muscle and joint pain, headaches, depression or anxiety, and difficulty thinking or concentrating, which has become known as “brain fog,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Long Covid is classified as a disability “if the person’s condition or any of its symptoms is a ‘physical or mental’ impairment that ‘substantially limits’ one or more major life activities,” the guidance said.

Some studies indicate about 10% of Covid-19 patients may become long haulers. Disability rights activists say the Covid-19 pandemic could lead to the largest rise in the number of disabled people in the U.S. in decades.

The announcement was made as President Joe Biden celebrated the 31st anniversary of the landmark disability rights law with lawmakers.

“We’re bringing agencies together to make sure Americans with long Covid who have a disability have access to the rights and resources that are due under the disability law, which includes accommodations and services in the workplace and school and our health-care system so they can live their lives in dignity and get the support they need as they continue to navigate these challenges,” Biden said at the White House.

Some reasonable accommodations for people whose long Covid qualifies as a disability include allowing a person with dizziness to be accompanied by their service animal, providing additional time on a test for a student with difficulty concentrating, and pumping gas for a customer with joint or muscle pain, the guidance said.

Disability rights advocates praised the move by the Biden administration.

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