Long COVID-19 is a set of symptoms that can continue for weeks or months after you get the COVID-19 virus. It can affect your mental, physical and social well-being. Some people have more severe symptoms than others. Many people experience a mix of these symptoms. Symptoms can make work or school difficult, and you may have trouble participating in your family life or community activities.
CDC has identified a number of supports and services that are available to help you if you have Long COVID. You can find more information by searching the Services and Supports Report. CDC has also developed a guide for health professionals on providing medical evidence that you have Long COVID to support a Social Security disability claim.
People can have Long COVID from any illness that they had during or after the support for long Covid-19 conditions pandemic, including mild illness, hospitalization and even if they didn’t know they were infected with COVID-19. It is more common in people who had severe COVID-19 symptoms and those who experienced a multisystem inflammatory syndrome during or after their COVID-19 illness. Women, older adults and those with underlying health conditions seem to be more likely to develop Long COVID.
The symptoms of Long COVID can be similar to a variety of other health problems, and it can be hard for a doctor to diagnose. It is especially challenging to tell whether symptoms like fatigue and shortness of breath are from a new condition or are related to your ongoing recovery from COVID-19. Some people who have Long COVID experience a specific type of chest pain that happens when sitting up or lying down (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, or POTS). It’s important to talk with your doctor about all of your symptoms.
Long COVID can lead to a variety of other health problems, including changes in memory and thinking. It can also cause other health problems to get worse, such as heart failure and lung disease. People with long COVID can also feel achy and swollen or have trouble sleeping.
Research is ongoing to learn more about who gets Long COVID and why. Some groups, such as racial or ethnic minority communities and those with lower incomes, may be at greater risk for developing Long COVID. Scientists are investigating whether certain factors put these communities at higher risk for getting sick from COVID-19 and having Long COVID.
If you are having serious problems due to the effects of Long COVID, a lawyer can help you file a disability claim. You can also search for community coordinators who can provide culturally-specific assistance and/or help you understand the health benefits of coverage and insurance.
Some people who have Long COVID might qualify for workplace accommodations to help them keep working or return to work after recovering from their symptoms. You can also call the Job Accommodation Network for more information about workplace flexibility and accommodations. Long COVID has been added as a qualifying condition for disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act.